Alex Pacheco's Inner Most Thoughts

Class in the Cafeteria?
September 13, 2010, 6:08 pm
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The central nervous system of a group of buildings can be an exciting place to visit. Passers by often wonder when driving or walking through such stretches of buildings how they all connect and interact. Some buildings are important while others stand for no reason at all.

The campus of Morningside College contains this exact landscape. One building in particular that still stands today is Charles City College Hall. This building is where the college experience first began for students in 1890. The hall was a very different place in 1890 than it is today. Listening to different professors discuss the building, Charles City’s basement classroom used to be where the cafeteria fed the small student body. The building has a unique feel to it because the many other buildings on campus besides Lewis Hall have a much more modern feel and they were built much later than Charles City Hall.

It is quite fitting that Charles City Hall houses the history, philosophy, theatre, and religion departments. The Hall was first used for strictly music students and their classes. The attic is filled with different types of musical instruments and pianos that were used in the late 1800’s. Charles City Hall on the outside appears to be a cozy building that entices students to open up their minds to many different types of information but, people have said their are certain spirits roaming around inside with the students. During the day the hall sounds like an educational place but, at night things change. Sounds that once were thought of to be normal are now sounds of fear and question. The building is dark and empty yet feels full and loud. The creaks speak to the thousands upon thousands of people that have climbed up and down the stairs and walked through the halls for over one hundred years. If someone sits very quietly, they can hear music playing from some of the classrooms late at night when they are the only person in the building.

Charles City College Hall is surrounded by trees and looks different than any other building on campus. There are pictures on the walls that remind people of haunted houses where the eyes seam to be watching your every step. A good initiation to the school may be to have students spend the weekend in the attic and not get frightened. There are of course more frightening buildings than Charles City College Hall, but the place seems to take on a life of its own. The College absorbed this building when the Methodist Church decided that it would be the birthplace of Morningside College. The building is now a historical landmark site for the state of Iowa and holds a lot of importance to the surrounding area and the history of Sioux City, Iowa.

Sometime soon, visit Charles City College Hall. Look at the vines that never die and crawl up the purple colored bricks on which the foundation was built. Step inside and try to walk down a hallway or climb some stairs without making a single sound. Sit down in a classroom and listen to a class. Or better yet go at night and listen for the spirits of past classes. The hall seems to buzz and being that it is the center of the Morningside College nervous system, it is very fitting.

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