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Burdell’s Building Bracket: First Round, Day Two

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The rest of the West and East Campus buildings square off on the right side of the bracket in day two of the first round.

The Fuller E. Callaway Jr. Manufacturing Research Center
3D Printing Industry - The Authority on 3D Printing

Here’s where we get into some vintage housing rivalries with West and East Campus finally getting their shot. I tried not to let my personal biases get in the way too much, but, since I couldn’t take every option I stuck, again, with the ones I figure I could say a thing or two about most convincingly. Remember to vote for the other half of the first round, if you haven’t yet.


Welcome back to the biggest little bracket challenge anywhere in the business. For a refresher, here’s the bracket: First Round TECH.pdf. Note: all buildings in the historic district will be referred to by their construction name, if appropriate (see: Aaron French Textile Building, now home to various international programs and such).

The bracket.
Jake Grant

First Round, Day Two:

East Campus:

No. 1 Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field vs. No. 16 Bill Moore Student Success Center

Bobby Dodd:

The number one seed in the east campus bracket needs no introduction, but you’re getting one anyways. First home to Georgia Tech Football as early as 1905, the former ravine with a creek in the bottom was flattened by prisoners John Heisman had contracted from the local penitentiary. Though Tech didn’t make the Flats its permanent home until 1913, after bouncing around between mainly Piedmont Park, an actual park, and Ponce de Leon Park, a baseball stadium, the now-graded Grant Field was supplemented by spectator stands built by Tech students. The Hill lorded over the west side, and a baseball stadium graced the far end of the field. Later on, stands would follow on the east side, before the stadium was bowled in along North Avenue and the Naval Armory and Heisman Gym and Pool conplex were built along the north end of the stadium. The stadium, home to four national championship teams, lost its bowl during the dark years in the back half of the 20th century, while the Edge Building, Rice Center, and the mammoth Upper North Stands and Football Offices replaced the Works Progress Administration-era basketball and swimming recreation center as the calendar marched into the 2000s. Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field, as it is now known, remains Tech home to this day, as the oldest on-campus facility in FBS football.

Bill Moore Student Success Center:

This used to be the site of the Knowles Building, originally known as the Knowles Dormitory. The original building, along with Swann, formed the historic core of Tech’s student housing. Later, as the school grew, more administrative offices were needed outside of Tech Tower, and the Knowles Building was pegged to be their host, including the office of the President, for a time. The building, long in the shadow of the growing Grant Field complex, was old and increasingly cumbersome to use, before it was torn down in favor of the current structure. This allowed Tech to add valuable luxury boxes to the stadium, along with better press support facilities, and the structure doubles as a very capable host of tours, companies, and student organizations the other 358 days of the year it is not overrun with some of the 55,000 spectators of the Georgia Tech football program, and is the elegant first impression of many a visitor.

Poll

No. 1 Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field vs. No. 16 Bill Moore Student Success Center

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Bobby Dodd:
    (112 votes)
  • 7%
    Bill Moore Student Success Center:
    (9 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now

No. 8 North Avenue Apartments vs. No. 9 Major John F. Hanson Residence Hall

North Ave:

These are Tech’s last remaining high-rise apartment buildings, having been constructed much more recently than the apartments that used to line North Avenue itself. Anyways, the four towers were completed as part of the Olympic Village in 1996 and passed to the University System of Georgia following the Games. Tech took over the entire complex relatively recently, and the North Avenue Dining Hall has steadily eclipsed Brittain in operating hours, though not in burrito quality, to say the least.

Hanson:

This is the first of a highly subjective list of entries representing freshman housing. Hanson, in particular, made the cut because of its prodigious name, rather than being of a notably high quality housing stock or historic worth. Hanson takes the name of Major John Hanson, the man who quite literally thought Georgia Tech into existence. Though he was ultimately not the primary political executor, the Macon industrialist, truly one of the first of his kind, was the man with the bully pulpit of newspaper clout, who was able to put at least a mostly-indifferent majority opinion behind his idea for a public technological education for the citizens of the state.

Poll

No. 8 North Avenue Apartments vs. No. 9 Major John F. Hanson Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    North Ave:
    (89 votes)
  • 26%
    Hanson:
    (32 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now

No. 5 Donigan D. Towers Residence Hall vs. No. 12 Isaac S. Hopkins Residence Hall

Towers:

There was a time when it would be more appropriate to put Towers on the line opposing this one than the number five seed. However, times change, and, since its renovation, Towers is one of the nicest dormitory options for freshmen. Its name is relatively pedestrian, as east campus dorms come, but it has a long-standing rivalry with Glenn, which is more character than more dorms can say.

