Posts in: General News
By George Eckhardt, Manager of Logistical Support
Is all the activity going on at Van Briggle over the past couple of weeks an extreme makeover, a building demolition project, an archeological dig, or a new construction project?
The correct answer is all of the above. Thanks to the generous support from the Schlessman family, longtime Colorado College benefactors, the Van Briggle building exterior and surrounding landscape is receiving an extreme makeover, to be concluded by mid-June.
Much like the nearly completed Cutler Hall and Cossitt Hall improvements, both part of the Long Range Development Plan (LRDP), there is an improvement project at Van Briggle, 1125 Glen Ave., and the Transportation Shop across the street, 1144 Glen Ave. The project is intended to greatly improve the “gateway first impression” appearance for Colorado College and for the entry to historic Monument Valley Park for vehicle traffic traveling on Uintah Street.
The goal is to attractively screen the maintenance vehicle parking area on the north side of the Van Briggle building, and the fleet vehicle parking area across the street at the Transportation Shop. A Colorado College campus stone sign replica of the Cascade and Nevada parkway median signs will be installed at an angle along the Uintah Street east-bound traffic lanes, just before reaching the Uintah Bridge, to announce arrival at the college.
The Western Ridge residential buildings will be visible, directly over the top of the new sign. Also, the improvements will eliminate the street side parking on the west side of Van Briggle, and add attractive landscaping around the historic Van Briggle building and the Transportation Shop property to greatly improve aesthetics.
The local community and many other interested visitors to the historic building will have more access and interaction with the west side of the Van Briggle building to explore and photograph the unique architectural features. Hardly a day passes that curious and historically knowledgeable visitors do not stop to take photos and drop in through the front office for a look at the building interior to learn more about the Van Briggle pottery history. Many, too, are interested in the Historic Walking Tour Van Briggle National Register listing: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/welcome/walkingtour/vanbriggle.php )
Decorative brick screen walls, much like the existing brick screen wall on the west side of the Van Briggle building, will be constructed around the north side parking area, and at the north side of the Transportation Shop parking area. In both projects the brick screen walls will be set back significantly from the property line boundaries to allow for attractive landscaping, which will provide a softer park-like or garden-like appearance, and still provide an uninterrupted view toward the campus’ Western Ridge residences above Stewart Field as vehicular traffic approaches the college from I-25. The new landscaping will blend nicely with the attractive Horticultural Art Society garden on the south side of the Van Briggle building. The Van Briggle brick screen wall also will emphasize the northern view of the attractive upper Van Briggle building roof lines and showcase the building’s many unique architectural features, such as the decorative tiled dormers and chimney stacks. The utilitarian chain link fences and gates will be replaced with attractive traditional custom wrought iron fencing typical for the historic period, containing subtle architectural elements borrowed from the Van Briggle building and existing screen wall.
The archeological dig is a result of demolition of the old Monument (Storage) Shed on the north side of the Van Briggle building along the Monument Creek bank and the excavation for the new screen wall.
From 1908 through the 1950’s, Van Briggle Pottery used the backyard as a repository for kiln waste materials, used brick, and failed pottery and tile shards. Most of these bulky waste materials had to be removed and replaced with adequate soils for proper structural compaction for the new parking area surface and the new brick screen wall. The waste materials will be recycled as fill material in the deepest part of a large ditch on college- owned property located on West San Miguel Street just north of the Grounds Shop, which will provide a new storage lay-down yard replacing the lost Van Briggle storage yard. Many salvaged examples of 80 to 100 year-old glazed tile, terra cotta, and pottery shards will be useful for display and discussions for the annual Woman’s Educational Society historical scholarship fundraising tour of Van Briggle, held each September (and scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011).
Discarded monument markers with names and dates also were found under the Monument Shed floors. Much of the discarded materials were used to fill in the undermined shed on the creek bank where soils were eroded and washed away during the infamous 1935 flood. It is noted on Van Briggle Pottery financial statements from 1937 and 1938 that the Monument Department was a significant part of the business as Van Briggle was recovering from the flood and the depression.
