Ruffner Hall was probably considered to be quite handsome when it opened as the home of the Curry School of Education in 1973, after more than a dozen years of planning and construction.
Four decades later, it feels more than a little dated. When Bavaro Hall was built on the parking lot that separated Ruffner from Emmett Street, more than a few people commented on how it improved the views for passing motorists and pedestrians. Like its 1970s-era cousins University Hall, the Alderman Road residence halls and the pre-renovation Law School, the fairly funky Ruffner feels, well, a little out of place.
That doesn’t prevent Ruffner’s denizens from reminiscing a bit as the building closes for 18 months of renovation and modernizing.
The school has posted a page of photos of Ruffner’s past (submissions welcome), and is soliciting memories on the Curry Facebook page. The Curry blog includes a posting of “Ruffner Reminsciences” and there’s a “Renovating the Ruff” blog to help guide folks through the project.
On a personal note, my late father was a member of the Curry School faculty for decades, but I still have a hard time working up much fondness for the building itself. Even when the school hosted a wonderful memorial gathering for him, I didn’t even think to seek out his former offices. I suspect that memories of Ruffner, even for those who spent years there, are more wrapped up in the people who roamed its halls than in the building itself.
Ruffner-ites, now in exile, do you agree?
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