I recently spent a long weekend in New Haven, Connecticut, the town of my grad school and a place I have not visited in more than twenty years. I can happily confirm what so many folks have told me - that New Haven is a dramatically nicer and safer place than it was when I was at Yale in the early 1990s.
Like you might imagine, a storied place like Yale does not change that much over the years. Their alumni donations are contingent upon being able to conjure up college-days nostalgia that drastic physical changes would betray. There are of course some new buildings and a very different and relaxing feel to the place. But the core of the campus has not changed much nor have the half dozen or so well-remembered buildings that I was anxious to see again after so many years.
It is fascinating to visit a place again after so many years and this trip certainly had a fair dose of nostalgia mixed in as a catalyst. For an architect, it is also interesting to visit again the buildings that were so influential to my education and prominent in my understanding of what architecture can be. I will likely be posting about some of these buildings in the near future.
For the time being, I will just post some photos of Yale and New Haven and try to come up with some thoughts about memory and architecture, place and nostalgia.