Unknown to most people, the Van Briggle building’s three north side additions, done in years prior to college ownership, were constructed of exposed concrete block exterior walls. In 1968, after Colorado College purchased the Van Briggle Pottery, the building restoration and re-adaptation included removal of the two large brick kilns. The used kiln bricks were cleaned and installed on the exterior faces of the concrete block walls on the north side additions to improve the historic look of the building. The 1968 restoration did not address removal of the plywood faced flat roof overhangs on two of the three additions.
This project includes removal of the two remaining flat roof overhangs and construction of raised brick parapet walls to match the northeast addition, which was topped with a brick parapet wall capped with sandstone in 1968. Roger Renck, one of the retired owners of Renck & Roberts Masonry Company, which originally did the brick restoration work 42 years ago, is acting as the project masonry consultant. Renck was able to locate oversized recycled, historically accurate, matching bricks in a used brickyard in Denver for constructing the two parapet walls. The north side of the building roof line will have a uniform historic appearance as viewed over the top of the new brick screen walls.
The west side of the Van Briggle brick screen wall will feature a projected 30-foot-long wall section framed by two pilaster columns containing art work including limestone floral carvings, bas relief bronze plaques of Artus and Anne Van Briggle at work, and brightly colored glass tile mosaic artwork panels, all created by local artist and sculptor Larry Terrafranca. The artwork will depict and celebrate the Van Briggle Pottery story, adding another interesting feature for visitors to enjoy and to photograph. Terrafranca previously recreated the black ceramic cat, which was missing from the southeastern brick chimney for more than 30 years. He also helped recreate very significant architectural art features on the Cutler Hall, Palmer Hall, and Jackson House historic preservation projects.
The brick screen walls also will incorporate decorative Van Briggle art tiles arranged in six-tile panels on each of the 13 brick pilaster columns. These art tiles are being produced by the current Van Briggle Art Pottery Company at 1024 S. Tejon St. The art feature wall will be surrounded on the west side by the Schlessman Family Garden, which will be a landscaped paver patio area with two bench seating areas for relaxation and enjoyment of the art works and scenery.
Removal of two rental houses on two college-owned properties near Van Briggle made these improvements possible. The loss of parking area at the north side of the Transportation Shop was compensated by removal of the college-owned rental house immediately south of the shop, creating additional fleet vehicle parking area. Likewise, the loss of indoor and outdoor storage and parking areas on the north side of the Van Briggle building will be compensated by the combination of two college-owned rental properties and construction of a new storage building at 228/232 West San Miguel St., directly north of the Grounds Shop. One rental house will be removed and the Facilities Services Construction Shop will move into the other rental house, which will remain. The perimeter of the new storage yard will be visually attractive with new landscaping and screening treatments which will include raised earth berms, new wood fencing, and new tree plantings.
Read the announcement about CC’s 13th president, as well as her biography and speech; check out the photo gallery and videos; and send her a welcome message. Check back for new content, all here.
Two Colorado College students have been recognized by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program. Colby Sides was named a Goldwater Scholar and Eric Wigton received an honorable mention.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program was created to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.
Sides, a junior, is majoring in biology and Spanish. He plans to earn a Ph.D. in tropical biology, then conduct research in tropical forest succession and teach at the university level. Wigton, also a junior, is a biochemistry major who plans to earn an M.D./Ph.D. or Ph.D. in biochemistry and conduct translational research on chemoprevention in cancer.
In awarding scholarships, the Foundation Board of Trustees considers the nominee’s field of study and career objectives and the extent to which that individual has the commitment and potential to make a significant contribution to the field. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be going into their junior or senior year and must be nominated by their college or university.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was authorized by the United States Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater.
By Erik Rieger ’12
Unbeknownst to many, Colorado College plays host to one of the most significant climbing communities in the world. Since the early 1900’s, CC climbers have been pioneering first ascents and embarking on significant climbs throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West, as well as the rest of the world.