Hopkins:

Hopkins finds itself in the same boat as Hanson. As regular readers of Rearview Mirror probably recall, Dr. Isaac Hopkins, Tech’s preacher-turned-physicist-turned-president was the first man to lead the fledgling Georgia School of Technology. Though he wasn’t the longest serving president, or the one with the most, say, flair, his frugal and steady commitment to his school was the leadership Tech needed, especially in those early days when there was no shop thanks to a fire, no real educational might, no money, no housing, student services, or extracurriculars, or political clout in the state legislature.

Poll

No. 5 Donigan D. Towers Residence Hall vs. No. 12 Isaac S. Hopkins Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Towers:
    (79 votes)
  • 33%
    Hopkins:
    (39 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now

No. 4 William H. Glenn Residence Hall vs. No. 13 Nathaniel E. Harris Residence Hall

Glenn:

As you’ll probably realize, I seeded Glenn and Towers like this for the thrill of the potential second round matchup. However, Harris and Hopkins share similarly intriguing prospects in a matchup. Anyways, the story of Glenn is incredibly similar to the story of Towers, just this one is a little less close to a dozen lanes of the Downtown Connector.

Harris:

Nat Harris was just a humble public servant when he and John Hanson first crossed paths. And though his dorm isn’t the nicest building in the world, the man would later becomne governor, and would remain Tech’s most powerful friend at the controls of the ship of state and in the halls of power until his death. He, for the most part, worked alone in fighting for the trade school on a hill on the outskirts of Atlanta. My, how times change. His modernist dorm, however, isn’t too great.

Poll

No. 4 William H. Glenn Residence Hall vs. No. 13 Nathaniel E. Harris Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Glenn:
    (95 votes)
  • 18%
    Harris:
    (21 votes)
116 votes total Vote Now

No. 6 Marion L. Brittain Dining Hall vs. No. 11 Archibald D. Holland Heating and Cooling Plant

Brittain:

Almost every aspect of this building was design, made, and installed by a Tech student, from the architecture, to the stonework, to the wrought iron details. Perhaps the most elegant example of Collegiate Gothic in the sole bastion of the iconic look on campus, Brittain Dining Hall’s biggest flaw is probably its irregular hours. The building is gorgeous, the lawn it sits on is idyllic on summer days, and it is centrally located. That it is named for the Institute’s contemporaneous president is even more fitting, as he was a great champion of both Tech politically, physically, and economically, all while making great strides to improve the education and student life on campus, as seen through his legacy in programming, the physical plant, and the chapel-like dining hall that bears his name.

Holland Heating and Cooling Plant:

I leave you with a simple haiku for the importance of the Holland Plant to one of my favorite traditions:

“Shreeeeeeevoooooooooo goes the whistle,
Midtown hipsters get real mad.
Who cares? Class over.” (Anonymous)

Poll

No. 6 Marion L. Brittain Dining Hall vs. No. 11 Archibald D. Holland Heating and Cooling Plant

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Brittain:
    (61 votes)
  • 49%
    Holland Heating and Cooling Plant:
    (60 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now

No. 3 Dorothy M. Crosland Tower vs. No. 14 Kenneth G. Matheson Residence Hall

Crosland Tower:

Despite being a historically minded fellow, I don’t think I properly understood the gravity of naming the library addition after Dorothy Crosland. The prodigious librarian did much to advance women and minorities in her time at Tech, during which she spent spells as one of the few women even on campus at all, as well as ideating what later became the College of Computing. The Price Gilbert Library and its younger sibling, Crosland Tower, both largely owe their existence to her relentless pursuit of the best possible facilities for Tech men and women and renovated tower resplendently redressed in a cascade of glass, is more than worthy of carrying on that name.

Matheson:

Perhaps Matheson’s most redeeming quality as a building is the broken vending machine that one can “scheme,” if given the chance. It is also the nearest freshman housing to Greek life, take that as you will. Otherwise, the 1960s era modernist building, though true to style of the time, is rather beat down and its namesake, the third Institute president, ran out of town to run Drexel when he couldn’t take the woes of state politics in a broken and unfair system and his health began to droop.

