Albion Interactive History / Twin Towers

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Buildings / Albion College

Twin Towers, 1966

Block +
US Census Block # 34-122

Historic Preservation Notes +
The Albion College Archives web site claims that Twin Towers was designed “to be compatible with the Greek Revival-style architecture on campus.” First, there are few if any Greek Revival examples of architecture on campus. The Adobe House may have been considered Greek Revival, but this was demolished in the 1980s. Second, to assert that Twin Towers bears any resemblance to the Greek Revival style is false.

Twin Towers was built in a modern building mode, relying extensively on structural steel and poured concrete to create the architectural form of the building. The mansard roof wrapping around the top floor is more consistent with the Second Empire style than with Greek Revival.

Description
Twin Towers was opened in 1966 at nearly the same time the new on-campus fraternity buildings were dedicated. Similar in style and design, these buildings were a response to an influx of students during the post-war baby boom and a housing shortage in Albion severely limiting places for students to live. Unfortunately, Twin Towers and other buildings were completed 20 years after the time they were most needed.

By the late 1990s Twin Towers was reserved almost exclusively for upperclassmen. Floor 4N was designated as an Academic Floor until Fall 2000 when this designation was dropped. Similary, 2S was designated as a substance free (drugs and alcohol) floor. Though it is uncertain how closely this rule was followed.


View of towers from the west with criss-cross sidewalks in front.


Close up view of the north tower (left) and the south tower (left)

Source: Isaac Kremer, January 2004.


Twin Towers dormitory, a housing unit at Albion College, dedicated in 1966.

Source: Fennimore, Keith. 1985.


From the Albion College Archives

Twin Towers

Opened in 1966, “Twin” was then a social experiment at Albion. At a time when genders were strictly separated in different dormitories, with no visiting privileges for members of the opposite sex, Twin-Towers actually mixed the sexes. One tower was for women and one for men, but they shared a common lounge, which is the building separating the towers. The Towers were deliberately constructed without dining facilities due to their close proximity to newly-renovated Baldwin Hall. (Fennimore, p.636) The Twin-Towers and the six fraternity residences were designed by the architectural firm of Wold and Bowers of Grand Rapids to be compatible with the Greek Revival-style architecture on campus.

Our city friends, used to large buildings, often look at Twin-Towers and wonder aloud, “Where are the towers?”

Delays in construction of Twin-Towers and the 6 fraternity houses just southwest of the complex resulted in every Albion student receiving a postcard late in the summer of 1966 announcing a delay of nearly 3 weeks in the start of classes for the coming fall. The Towers and the Fraternity Residences were all dedicated on October 22, 1966.

Special Pleiad Insert, n.d.

All photographs are from the Albion College Archives Photograph Files, unless otherwise noted.

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Networked Resources
Residential Life: Twin Towers
http://www.albion.edu/tour/still/reside.asp
http://www.albion.edu/ac_map/still/twin2.asp
Gobeski, Liz. (2001, March 30). “Renovations, re-chartering affect housing lottery.” Pleiad. Retrieved 11 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/pleiad/2001/03_30/news_2.asp.
Staff. (1998, Nov. 20). “Theft at Twin Towers raises insurance concern.” Pleiad. Retrieved 11 June 2003, http://www.albion.edu/pleiad/1998/11_20/news_2.asp.

Source: Albion College Archives, 2003 [Downloaded July 3, 2003]

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