The walkway between Stiles and Morse

A view of Payne Whitney from between Morse and StilesHeading between Stiles and Morse to Payne Whitney for daily basketball practice is a lasting memory. The great bulk of PW loomed as you headed up the stairs to the gym and the return trip into the heart of the campus had a very different feel. In retrospect, it was a transition from the site of intense outside competition within the context of a team to the warmer, cozier, but often lonelier world of the campus and academic life. I am sure there are other analogies that can be drawn which I will leave to the more poetic.

Terry Finn


Payne Whitney from between Morse and Stiles

Payne Whitney tower seen from walkway between Ezra Stiles and MorseThe jagged walkway between Morse and Stiles is non-descript as you approach it from York Street. But once you mount a series of steps and follow the jog to the right, you come upon a vista that’s as surprising as it is majestic — the tower of Payne Whitney, framed perfectly between the adobe-like concrete walls of the two colleges. Morse and Stiles look nothing like the rest of Yale. Payne Whitney looks like no other gym in the world. And yet the space exudes harmony. To steal a line that my old Morse master, Vincent Scully, used about the skyline of Chicago, the buildings “talk to each other.” Fifty years ago, it was my favorite spot on our eclectic campus. Today, it’s my favorite lesson for our divided times.

Paul Taylor