COLUMBIA LIBRARY COLUMNS
The Autumn 1996 Issue I Miciiaei. Sioi.i.er, Editor
^achyear, during Alumni'Weekend, I
^ guide groups of former Columbians
Jthrough Buder Library, recalling the
many purposes each of the public rooms has served, listening to the alumni
tell of relaxing in the Browsing Room when it still had a browsing collection
or of the glorious oak panelling in the Reference Room when it was new.
As we listen to the sound of jack hammers from the basement, I tell
the alumni of our plans lo restore these spaces physically and to bring
their services into the next century with new communications wiring, new
air-conditioning, and even new elevators. It's a time to be excited about the
past and the future.
The first two articles in this issue address that past and future: the
complex needs and negotiations that led to South Hall's original design and
construction, and the complex needs and challenges that have brought us
well into the first phase of the building's renovation. I have taken on the task
of telling the first story, and Aline Locascio, project coordinator for Butler
renovation, has been kind enough to tell the second story. Sandwiched
between these two articles, we present a photo essay on the actual construc¬
tion of South Hall.
To round out the issue, Frank Sj'pher presents a fascinating tale of
Columbia's long association with the Church of the Heavenly Rest on Fifth
Avenue and particularh' of the connections forged by iwo of the church's
rectors: Herbert Shipman and Henry Darlington. It is a story that reminds
us of the central role this University has played in the life of the city and
charmingly recalls how very different that role was in an earlier age.