adam smith

A few days ago I filed a post which mentioned Adam Smith, and the disgusting 70s building named in his honor on the campus of Glasgow University. Here’s a link to a photo of the building. It doesn’t look much less grim in color.

Seeing the building reminds me of going to morning lectures while hung over, and I was wondering whether that had tainted my recollection of the building, but I don’t believe so. It truly is an eyesore. We also had the Boyd Orr building which was built at around the same time. It’s hard to say whether it’s more unpleasant than the Adam Smith, but it certainly did have the added excitement of causing a wind tunnel effect around the sidewalk at its perimeter which would occasionally blow unsuspecting students into the road and into the path of oncoming traffic (a safety barrier was eventually added). Here’s another photo which shows the Boyd Orr in some context with the rest of the campus – note the stately spires of the main building on Gilmorehill, which was designed by George Gilbert Scott. Finally, this photo shows the neighborhood in the 50s before many of the beautiful terraced houses were demolished to make way for concrete and Progress.

UPDATE: I just checked out the biography of the person whose name is attached to the horrendous architecture that is the Boyd Orr building. Well, quite an eminence – Lord Boyd Orr won the Nobel Peace Price in 1949, and was a leading light in nutritional research. Amongst his accomplishments he basically founded the world-renowned Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. I’m kind of horrified at myself for not having known this before, and feel a tad let down by Glasgow University for not making all students aware of this extremely impressive person.

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