Lafayette College: the Good Old “Bait & Switch”

Submitted by a Concerned Citizen

Lafayette College: the good old “Bait & Switch

Lafayette College hasn’t torn down any historic buildings lately, but it continues to show its lack of respect for its College Hill neighbors. When it was collaborating with City Hall to change the zoning in order to allow construction of an oversized mix-used dormitory on McCartney Street, the College promised that it would stick to the acceptable design scheme to which it had (reluctantly) agreed.

That scheme, as shown in the attached drawing from the College’s 2017 Land Development Plan, called for a brick veneer on all sides of the building. But like an unscrupulous developer who promises you stone and gives you tinted stucco (“It looks just like stone”), the College promised brick, and gave us horizontal siding. And an off-white at that, not even a softer, darker color that would have been somewhat less objectionable.

Lafayette College plans for mixed-use dormitory on McCartney Street, compared to the actual design of building as it's being built. Easton, PA

But don’t worry, it’s only on the ‘back’ of the building. Not the side you can see from the campus, only the side you can see from Cattell Street, College Hill’s main thoroughfare. (As Lafayette President Alison Byerly once memorably put it: McCartney Street is the gateway to the campus; Cattell Street is the gateway to College Hill.)

So it really doesn’t count for much, does it?

—A Concerned Citizen

Laini Abraham
Laini Abraham