Look at this beauty. I’ll stipulate that it’s expensive to maintain and the opposite of energy-efficient. That it contains some of the coldest, smallest rooms on campus. That some nights I would have to warm up my bed with my hair dryer before crawling in.
But just how many 19,000 square foot 167-year-old Tudors are there any more?
Last I read, the recommendation on Garfield House was for it to be razed, and it was going before the historical commission for a final decision.
Sadly, I do not have the billions needed to pay to restore and/or have it transplanted somewhere, and assuming no other savior steps forward, may I present another option, a consolation prize of sorts for those of us who have lived in and loved the Garf:
A Last Hurrah at the Garf.
Picture it. That enormous, glorious lawn filled with tents.
Generations of Garfield denizens coming back to Williams.
A weekend to enjoy and celebrate this 1850s classic that has given so many of us lifelong memories.
At my 5th reunion, the 50th reunion class sponsored a fireworks show off the roof of Baxter before it was razed. In a similar way, this could be simultaneously a fitting memorial and a great community-building event.
Imagine if we could get an art/comp sci student to work on some sort of epic VR experience? How epic would a “walking through history” virtual reality module be, where you could go back in time and walk through Williamstown at different eras? See how the campus and buildings are changing, even walk into the future and see the future campus plans? It would be incredible! Lines around the block!
And don’t get me started on the merch opportunities! Koozies are table stakes where I’m concerned, of course, but we could also have a charity auction of historical items and memorabilia. Proceeds could go to a charity or future historical restoration projects—the alumni version of the athletic department tag sales.
Given the chance, I’d be there in a heartbeat, and I’m hoping many others feel the same.