Poll

No. 3 Dorothy M. Crosland Tower vs. No. 14 Kenneth G. Matheson Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Crosland Tower:
    (88 votes)
  • 22%
    Matheson:
    (25 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

No. 7 Old Civil Engineering Building vs. No. 10 Judge S. Price Gilbert Memorial Library

Old Civil:

This building is my Cinderella pick. Though many have never been in it, or its nearby cousin, the Stephen C. Hall Building, the Old Civil Engineering building received a stellar renovation in the last decade, though not a new name. The home of the Schools of History and Sociology and also Economics has a historic feel but a modern touch. The renovation was well done, its historic structure is rock-solid, and, though it lacks the panache of being named after someone interesting, the legacy of the Old Civil Engineering building and pleasant nature of its current edition makes it quietly one of the best buildings on campus.

Price Gilbert:

It seems almost unfair to rank Judge S. Price Gilbert’s namesake, especially against the newly renovated Crosland Tower, while it awaits completion of its own makeover. However, it is undoubtedly true that the building, now over half a century old, was ready to be remade and refreshed, and the ongoing process is fortunately well underway. When it was closed, though, the stairwells were narrow, the rotunda in front of the original façade was largely unnecessary, and the building was overcrowded with students displaced from the closed tower. However, it was quietly consistent, reliable, and always had working staplers, among similar small details, which is something unappreciated until it is gone.

Poll

No. 7 Old Civil Engineering Building vs. No. 10 Judge S. Price Gilbert Memorial Library

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Old Civil:
    (51 votes)
  • 54%
    Price Gilbert:
    (62 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

No. 2 Ernest Scheller College of Business vs. No. 15 John M. Smith Residence Hall

Scheller:

The Scheller College of Business is the greatest place in the world. I refuse to let this column become agitprop for the M-Train, a phrase which, sadly, isn’t used nearly enough today, thanks to the renaming of the school. Anyways, this doesn’t discount that the building is sparkling, well maintained, and conveniently located to such nice things as abundant parking, good food, and the places people live off campus. But, seriously, RIP Barrelhouse, you are missed.

Smith:

Honeycomb showers. Decrepit dorms. But its proximity to North Ave saves it from the sixteenth seed on the list.

Poll

No. 2 Ernest Scheller College of Business vs. No. 15 John M. Smith Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Scheller:
    (72 votes)
  • 37%
    Smith:
    (43 votes)
115 votes total Vote Now

West Campus:

No. 1 Campus Recreation Center vs. No. 16 George and Irene Woodruff Residence Hall

CRC:

The Campus Recreation Center is the second building of this purpose to be built on this site. The original, the Student Activity Center, was decommissioned after the turn of the millennium to make way for the expansion of the McAuley Aquatic Center, whose temporary stands were razed, shrinking capacity fivefold to roughly 2,000, while a fifth and sixth floor, including six basketball and volleyball courts, a running track, an indoor soccer court, and exercise rooms, were floated in. The leisure pool was permanently enclosed, while the workout floor, racquetball courts, and climbing wall were dug in on the back of the SAC footprint. The facility remains one of the nicest in the country, as well as being the best pool in the country.

Woody’s:

It is a problematic sign when being placed into the building is used as a threat to students who improperly sign up for housing. The dining hall is best remembered with heavily rose-tinted glasses, though its peaks: omelettes, burritos, and the mythical breakfast for late night. But the housing lives on, a rare example of suite style on campus, despite the random issues that always seem to be cropping up.

Poll

No. 1 Campus Recreation Center vs. No. 16 George and Irene Woodruff Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    CRC:
    (99 votes)
  • 16%
    Woody’s:
    (19 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now

No. 8 Kurt S. Nelson and Carolyn and Earl Shell Residence Hall (Undergraduate Living Center) vs. No. 9 Eighth Street Apartments

Nelson-Shell:

I am intimately familiar with the Undergraduate Living Center. Most people, keeping in mind most freshmen live on east campus, have never heard the place, and certainly couldn’t tell you two things about it if asked. However, that’s somewhat of a blessing in disguise, since its lack of notoriety belies a critical fact: it may not be the nicest place in the world, but nothing much ever goes wrong, hence its decent, but not great seed.

Eighth Street:

When it came to ranking Eighth Street, its lack of a cool name played against it, as well as its slightly more out-of-the-way location. It’s a solid place, not particularly bad, or anything, but lacks the defining characteristics of some of its peers, like the bridge of Nelson-Shell or the CRC field views of the Sixth Street Apartments. However, if one gets so lucky, say, to have a fourth floor apartment in Eight Street West, a hidden gem of a panorama of the entire Atlanta skyline is certainly enough to warrant giving Eighth Street a second look.

