Does the University often seem to be omnipresent, breathing down your neck from every concievable direction? (Everyone, residents and students alike, feit this way at one time or another. But if the presence of our great, sprawling University becomes particularly oppressive, heed the example of an old, brick house at 225 S. Thayer. In 1910, the great bulk of Hill Auditorium loomed next door, In 1936, Burton Memorial Tower was completed, towering 212 feet over the back yard, blocking" for good the rays of the morning sun. And, as if this weren't enough, the University recently tore up the parking lot whieh ran along the house's northern boundry, and began construction of a new $5 million, five-floor Modern Languages Building. When the estimated date of comple-] tion rolls around in ' 1971, this old brick house will literally seem nestled on a canyon floor, walled in on three sides, nearly enveloped by University structures. Mrs. Bertha H. Beckner, the lone tenant of the house, sUverhaired, smiling, and 76-years old, recently stood on the shaded front porch and talked about her situation. "Why! It's the most gorgeous place to live!" she exclaimed, her eyes sparkling through wire-rimmed glasses. She pointed to the porched entranceway, arched over by the irregular sprawl of unpruned branches. i "It's nice enough to have a wedding right there beneath those two trees." The neck of a huge steam shovel bobbed up and down in the excavation site next door. Asked if this intrusión was iisagreeable, Mrs. Beckner said, "No." There were some pounding noises that had bothered her, but they had ceased, and the construction lately had been very quiet. Mrs. Beckner, who has rented the upstairs of the house for the past four years, (Mrs. Rosa Lueck, 701 Catherine, owns the house but does not live there) seems to be much more attentive to the goings on at Burton Tower. "The otherday," she recalled, "I was sitting in my room listening to Mr. Price (Prof. Percival Price, ty carilloneur) play "Holy, Holy." When he stopped, I thought, oh! Mr. Price, please play it again, and you know, he did." So there are, it seems, advantages in living in the shadow of a bell tower. And Hill Auditorium is really no problem, Mrs. Beckner observed, because it is quiet except for the nights when there are activities. So the University seems to be less obtrusive at close quarters than one might imagine. The house at 225 S. Thayer has managed to retain a sort of dignity, regardless of how squat and earthbound it will seem in the shadow of three massive buildings. And Mrs. Beckner, between her activities as a senior citizen and her porch-bound observation of Thayer St., simply doesn't have time to complain.
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