ITHACA, NY — Inspired by the plans for the “Gateway to the Arts Quad,” pictured, planned to be completed by 2015, President David Skorton has outlined a plan to cover the entirety of Cornell’s central campus in a glass dome to create “the atrium to end all atriums.”
“Look,” Skorton said as he shuffled architectural plans around his disheveled desk, “When I got here, Cornell had a ton of old buildings. McGraw, Morrill, Olin Library, they’re all great, but they’re made with brick. Brick is out. Atrium is in.”
With the prominence of the relatively-new Physical Sciences Building and Milstein Hall in addition to the under-construction Klarman Hall on East Avenue, Skorton has developed an affinity for covering the old buildings in a glass roofs for aesthetic and re-branding purposes. “No, no, these buildings are only the beginning,” President Skorton said with a mad glint in his eye. “I want to turn the entire campus into an atrium, cover the whole damn thing in glass.”
When confronted by concerns about the ambitions and costs of such a project, Skorton replied, “It’s 2013, baby! Glass is cheap and Cornell construction happens fast. Now’s the time to build to ensure that we remain on the forefront of atrium-based architecture for years to come.” Skorton speculates that the dome will eventually pay for itself, by providing a valuable buffer against cold weather, deer, and Ithaca residents.