In an attempt to unite and showcase the talents of this spirited community, Joe Forrester ’06 and Michael Wejchert ’08 founded The Colorado College Alpine Journal in 2006. Since its first release, the CCAJ has sustained itself as a unique compilation of stories, photos, and artwork which chronicle the significant climbs of both current CC students and CC alumni, while also displaying the creative talents of its many contributors. Now in its fourth annual publication, the CCAJ has come a long way from what Forrester calls its “rough and humble beginnings.” The 2010 edition, released in February, saw some major design improvements and all those involved in the project hope the journal will become a keynote publication among the canon of Colorado College publications as well as among the greater body of climbing literature.
The CCAJ is a free publication and those looking to gloss through its vibrant pages can find copies in Tutt Library and the Ritt Kellogg Climbing Gym. The CCAJ also is available electronically. The 2010 edition can be viewed at: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/campusactivities/orc/cacc/securecacc/2010%20CCAJ.pdf
Past editions are at: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/campusactivities/orc/cacc/securecacc/caccresources.asp
We hope you enjoy exploring this unique publication and reading about some of the most exciting climbing trips the CC climbing community has taken over the past year!
Two Colorado College seniors have received Thomas J. Watson Foundation fellowships for their research projects, enabling them to pursue a year of independent exploration and study outside the United States.
Sophia Herscu, of Amherst, Mass., will study “Social Circus: Trust Building and Empowerment Though Circus Technique.” Her research will take her to Canada, Australia, and Brazil.
Hannah Sohl, of Ashland, Ore., will research “Against the Current: Exploring Migratory Fish Runs and Cultures,” will travel to Canada, Bolivia, Brazil, Bangladesh, India, Mongolia, and Laos for her research.
Herscu and Sohl, both sociology majors, are two of only 40 college seniors across the country to become Watson Fellows. They were selected from a field of 148 finalists, and each will receive $25,000 for 12 months of travel and exploration.
Herscu will examine how circus pedagogy can be used in a new movement called Social Circus, which uses circus technique as a way to build self-confidence and trust in group settings. She will study the ability of the performance techniques to empower women and youth.
Sohl notes that “riverine communities throughout the world depend on migratory fish runs not only for their economic and nutritional livelihoods, but also for cultural identity and a sense of place.” She plans to explore the traditional and contemporary relationships between humans and migratory fish runs, the threats facing rivers and fish, and the various conservation efforts emerging to protect them, and will document the project through a series of podcasts.
This year’s Watson Fellows come from 21 states and four foreign countries, and exhibit a broad diversity of academic specialty, socio-economic background, and life experience. They will traverse 71 countries, exploring topics from sword dancing to pro-gaming, gay marriage to voluntary poverty, migratory fish to nomadic societies, and fiber art to fly fishing.
Two Colorado College professors and a former employee were in Tokyo when the 8.9 earthquake struck March 11. Here is a round-up of messages and news they have sent:
Joan Ericson, Professor of Japanese Language and Literature
I appreciate all of the messages from many others who have asked about our welfare in Japan.
Jim and I are fine here in Kyoto. It seems strange to think that just last Saturday I was up in Sendai to give a talk (through Fulbright) at Tohoku University. I’m sooo glad that we were safe at home Friday afternoon when the terrible earthquake hit the northeastern area of Japan. We’ve been glued to the TV watching news – tsunami waves are unbelievably forceful – they have swept cars, houses, and large ships along in their wake. The three national TV stations canceled all of the usual programming from Friday afternoon to now (Sunday afternoon) to show news and real time footage of the disaster. For those who couldn’t stand the harsh reality any longer on Friday, there were several channels of soothing music and images (Grand Canyon and the like).
Unfortunately the news seems to get worse with the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant and aftershocks. It’s also a shock to hear the words “being exposed to radiation” (hibaku) being applied to those who’ve been affected by the released nuclear vapr – up until now this was part of the word “hibaku-sha” which was used for those who experienced the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
People in this general area told us that they felt the tremors on Friday afternoon, but we must have assumed that any tremor was just part of the process of a large building being demolished near us. We’re far enough away from the Tohoku (northeast) area which has felt the brunt of the earthquake and tsunami, but are ever mindful of the unpredictable nature of earthquakes.
