From basement to palace

This is *way* overdue, but my office moved in September and I’m still excited about it!

Over forty people relocated from our basement “rabbit hole” beneath the Freshmen Commons to an elegant historical building with palatial columns, filigreed doors and watery colored glass. We are now on the first floor, which means that torrential rain will no longer flood our space with four inches of water. Yay!

Technically, it isn’t a new place; the OGAPS office is actually returning home after a long displacement for renovations. In January of 2013, the University received a grant to restore our building to its original historical state. Here is an article from the TAMU times describing the renovation.

It’s definitely an upgrade in every sense of the word, but I’m SO glad the actual moving is finished!

If you’ve ever moved, you know that a single person’s accumulated do-dads, papers, and miscellaneous mess can be daunting. Multiply that experience by about 40, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the task we faced. By God’s grace we made it to the end with relationships still intact. 🙂

When the Jack K. Williams Building was built in 1932, its grandiose architecture would have made quite an impression. The Great Depression had made its paralyzing presence known across Texas by that time, and the farmer’s sons coming to school from small, dusty Texan towns had probably never seen anything like it.

For many years, all of the University’s administrative offices–from the President’s office to the Registrar–were housed here. (Our suite actually still contains the original vault where student’s cash tuition payments were locked!) For this reason, the building was originally called simply the Administration Building. In 1998, the name was changed to honor the work of former University president Jack K. Williams for his work to increase enrollment while preserving traditional historical landmarks on campus.

The sweeping staircase in the lobby makes our building a popular spot for bridal pictures. We can see the photographer’s flashes through the filigreed door that fills our suite’s front entrance, and it makes me remember the fun of taking my own bridal portraits three years ago.

My favorite part of the building is the wide shaded porch that faces the University’s green front lawn like a benevolent grandmother. When I sit with my lunch on the cool steps, the smooth columns soar upward to the fourth story roof above my head.

Here are a few more pictures of the details!

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