• Susan Seligson

    Susan Seligson has written for many publications and websites, including the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Yankee, Outside, Redbook, the Times of London, Salon.com, Radar.com, and Nerve.com. Profile

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There are 11 comments on Architectural Icon Gets Makeover

  1. Our tuition money ($184,000,000) is funding renovations in an eyesore building, which will only benefit the legion of administrative staff which grows in number every year, and who have little to do with the actual education of students. Meanwhile my professors, some freshman and some tenured, don’t show up to class after already missing 4 days due to snow, and assign papers for which internet research is not allowed. Where is the progress? This is supposed to be an institution for learning, but it is an industry just like any other, run by business people and designed to profit the few (the white, the rich) at the expense of the many.

      1. Samuel’s comments are largely quite specific & precise. Perhaps it’s their critical nature that Child dislikes. Please not, BU is not immune from criticism.

      2. Smarter Child,

        The article itself states the cost of the renovation, and that the building will now be used for administrative purposes. Here is an article from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting about the rise in administrative staff in American universities:


        President Brown is the highest paid president of a private university in MA:


        These “generalizations” come from personal experience and the experiences of my peers at Boston University in dealing with the administration here. Yes, there are faculty who care and are committed to helping students learn and grow, but the administration is by largely obstinate and unwilling to truly listen to and address student concerns.

        1. Samuel,

          There is no mention of what percentage of the Tower building space will be used for administrators.

          The story says that the Tower will house administrative departments, faculty offices, moot courtrooms, and writing programs. Clearly this is more than just space for administrators.

          It sounds the Tower will have space for almost everything except classrooms as the decision was made to house all brand new classrooms in the Redstone building. I say this is a big win for the LAW student body.

  2. The “team” looks pretty pleased in the photo. No doubt they were not yet informed that the roof of their prize (re)creation is already leaking, less than one year after its official opening.

    So, do they volunteer to give a partial refund of their fee, or does BU go after them?

  3. I am glad that the architects have figured out that the tower “was never really suited to being a good classroom building”, something that thousands of former students can surely attest to, and which should have been obvious before the ink was dry on the original plans. It is beyond me why anyone in the architectural profession should be “infatuated” with Sert, who apparently took great pride in designing buildings that were wholly unsuited for their intended purposes.

    Apart from its evident failings as a classroom building, the law tower is hardly iconic. In fact, it is essentially indistinguishable from the towers that Sert himself designed at about the same time as married-student housing at Harvard, not to mention hundreds of other concrete boxes all over the world. It is also just the latest Sert-designed building, after the student union and the library, that BU has had to extensively modify to make reasonably practical for students to use.

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