The Hall of Fame for Great Americans (HOF) is now sadly deserted, not in visible disrepair, but un-visited. While many students hustled around the BCC campus, none ventured into the Hall of Fame walk while I was there.
The HOF honors “Great Americans,” – teachers, authors, statesmen, scientists, military leaders, etc. Mostly dead old white guys; it’s not really hard to see why the current students at Bronx Community College don’t relate. Also, the HOF dates to what my wife and I call “the judgmental era” of American culture, the early 20th Century when Progress and Dilignce and Thrift and Patriotism and such were Virtues to be extolled in grand fashion.
The Bronx-born artist Daniel Hauben painted these two magnificent murals for the new library at BCC. They really are wonderful, especially the two large panels shown here.
The new library is also wonderful. It fits right into the old NYU architecture of the campus; inside it feels well-made, with rich dark wood and marble. The main reading room was occupied by many students. In here there are twenty more smaller panels by Hauben, equally interesting as the two large ones in the staircase, but placed around the edge of the mezzanine, so they are hard to see from any position. Unless you brought a step ladder into the library, or binoculars.
I had to get a photo of my distant relative, Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. His quote reads, “War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it. … I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success.”
My friend Johanna, who spent 3 semesters here (when it was NYU’s uptown campus), remembers that the students nicknamed the dome “the nipple of knowledge.”