Fine Arts Center's Reflecting Pools

Title

Fine Arts Center's Reflecting Pools

Subject

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Description

The Fine Arts Center, constructed during the early 1970’s, reaching completion in 1974, occupies a prominent space on campus. The building’s unique design was intended to mimic the Elm tree lined walkway that once occupied the space between the campus pond and Haigis Mall, where the building sits today. The design plays upon the building's relationship to the campus pond and originally incorporated two reflecting pools that sat beneath the elevated bridge. The reflecting pools were meant to provide a smooth transition, or a sort of gateway, from the walkway to the campus pond.

During the initial construction of the building, the reflecting pools were not equipped with a proper draining system that proved necessary for proper maintenance of the pools. This was the initial problem facing the reflecting pools and as time passed, the pools were filled less and less frequently. The design of the pools also failed to take into consideration the rapid rate of evaporation that would occur in the summer months when the pools were filled. Their positioning also became problematic. Though their intention was to add to the aesthetics of the building, they became more of an eyesore as their placement allowed for trash and debris to be blown into the pools.

By 1999 the pools had not been regularly filled for the past decade. There were objections to the limited use of the pools, as the university only seemed to fill them when persons of importance were visiting campus. That same year there were some repairs made to the pools, including their repaving in order to apply a sealcoating to prevent leaks. This, however, was only a temporary solution to the issues with the reflecting pools. Although both faculty and students pushed the university to utilize the pools again, the cost of the reparations and maintenance seemed to outweigh the demands.

In 2004, the pools that had long been empty were finally filled, although it was not water that they were filled with. As a 50th reunion gift, the class of 1954 had the reflection pool on the western side of the building turned into a small park, with a garden, trees and benches.

Creator

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Source

UMass Special Collections and University Archives

Publisher

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Date

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Contributor

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Rights

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Relation

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Format

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Language

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Type

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Identifier

RG150-0004269, RG150-0004278, RG150-0005293

Coverage

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Original Format

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Physical Dimensions

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Files

RG150-0004269.png
RG150-0004278.png
RG150-0005293.png
Date Added
August 31, 2012
Collection
Central Campus
Item Type
Still Image
Citation
“Fine Arts Center's Reflecting Pools,” Lost UMass, accessed November 24, 2017, http://lostumass.omeka.net/items/show/28.