Seeley G. Mudd Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Although this blog features mundane buildings, unlikely to be preserved, few have been demolished as far as we know. However, this one unfortunately definitely will be. In 2009 Yale unveiled plans to demolish twelve buildings in this area of campus, mostly in a square next to the famed Grove Street Cemetery. Mudd Library was the newest one, having been built only roughly 30 years ago, in 1981-84. Despite an outcry from preservationists and the architects themselves, the building is currently closed and prepared for demolition.

Mudd was built largely as a compact book repository and its designers have advocated for its reuse as classrooms or music practice space. The simple brick exterior with light stone trim is an sophisticated way of addressing what is essentially a storage facility. However, because of its original purpose, the building has few windows and presents a long, mostly unadorned side and rear view to the neighboring residential buildings.

Several other modern buildings were demolished nearby as part of this plan including the 1957 Urban Hall, the 1976 Williams Hall and the 1978 communal space Donaldson Commons. All in all, a sad day for reuse and sustainability.

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2 Responses to Seeley G. Mudd Library, Yale University, New Haven, CT

  1. Pingback: 60 Sachem Street, Yale University, New Haven, CT | Mid-Century Mundane

  2. Lmitch says:

    You would think a place with so many supposedly sophisticated people as Yale would be on the forefront of sustainable building practices, which would include not demolishing buildings that could be reused. But I guess (having a lot of extra) money trumps all…

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