Dan Johnson, Associate Economics Professor
Just got back to my hotel again, as it was evacuated again to check for structural damage as there were some superficial cracks in the walls when I first returned.
Here’s the story as it developed here: I’m at a conference here in downtown Tokyo, due to present some research in international trade. Midway through someone else’s presentation, the room started to rumble more than shake. It wasn’t heavy, but was noticeable as an earthquake. The speaker stopped to wait for it, and it kept on and on, growing stronger and stronger. As the light fixtures started to swing, we all climbed under our desks, hoping that the worst would pass quickly. But for several minutes that seemed like hours, it grew even stronger. The room really vibrated, and people grew genuinely terrified. I wasn’t scared yet, just amused, so I smiled and cracked jokes with my colleagues to keep the mood light. After all, what are the odds against a killer quake on my first day of my first trip to Japan, right?
During a lull in the shaking, we heard the public siren outside calling for building evacuations, along with instructions to reach high ground as a precaution against a tsunami coming ashore. That’s actually when I started to get scared. We filed out in orderly fashion, and were thankfully already on a hilltop, so could watch as dozens of others streamed out of nearby buildings to join us in the hilltop courtyard between buildings. The trees were swaying, the ornamental caps on one building were vibrating precipitously, sirens were blaring, and people were starting to panic. Everyone had cell phones out, trying to call loved ones or get news.
We remained outside for the better part of an hour, with the ground still regularly trembling with aftershocks. Slowly word trickled in about the enormity of the quake, where it was centered, how big the tsunami wave would (and wouldn’t) be, etc. Security teams were remarkably calm and professional in checking buildings for gas leaks and fires and structural damage.
We called off the remainder of the afternoon’s conference, and I went back to my hotel, where elevators were of course not working. So I climbed the 13 flights to my room, passing cracks in the wall that the bellhop asserted had definitely not been there that morning. Upstairs, my room was still frequently swaying and vibrating with aftershocks, so I changed into warmer clothes and went back downstairs and outside to wait it out.
Looking around at the skyline, it would have been a major humanitarian disaster had the quake been centered here. With millions of people in the city, skyscrapers on every block, streets clogged with cars and buses, construction cranes and industrial facilities in close proximity, it could have been horrific. As it is, by 11 p.m. this evening, most subway and train lines have been checked and are back on limited service, stores are still stocking food and water, restaurants are open to serve meals, and the city is a little subdued but not too much the worse for wear.
So to celebrate surviving the Tokyo Quake of ’11, the conference group went out this evening for a fugu dinner (the Japanese pufferfish that must be prepared by a licensed chef because if prepared incorrectly it is fatally poisonous). It was sublime. And so is Tokyo.
Bob Kerwin: Former CC director of communications
Most Japanese have expected a big quake their whole lives. We do regular drills in hard hats and carrying survival kits – these came out for sure last Friday. But Tokyo is built for quakes and there was little damage in the city.
While we had no idea if our ordeal was over, as the aftershocks lasted for hours, everyone’s attention switched to the horrific images on TV of the tsunami coming ashore. No drill could have prepared for that. Surviving the quake suddenly seemed inconsequential. Only family counted as everyone struggled for hours to contact their homes, many finally walking for hours in the absence of train service.
Things are tense in Tokyo as the nuclear crisis has now taken center stage, but one has to admire the calm, communal approach to the danger. I can only contrast this to the alarmist foreign press that appears to live on incomplete information, hyperbole and more than a few accusations. I have yet to hear one person complain or point a finger in Tokyo. Emphasis is on the well-being of families, with coming to work entirely voluntary for most companies.
If I had one wish out of this, other of course than for the reactors to cool down, it would be for the foreign press to find some objectivity and stop upsetting people needlessly. I get the impression that people in the US are more upset than here in Japan, where I can assure you we take the danger very seriously. It is amazing how a few well placed seeds in a paragraph of bland copy, like “desperate bid”, ”catastrophic” (ahead of the fact) and, my own favorite, “apocalyptic” can stir people’s fears. We may have the radiation, but at least we don’t have such a toxic press to deal with.
All of my colleagues and I are buoyed by the many messages of support from friends over the horizon.
