Analysis Of Cal Poly: Building A Reputation With A Graveyard

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Building a Reputation with a Graveyard Since its creation as a college in 1903, Cal Poly has been a school well known for its prestigious Engineering and Agriculture degrees. Nowadays, however, Cal Poly has another major that people immediately think of when one mentions our school, Architecture. In 2014, Cal Poly was named the number one Undergraduate Architecture program in the nation, beating out other esteemed universities such as Cornell and USC. Rome was not built overnight however, so one may ask, “When did Cal Poly become such a great Architecture school?” How did a school focused mainly on Agriculture and Engineering become one that is synonymous nowadays with Architecture? The answer is simple, and it lies in a unique, absolutely …show more content…
The first nod towards the Design Village is in an article titled, “Geodesic Dome Moved,” which talks about students moving the Geodesic Dome (which is still there today) to Poly Canyon to be converted into a seminar pavillion. With the intended conversion to a seminar pavillion, one can draw a simple conclusion; the land over in Poly Canyon was not originally intended to host a unique array of buildings on the Cal Poly campus. Also during this period of time, Architecture is hardly mentioned within the writings of the El Mustang; Engineering and Agriculture dominate the pages. This shows the lack of focus given to the Architecture program at the time. The next mentions of activity in the Graveyard is on April 3, 1964, in which an article talked of a group of senior architects that built a “Shell House” in Poly Canyon using a fast and cheap alternative to wood. This Shell House played an important role in the popularization of the Graveyard, because come Poly Royal, mentions of it are made again. In the April 24, 1964 Poly Royal issue of El Mustang, there are no real mentions of Architecture except for one that boasts a “New and Unique” design in Poly Canyon, the Shell House, as well as some other senior design projects. At this time, only one bus took visitors out to Poly Canyon, which indicates that the school did not really think that many people were interested in seeing what it …show more content…
For starters, the previous one bus that had been taking people out in the 60s had been increased to two buses and three vans that left Kennedy Library at regular intervals. With an increase in traffic, one can infer that there is an increase in popularity of the area. The article describes the Design Village as an immensely popular location during Poly Royal, one that people came to every year, whether an experienced architect or not, to see what this new year had to offer. Every year since 1973, competitions had been been held within three different categories to see who got to leave their mark at Cal Poly and to showcase their designs during Poly Royal. Also, it should be noted that the people in charge of the Design Village during Poly Royal wanted to create a sort of “camp” atmosphere, with games and entertainment, to make people feel comfortable whilst enjoying the architecture. Now all of these factors lead to the argument at hand, the increased focus of the Architectural Design Village during Poly Royal shows a shift from a school primarily associated with Agriculture and Engineering to one that is also known for its great architects. The main goal of Poly Royal had always been to showcase the campus to prospective students, generally showing what each major had to offer and the work that students had to show. Previously, the focus was mainly around Agriculture and

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