During my second year at Ohio University, I lived in two very different residence halls. Unlike my previous "If walls could talk" blog where I go in-depth with every area of the building, I don't have as many photos saved of each living situation, but I will be sharing my experience and explaining each dorm.
To start, I first moved into Bryan Hall. Bryan sits close to uptown (technically considered to be on East Green) and is at the top of "Bryan Steps".
Bryan Hall was a traditional style dorm built in 1948 and named after Elmer Burnitt Bryan, Ohio University's 11th President. The previous summer (2018), the bathrooms had been renovated so I never took/saved photos since they are the standard new bathrooms similar to those in Jefferson Hall. The rooms were still clearly older, as was the rest of the building. The only photos I have are of my roommates half of the room that I took when I moved in. I was in room 301, a corner room that made our layout much different than the rest of the standard doubles.
What makes Bryan Hall stand out is the built in closets that I personally have not seen in the other residence halls. Something that's also unique is the large "basement" lounge area that provides room to do homework or hangout with friends. Lastly, since the bathrooms are recently renovated, they were probably the nicest community bathrooms that you could find on campus.
Within a couple of months, I had received an offer to move and be a Resident Assistant. It was a dream come true. I was hired for Wray Complex on South Green (Back South/"Dirty" South/previously "New" South), which during the 2018-19 school year included Hoover House, Ewing House, Wray House and Dougan House. I was specifically hired in Ewing House on the fourth floor in room 402.
The residence halls within the complex were unique in that they were mod style. This meant that for my particular floor, my room was in the middle connected to a hallway that led to a central community living space on either side. Each mod had a study room and two hallways with six residents in each who shared a bathroom.
Ewing House was built in 1969 and named in honor of Thomas Ewing, one of the first two students to graduate from Ohio University. Ewing, along with the other residence halls built in Back South, were built quickly due to the projected increase in residents, which unfortunately never reached the max estimation. Many of the buildings have been closed due to their poor conditions, already torn down, or are scheduled to be torn down this summer (2019). Housing & Residence Life also has a long term plan to eventually build new residence halls. While buildings in bad condition shouldn't house students, I hope that if/when new residence halls are built, the university considers a style similar to the mods.
Having never lived in a mod style building before, I wish I had lived there my freshman year. As a resident, you have to walk through the community area to leave and it's easier to make friends with the people you live with. You also have the privacy of the community area to just your floor, and the option to still hangout in just your room.
Another uniqueness about these buildings is that they are all connected by the "catwalk" via the first floor of each building. The ground floors are left empty of residential rooms due to the potential flood risk that the Hocking River grants. While the Hocking hasn't flooded the green in many years, during major previous flooding the catwalk was a necessity for students to leave their residence halls. It will be very interesting to see what the university decides to do with new buildings, the space, style and catwalk.
Next year for the 2019-20 school year, Ewing House will be closed due to the lack of freshmen students enrolling. With numbers down, it would cost more money to keep the building open for a few residents instead of housing students in other vacancies across campus. Considering the economy and the large expense that college is, less and less students are enrolling each year. With the buildings located on Back South already in a rough condition and set to be torn down within the next few years, it is likely that I may have been the last Resident Assistant to live in this room.
The photos I have of Ewing House are of my room alone (please excuse the stuff still in the room and the open drawers, I was in the process of moving out). While I loved living in this building, I did not capture photos of inside the mods. My reasoning behind this was that I will be a Resident Assistant again next year in a different building with a similar mod set up and didn't deem it to be necessary. I have also included the floor layout to the fourth floor to better understand the mod style, two views (one from the fourth floor and one from the first floor) that show the catwalk, and a photo of Wray House featuring the clock tower.
If you ever lived in Bryan Hall or Ewing House please leave a comment or contact me, and tell me about your experience and what it was like when you lived there.