A few dozen past and present residents of the soon-to-be-demolished Butler apartments gathered during Reunions to share memories of the old Army barracks they have called home.
The 304 Butler apartments, built in 1946–47 to house returning veterans, are expected to close by the end of fall semester, and graduate students will move into the new Lakeside housing on Lake Carnegie. Their new living space will be more comfortable than the tiny units they are leaving, but most say that they will miss the sense of community.
Living in Butler was “good and bad, but much more good than bad,” said Mike Campanell, a six-year Butler resident, a few days before receiving his Ph.D. in plasma physics.
In Butler’s common room, Reunions attendees viewed an exhibition of photographs taken by past and present residents, which documented daily life in the complex over the years. The room also was jammed with used books and children’s play equipment, free for the taking.
Christine Philippe-Blumauer, head of the graduate-student social committee, said she would miss the open spaces at Butler and the friendly atmosphere.
“It’s temporary [housing],” echoed her neighbor, Sara Vantournhout, a student in East Asian studies, “but it feels like you’ve settled down.”