University shouldn’t demolish popular culture building

Erin Holmberg and Erin Holmberg

The demolition of the Popular Culture House is slated for mid-August. University officials have said they, “‘do not feel the house is particularly significant.’”

President Mazey issued a letter stating, “I understand the nostalgic feelings some have for the building, since it once was the home of BGSU presidents.”

Let us explore why the building is important beyond being a former presidential home.

Consider that the discipline of popular culture was founded at the University in 1973. This is a distinguishing feature of the school, and a rarity in academia.

In that very building, the founding professors created a brand new discipline.

Not just a program or a department: a DISCIPLINE.

The importance of the house goes beyond the functionality of the building — the pop culture house acts as a powerful visual representation of the department. It may as well be a logo.

Early pop culture classes were taught at the house, and it remains the current office for the department. It is the birthplace of the discipline of popular culture.

From a marketing point of view, there is major appeal in showcasing the building as a historic landmark.

By preserving this history, you would be reiterating the importance of the program and discipline on the world stage.

Preservation would highlight one of the University’s major contributions to academics. Raising awareness of this history would add to the prestige of the school, and further establish the department’s international reputation.

Beyond its importance as the birthplace of a discipline, it is architecturally and culturally relevant to many alumni, faculty and current students. The prominent Wooster street location gives the public a glimpse of the historic beauty they can expect as they enter campus.

This little brick house is definitely significant. I urge University officials to reconsider demolition.

-Erin Holmberg, B.F.A.

Class of 2004