Dwight Hall

Street Hall arch over High StreetI do love the modern stuff: the A and A bldg., the museum garden with its David Smith sculpture, the Ingalls Rink, the modern world of Stiles and Morse, the Beinecke beauty. But my world at Yale was much more described by the Gothic. Gothic, gothic, gothic. Or the pseudo Gothic of the 1930’s creations of hardworking Italian stone workers. Harkness Tower, JE and Branford, my beautiful senior room with its enormous bay window with the leaded panes. Gothic without even asking. I was allotted it by lottery in the room selection at the end of junior year. And then, Dwight Hall, the little gem, sitting by itself, all compact. A little castle, with salons, chapel, offices, and rooms and rooms. I lived in those rooms during the spring of 1970. Meetings non-stop, work on the Strike News publication, endless telephoning on the Watts line(provided by the University, no less). A visit to elegant Woodbridge Hall once or twice to see Kingman Brewster and his assistant, Peter Jacobi (whom I knew from Kent School days), in the splendor of the small sitting room on the second floor. All neoclassical. And then back to Gothic Dwight Hall. It was also the refuge from tear gas on May Day weekend. Running through the Gothic darkness with lemons and vinegar. We had one room on the second floor which was just carpet and a tape running of the sounds of waves breaking, the meditation room: early high tech atmosphere, for better work concentration. And then I spent all summer at the Hall, running a drop in center. There was a small kitchen in back of the common room, for soup making. And the high ceilings allowed for coolness in the not New Haven summer. As for my JE room, during May Day weekend, it was used as a brief refuge for Allen Ginsberg to chill out, but I wasn’t there at the time. I was in the Hall and just gave someone the keys. Gothic.

Thomas Walker