The Courtyard

It is remarkable to see the courtyard so full of people in the historical images.  Over the last couple of decades, there have been a few successful events in the courtyard–evening awards dinners with candle-lit tables, a reception for visiting dignitaries spilling out of the English Lounge, book fairs with publishers setting up tables of new publications under the portico–but for the most part, in its recent history, this is a space that has been underused.

Even as these images from the 1930s show the vibrant nature of the courtyard as a gathering space for the new college, the yearbook editors are clear that it is not ideal as a venue.

Just a year after the Carson campus opened, there was already a call for a new building (and a bond measure) to address the demand for some space where the college “rabble” might gather en masse.  It wasn’t until the 1950s that the auditorium was finally built.
Those of us who have attended any noon-time event in the courtyard will sympathize with the original faculty in this picture.
This is the single image of an apparent attempt to shade the courtyard and make it more bearable for mid-day events.
The hooks that held up this shade canopy are still there.
Plans for the new courtyard include a stage (on the left side of this diagram), opposite the steps where the speakers from the 1930s were positioned.  Unfortunately, the new design does not provide shade for those on the stage or those in the audience.

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