Mercyhurst Magazine Fall 2017


The iconic view of Old Main and the O’Neil Tower hasn’t changed much over the years. Except for the Mary Garden created in 2012, front campus looks pretty much as it has for decades.

classes. Or perhaps it was just an attempt to solve drainage problems. In any case, a small island in the middle of the pond became a popular smoking spot for students. The pond was apparently flled in when Preston Hall was built near its banks in the early 1950s. The former pond area served as a parking lot for a while, but that became impractical as buildings started going up around Old Main and pedestrian trafc through the area increased. So in 1973 Sister Maura Smith set about creating the frst park on the space, adding trees and fowers amid a geometric spiderweb design. Notice the two foors of Preston stretching south from Old Main in the

photo from the 1970s, and the large deck at the west end of Old Main. Pressed for space, Mercyhurst at one time installed a pair of pre- fabricated “deck houses” there. Around 1985 the park began to take on its present-day look, with thousands of red bricks interspersed with slate walkways. Benches, the landmark Canterbury Clock and the Sister Damien Spirit Bell (a gift of the Class of 2005) complete the look. You can see other changes in the current photo, as well. Preston Hall has added a third foor (home to the Walker College of Business). And Sullivan Hall has risen where the original deck stood.

The same can’t be said of the view from the southwest showing the rear of Old Main.

When the photo below was taken back in 1935, Christ the King Chapel and the tower were recent additions. A large pond (dubbed Lake William) flled the area now known as Garvey Park. Legend has it that Chaplain Father William Sullivan built the pond so that Sister Pierre Wilbert could breed frogs for her biology



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