Poll

No. 8 Kurt S. Nelson and Carolyn and Earl Shell Residence Hall (Undergraduate Living Center) vs. No. 9 Eighth Street Apartments

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Nelson-Shell:
    (39 votes)
  • 64%
    Eighth Street:
    (70 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now

No. 5 Fuller E. Callaway Jr. Manufacturing Research Center vs. No. 12 Hugh H. Caldwell Residence Hall

MaRC:

The greatest competition in all of undergraduate engineering plays out on the floor of the Callaway MaRC three times every year. Upwards of 300 kids, armed with 75 machines that, if we’re being honest, for the most part look the same, go head to head to head to head in four-way competitions for grades, validation, or, at the very least, hoping to avoid embarrassment in front of their peers, professors, and the hundreds of spectators climbing the scaffolding all the way up four floors into the rafters. This competition, the culmination of ME 2110 - Creative Decisions and Design, a class that sees hundreds of dollars, hours of man-hours, and angsty texts between group members, is perhaps the most defining moment of many a young mechanical engineer’s career, and, bracketed against the trademark aesthetic, a rainbow of colored pipes, and thankfully marks the end of two months of pure struggle, though, in the end, it is almost definitely more than worth it.

Caldwell:

When picking between the various run-of-the-mill west campus housing options, none really stood out. What separates Caldwell from its twin, Folk, let alone nicer dorms like Fitten or honors program buildings like Armstrong and Hefner? But then I found this. Apparently, in 2001, a group known as the “Caldwell Liberation Army” pried 32 Ts off of sixteen different buildings around campus after being displaced from their hall at the end of fall finals, causing minor damage to each building, but which was more substantial when taken in sum. The idea to wrench Ts off of buildings was apocryphally birthed over a table at the old Woodruff Dining Hall, and, in this writer’s unsubstantiated opinion, is highly likely the reason why buildings designed after the turn of the millennium have the words on all of their signs engraved into solid pieces, rather than consisting of individual letters. This ridiculous saga, let alone the story of trying to make the average-sized rooms into triples - three guys in a two-man room - warrant the building a place in this bracket.

Poll

No. 5 Fuller E. Callaway Jr. Manufacturing Research Center vs. No. 12 Hugh H. Caldwell Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    MaRC:
    (80 votes)
  • 23%
    Caldwell:
    (25 votes)
105 votes total Vote Now

No. 4 Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex vs. No. 13 Y. Frank Freeman Jr. Residence Hall

MRDC:

Odds are, if you ever toured Tech as a student, alumnus, or parent, you’ve been to the MRDC. Since it is the home of the Invention Studio, one of the country’s original and leading makers’ spaces, it, more than most other things, is a strong selling point and clear demonstrative visual when talking about the attention Georgia Tech pays to the practical application of theoretical classroom concepts. Personally, I believe this is a critical part of making a good Georgia Tech engineer, and so I’m happy to spit that line out almost word for word from Institute, though the Montogomery Machining Mall is subtly a much more impressive collection of technology. When viewed from the air, the story goes is that it’s intended to resemble a motor, though from the ground, the large, extraneous concrete cylinders encasing all of the wings just look kind of weird.

Freeman:

Not going to lie, I confused this one with Fitten, a freshly renovated west campus freshman dorm with the better laundry option than the mysterious dungeon under the West Campus Housing Office and a printer. Wow. What a time to be alive. Anyways, Freeman has a cool namesake, Young Frank Freeman, which was his actual name, a Paramount Pictures executive with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and other background in athletics, higher education, and banking after his graduation from Georgia Tech in 1910.

Poll

No. 4 Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex vs. No. 13 Y. Frank Freeman Jr. Residence Hall

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    MRDC:
    (92 votes)
  • 14%
    Freeman:
    (16 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now

No. 6 West Village Dining Commons vs. No. 11 J. Allen Couch Building

Willage:

Why is Willage ranked this high? It shouldn’t be. I once heard it described as “Home Depot chic” and so I’ll roll with that. Its concrete floors are already cracking, a much-too-high percentage of the walls are covered in pressed wood, and the food quality has taken a dip since it opened its doors. However, it is one thing George and Irene’s Culinary Experience (Woody’s Dining Hall) never was, be it 8:00 AM, 3:00 in the afternoon, or 9:00 at night, and that’s consistent. It has a heinous lack of vernacular Tech architecture other than its vague “CULC-ified” look - no red brick is a crime, especially when the outside already has yellow brick cladding. But, Panera and Starbucks are nice additions to the neighborhood, and the views from the top are the gold standard.