Six named professorships were announced at the faculty meeting on Monday, March 14. The appointments range from two to three years, are not immediately renewable, and carry an annual stipend of $7,500 to be used for professional development purposes. The basis for selection was exemplary teaching and scholarship. The new appointments are:
Crown Family Endowed Professor for Innovation in the Arts:
Ofer Ben-Amots; music. This is the first year for this professorship.
The A.E. and Ethel Irene Carlton Professor of Social Sciences:
Eve Grace; political science. Juan Lindau held the Carlton Professorship from 2005-2007; Mario Montaño is the current holder.
The Christine S. Johnson Professorship in Music:
Victoria Levine; music. Richard Agee held the first Christine S. Johnson Professorship from 2009-2010 and is the current holder.
The John Lord Knight Chair for the Study of Free Enterprise:
Vibha Kapuria-Foreman; economics. Larry Stimpert held the John Lord Knight Chair from 2005-2007; Aju Fenn is the current holder.
The NEH Endowed Distinguished Teaching Professorship in the Humanities:
Joan Ericson, East Asian Languages. Barry Sarchett held the NEH Professorship from 2005-2007; Tom Lindblade is the current holder.
The Nancy Bryson Schlosser and C. William Schlosser Professorship in the Arts:
Kate Leonard; art. Gale Murray held the Schlosser Professorship from 2006-2008; Peggy Berg is the current holder.
English Professor John Simons has published a new book, “Peckinpah’s Tragic Westerns: A Critical Study,” examining the work of filmmaker Sam Peckinpah and placing it within the 2,000-year-old tradition of Western tragedy. The tradition, enfolding the Greeks, Shakespeare, and modern tragedians, is represented in Peckinpah’s art in numerous ways, and the fact that he worked in the mode throughout his career distinguishes him from most American film directors. Films covered include “Ride the High Country,” “Noon Wine,” “The Wild Bunch,” “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” and “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia.” Comments on the book jacket by renowned writer, producer, and director Garner Simmons note that the book “provides fresh and, at times, profound insights into how and why Peckinpah’s work touches us in such a deep and visceral way.” The book is co-authored with Robert Merrill, a colleague of Simons’ while in graduate school at the University of Chicago.
Shipp joined the Boettcher Counseling Center in January, where she works in the same office she had in 1985, when she had just completed her Ph.D. in counseling psychology. She currently is a part-time counselor at the center, as well as the founder of a leadership consulting business, PL Shipp & Associates. The tagline on her website, “Leadership and Service,” is indicative of the direction Shipp’s life has taken.
“You can’t separate the two. Part of my job is to serve,” she says.
Shipp has a legacy of leadership and service. After graduating from CC with a degree in political science, Shipp earned a master’s degree in counseling from George Washington University, then served as a counselor and administrator in Colorado Springs School District 11 for 15 years. “I found I wanted to spend more time with the kids, and I couldn’t do that. I was restricted by time and the calendar.” So she returned to school to earn her Ph.D. from the University of Denver. Upon completing her doctorate, she served as a counselor at CC, opened a private practice, and started working at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). “Juggling three jobs became too wild, so I left CC to concentrate on my practice and CCL,” she said.
Her private practice focused on adolescents and their families, while at the Center for Creative Leadership she led executive training and development courses and managed their nonprofit programs. The two positions were not as disparate as they might seem. “I’m a cognitive behaviorist; I believe thoughts drive behavior,” Shipp said. “In both cases, I worked at getting at the root cause of who you are, in order to help that person on their journey, to be the best they could be.”
Shipp ran her private practice for 15 years, in some cases seeing former District 11 students who came to her with their own children.
In 2007 she started PL Shipp & Associates, an executive coaching and leadership consulting business, based in Colorado Springs.
Working with students was a primary reason she was eager to return to CC, and in many ways, her life has come full circle. She was a student at CC in the ‘60s, dealing with questions of identity, relationships, and adjustment issues. Today, she counsels CC students with the same concerns. “It is rewarding to connect with them. I just want them to recognize who they are and maximize their potential. These students have so much to offer.