Campus Green Spaces
"New Sunken Garden Beautifies Flatiron," excerpt from the Bee Gee News, October 4, 1932:
How many of you upper classmen remember the aesthetic beauty of the so-called Flatiron (not gridiron) between the Science building and the Physical Education building? Upper classmen, please inform our more recent arrivals of the scene before it was transformed in order that they may appreciate what our faculty (they have kind hearts) has accomplished for us.
It seems that Prof. Powell became very much dissatisfied with the scene his eyes invariably encountered as he
gazed from his classroom. Consequently, he planned the landscaping of that spot which was an eyesore to our campus. With the capable aid of members of the faculty, Prof. Powell accomplished his objective, which was one very worth while.
Perhaps you would be surprised to know what good masons Prof. Crowley and Dr. Otis can be. Dr. Martin is quite an excavator as he will tell you if you inquire. Not only did the faculty make possible this excellent piece of work, but also the working force who keep our campus neat and clean.
The following are the donors who made possible the improvement, which was so badly needed:
Professor Holt, Crowley, Powell, Drs. Rhea McCain and mother, Todd, Martin, Otis, Messrs. Steller, Ronk, Spencer, Young, Finkenbiner, Clingo, Palmer, Wyandt, Smith, Miller, Cronicom and the Class of 1932.
"Navy Pilots Establish New Campus Tradition," excerpt from the BG News, July 29, 1942:
Bowling Green has a new tradition--a ducking in the pond behind the Science Building for the cadets who solo in the Navy V-5 program.
First to be tossed into the water was Ronald Baringer of Defiance. He was submerged Thursday afternoon after being the first trainee to go up in a plane alone at Bricker Field.
Excerpt from the BG News, July 18, 1945:
A hodgepodge of weeds and bags of concrete once filled the area behind the Science Building that now is known as Bowling Green's Arboretum. Early in the '30's, Dr. E. C. Powell, Professor in the Industrial Arts Department recognized the possibilities of this small plot of ground, made several sketches of what could be done to improve the appearance of this area. The plans were approved, and work was begun by several faculty members, particularly those of the industrial arts and science departments.
There wasn't much to start with. All that was originally there was the elm tree on the east side and several shrubs on the corner. To make matters worse the whole area was on bed rock eighteen inches down which made digging the pool and planting trees a problem.
With the help of the service department including Mr. Ronk, Mr. Clingo, and Mr. Caranicom, the pool was hewn out of the rock and the crevices stuffed with cement and mortar.
Attempts were made to staff the pool with fish and vegetable growths but all the ventures failed. Chlorinated city water put an end to the goldfish, bass, bluegills, and cat fish which were introduced there, and the few frogs met the same fate. The turtles which were placed in the ppol, according to Prof. Powell, "never were happy and usually climbed out and sneaked away within a week." Even water lilies couldn't seem to survive.
Over the pool there used to be an old rustic bridge built by money given by a graduating class...The Morheim blue spruce near the pool was bought for twenty dollars from the Day Nursery at Fremont. It is now the most valuable tree on the University campus, being valued at around one hundred dollars. Fixtures and plants in the Arboretum were gifts from faculty members and interested townspeople. Water from the pool ran into the bird bath which was bought and installed by Prof. Powell. The sundial was a gift of Mr. W. E. Steller of the physical education department. Dr. E. L. Moseley contributed the limestone slab on the north side. It is interesting for the glacial scars on it. Dr. and Mrs. C. S. Martin planted the perennials around the birdbath, which Dr. Martin has cared for for many years. Dr. C. H. Otis also hel;ped in providing flowers and in planting them. The late Prof. W. P. Holt of the geography department donated the old mill stones. Prof. Upton Palmer and Prof. D. S. Crowley helped, too, with installing the fixtures and planting the flowers and trees.
On the extreme south corner is a fyitzerinia (Juniper to you and me) which was part of an order from the Ritter Nurseries intended for the Practical Arts building.
The seat on the east side under the elm tree was part of the block that furnished the name "Bowling Green State Normal School," originally at the top of the front of the Administration building.
Freshmen and troublesome students were not the only ones who benefited from the pool. Fraternities made dunking in it a part of their pledge duties. Children from the Training School used to use it for a swimming pool on hot summer days. Even dogs used to drop in for a splash on sultry afternoons...
Roots from the elm tree and the freezing of the ground burst the crevices in the bottom of the pool so that it became too expensive to keep the water in the pool and consequently in the bird bath. However, the bird bath is still connected to the science building so that it still may be put in working order again, and there is a possibility the pool can be repaired after the war when labor and materials are available.