I want to thank Bill Robbins for his recent “As I See It” editorial stressing the importance of honoring the historic green open spaces between the Oregon State University campus and the city. OSU and the city are lucky to have such a historian here in Corvallis.
I have lived within four blocks of this open green space between Madison and Monroe since 1968, when I came to OSU as a freshman. For me there is something special about the historic lower campus of the university and the surrounding historic downtown neighborhoods.
Last year OSU and its architects met with concerned neighbors and showed us the architectural drawings of the student housing that would fill the two block green space that Bill describes. It was disheartening to see a modern design that doesn’t fit in with the surrounding historic churches and homes. Being adjacent to OSU’s National Historic District there are no restrictions on design and materials. We saw plans for a solid wall of three-story townhouses on Ninth street between Madison and Monroe as well as a four- to five-story building next to lower campus. It is also next to the new Gateway Walk that was designed and built to bridge the campus to the downtown, a symbolic gesture of collaboration.
Perhaps the site could be a campus visitors' center with a formal garden showcasing the rare inner-city wetlands or just be left as an open space as it has been since OSU was founded.
Corvallis (May 24)