As I write this, I’m sitting on a paver-patio, hearing the roar of kitchen fans behind me, a bird singing in front of me within the cypress patch known as the dome. The fans behind me are attached to a structure surrounding a dome window called the student union.I’m staring at the campus center, the hub of the circular sidewalks surrounding it. Displayed around the union was Valentine hearts stating this is the “heart” of UCF. These competing domes appeal to me as an environmentalist,myself, and as a tribute to the original wilds of UCF’s heart when I first came here in the ’70’s and all of UCF when Charles Mulligan found it.
But there is a missing dome I wish to propose to represent the inspiration of creating this university, the beliefs that accent the an individual, and a need I recognized from those early days as a need fulfilled by only by other campuses.
UCF needs a chapel. I don’t know where to put it now, but UCF needs one now. Both Charles and his wife had funerals in the union’s ballroom; their community stature required such capacity to exist for such large funerals. And so it does and so they did and so we who remember them are glad. Now about one sized for everyone else s needs: by this time, the long awaited Leuis Comfort Tiffany chapel from the Chicago’s World’s Fair in nearby Winter Park. Yet, it seems, one was inspired to recognize the Importance of adding such art & architecture for UCF.
How many times through the years: have weddings needed this UCF venue? have funerals needed this UCF venue? have students needed quiet repose under the stress of personal and public issues to contemplate in such a UCF venue?
It seems unthinkable that a campus so isolated from nearby towns with a scrub brush beginning backdrop could eventually become the second largest university in the country without one.
I raised this issue with an Orlando Sentinel writer on a Park Avenue eatery a year ago who called himself ” Henry”. After a short discussion, the consensus was that it is normal on state campuses and long over-due. Later, he asked me if I had pressed for it and said “It’s time to”. Over the summer he discovered that he had terminal cancer. At the funeral in the College Park First Baptist Church, he had arranged for it to end with a jazz march just like the one Charles Milligan’s funeral had.
Back when I signed his get-well card, I wrote him I was proceeding with the UCF chapel proposal and was assured that that was read to him. So here I am pressing for it on behalf of a Sentinel writer and myself on Word Press.
Why did I say dome? Only because as I sit staring over all the dome umbrellas that maintains the theme of the hub, I’m assuming if it is to be timely done I should have a suggestion what it would look like. It could easily be just a room actually; but the second largest university would seem to need something more ( wherever would be a conveant venue on this campus). Assumig the dome window doesn’t leak that the student union surrounds, it could be duplicated to whatever scale and surrounded by glass blocks if the setting is pristine enough. So there’s my design suggestion for no other campus but this one if having an already suggested design helps.