Campus Erosion?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

A recent Ask-the-Gazette question inquired as to why the Tarble entrance closest to Sharples is set atop such a steep hill. To determine whether or not there was any particular reasoning behind this architectual decision, the Gazette turned to Swarthmore’s Director of Grounds, Jeff Jabco, for an explanation.

Jabco explained that Clothier Hall’s ridge-top location was for aesthetic purposes, “to have a very prominent landmark.” Regarding the concern of the steepness of this “entrance” and its “rather high” first step, Jabco observed, “I don’t expect the openings under the belltower, and then the south door into Tarble were ever meant to be the main entrance into the building.”

The hill’s steepness may, Jabco added, be a result of terrain grading around Clothier and Tarble (constructed in 1929). Sharples, for those curious, was constructed in 1964.

Have other questions about Swarthmore’s changing landscape? Ask the Gazette and find out!

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