Couch:

The last reminder that West Campus was a neighborhood before it was a part of the Tech campus. Other than that, it is an old building, though decently located, and home to the band. That’s about it.

Poll

No. 6 West Village Dining Commons vs. No. 11 J. Allen Couch Building

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Willage:
    (61 votes)
  • 44%
    Couch:
    (48 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now

No. 3 Joseph B. Whitehead Student Health Center vs. No. 14 Gilbert Hillhouse Boggs Building

Stamps:

I try not to let my personal vendetta against Tech Dentistry bias my opinion here. It’s a new, affordable enough, and reasonably easy to use. Other than that, I don’t have much bad to say or much else good to say, either.

Boggs:

I’d say the renovated Boggs made a good building bad, but it wasn’t really good to begin with. However, paint can only do so much, and the new furniture is subpar. Like lipstick on a giant red brick pig.

Poll

No. 3 Joseph B. Whitehead Student Health Center vs. No. 14 Gilbert Hillhouse Boggs Building

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Stamps:
    (66 votes)
  • 38%
    Boggs:
    (41 votes)
107 votes total Vote Now

No. 7 Jeanette and William Maulding and Jack J. Zbar Residence Halls vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech Lorraine

Maulding and Zbar:

Somehow, Tech counted both of these two buildings as one in the same on the master list of buildings I was pulling from, so I’m rolling with it. The Sixth Street Apartments share a laundry room and also prime location overlooking the Roe Stamps Fields. Perhaps the most idyllic residential setting on campus, a fourth floor room on Maulding overlooking Atlanta is a prize reserved for varsity swimmers and seniors laden with many credit hours.

Georgia Tech Lorraine:

[in very affected speech] GTL? [clears throat] Oh my gosh, my time in Metz was so unique. Taking trains, sorry TGVs, if you know you know, to, like, all the best cities in the world every weekend was life changing. Weeknights at the Comedie Club were, just, so awesome, and I felt like one of the locals when I went there or walked to Paul after class. In Paris, we took the Metro, you know, I think in America they call it the subway, sorry, all around town on Bastille Day. Seeing France win the World Cup was incredible! Allez les bleus! I had such a wild time in Amsterdam. And Barcelona. And Prague. And Brussels. You know? Just go on the bar crawls everywhere, they’re all great. Oh, and the nightclub in the Munich bus depot. Of course, I took four electives and got all As. Work hard, play hard, am I right? I really developed my wine palate over the excellent wine on the bottom self at Cora. Now, when I sit in the CULC studying, I just find my mind wandering to plan trips or remembering that tent hostel in Interlaken. What a special place and life changing summer abroad with my besties. Like, five-ever.

Poll

No. 7 Jeanette and William Maulding and Jack J. Zbar Residence Halls vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech Lorraine

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Maulding and Zbar:
    (44 votes)
  • 59%
    Georgia Tech Lorraine:
    (65 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now

No. 2 J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing Building vs. No. 15 Instructional Center

Love:

The Love Building, like its older sibling, the MRDC, is a split affair between Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering. The atrium is one of the more stunning architectural features on campus, and whoever has the second floor office overhanging the main lobby is quite lucky to be sitting in all that natural light. Unlike most current Tech architecture, it isn’t overdone and excessively postmodern, but rather more like the next logical evolution of the vernacular brick style, like how Tech has a variety of styles, current to the time in which they were built, from Victorian to Gothic to Modern to the present day, always with the uniting bands of red brick.

IC:

Last summer’s renovation turned a bad building that was just old to a bad building that is somehow both newer and worse. The classrooms are longer, full of pillars, and useless. The desks aren’t as substantial, and the whiteboards are smaller and dispersed. Though, to be fair, the bathrooms are nicer, and that’s not worth nothing. However, the general uselessness of the Instructional Center complex and the acute uselessness of the renovation - literally making a bad building worse - earn it an ignominious spot at the fifteen seed.

Poll

No. 2 J. Erskine Love Jr. Manufacturing Building vs. No. 15 Instructional Center

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Love:
    (85 votes)
  • 22%
    IC:
    (24 votes)
109 votes total Vote Now

Cast your vote for your favorite by Saturday night at 9:00 PM so I can finalize the second half of the second round! See ya tomorrow for the first half of the second round.