MOCONAUGHGEDDON! It’s here!

It’s the moment you’ve all been dreading.  The life of McConaughy Hall, opened 1962 and closed 2007, has come to an end.

The Mocalypse is here.

R.I.P. MoCon.

If you’re on campus this summer and see further developments with the destruction of MoCon and the paving over of its home on campus, send us pictures to weep over at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.

[Photo Credit: Sandy Yudhistira ’12]

79 thoughts on “MOCONAUGHGEDDON! It’s here!

  1. anon

    What about all the stories of asbestos in Mocon? Should that thing be covered by some sort of tent? We’re all gonna die.

  2. anon

    What about all the stories of asbestos in Mocon? Should that thing be covered by some sort of tent? We’re all gonna die.

  3. anon

    @Suzy:
    I agree that the physical letters and estimates he received weren’t uploaded, but why do you jump to the conclusion that this means he didn’t get any and that he’s lying to us all? Don’t you think it’s more likely that each estimate was a product of many different forms of research and discussions with people (that’s how estimates work – you look at past projects to compare, you talk to different companies and individuals with experience, etc. ), instead of one sheet of paper, making it not very easy/feasible to upload? Why are you SO opposed to giving Roth the benefit of the doubt?

  4. anon

    @Suzy:
    I agree that the physical letters and estimates he received weren’t uploaded, but why do you jump to the conclusion that this means he didn’t get any and that he’s lying to us all? Don’t you think it’s more likely that each estimate was a product of many different forms of research and discussions with people (that’s how estimates work – you look at past projects to compare, you talk to different companies and individuals with experience, etc. ), instead of one sheet of paper, making it not very easy/feasible to upload? Why are you SO opposed to giving Roth the benefit of the doubt?

  5. Anon

    Lloyd, that’s really an interesting idea. I like it a lot. The current media offices are really run down and outdated. The Argus offices have furniture that looks so old it almost has a Mad Men feel and technology that just plain won’t cooperate. Although opinion regarding the Argus might not always be one of love, most will agree that the Argus has improved over the years and few will deny that the Argus provides a necessary service. Yet the Argus does not have a sufficient home. I imagine it is the same with WESU. The prospect of a television station is even more exciting (we have a strong interest in journalism and film and the like at Wes). The feel of MoCon’s structure and appearance is one that is appropriate to media and the media could actually have done justice to the building.
    But still, the problems with the structure remain. The structure was not sound, and repairing for any purpose would have been costly. Furthermore, “the master plan” for the university dictates that all that can be built there is a residential project – a dorm. So that would not have saved it either.
    However, maybe the university should give some thought to giving its media a new, 21st century home.

  6. Anon

    Lloyd, that’s really an interesting idea. I like it a lot. The current media offices are really run down and outdated. The Argus offices have furniture that looks so old it almost has a Mad Men feel and technology that just plain won’t cooperate. Although opinion regarding the Argus might not always be one of love, most will agree that the Argus has improved over the years and few will deny that the Argus provides a necessary service. Yet the Argus does not have a sufficient home. I imagine it is the same with WESU. The prospect of a television station is even more exciting (we have a strong interest in journalism and film and the like at Wes). The feel of MoCon’s structure and appearance is one that is appropriate to media and the media could actually have done justice to the building.
    But still, the problems with the structure remain. The structure was not sound, and repairing for any purpose would have been costly. Furthermore, “the master plan” for the university dictates that all that can be built there is a residential project – a dorm. So that would not have saved it either.
    However, maybe the university should give some thought to giving its media a new, 21st century home.

  7. Suzy Shedd

    To clarify my previous post: I’m well aware that Bennet is the major mover in MoCon’s destruction. However, Roth has been in office THREE YEARS and had more than enough time to conclude that the underhanded, malign neglect of the building was inappropriate and find remedies. (Yes, very political — highly analogous to Obama’s deciding to keep all of Bush’s inappropriate executive power grabs.)

    Transparency: Please, people — show a little Wesleyan training and THINK. Since when is “talking about” something EVIDENCE? “All the options were too expensive…” OK, EXACTLY what options were considered? Who gave the cost estimates? Based on what? Was a feasibility study ever done? By whom? What did it say? Remember that before we’re through, it will have cost a MILLION DOLLARS, more or less, to destroy this building. That’s an outlay for which there is no return. I have always said that I was prepared — most sadly — to reach a conclusion that it wasn’t viable to save MoCon BASED ON EVIDENCE. So here’s what “transparency” is — you take all the evidence (which you obtained by following a thoughtful and rational process) and you PUT IT ONLINE where the community can look at it. How hard is that? It costs nothing.

    And IF you have that evidence, why wouldn’t you put it out to be viewed? All it would do is strengthen the administration’s case. This leads to a very reasonable and serious concern: has the university spent a million dollars to destroy a beautiful and architecturally significant building (sorry — you don’t get to just eliminate the 60’s because you personally don’t like them)…without ever getting actual estimates and feasibility studies? How could that ever be responsible?

    Try this on for size: Your doctor says, “Look, we know you’ve been begging us to take care of that wound on your leg for years. But now it’s so bad, we’re just going to amputate. I mean, I talked to lots of other doctors and they all say it just costs too much to do reconstructive surgery. I had a friend of mine eyeball it last night — he says it will cost a lot to make it possible for you to walk on it, and walking isn’t a use I have any need for. We DID need a dancer, but that new young guy moved into town and he’s competent to dance even though he has no sense of rhythm. And your leg is old and your muscles aren’t efficient. And stop asking about getting a thorough examination and cost estimates — I TOLD you, I talked and talked about it with other doctors. I’ve really gone out of my way to give you the information you asked for. And btw — the bill for your amputation will be about a million bucks.” I’m sure that’s evidence any of us would accept. Not.

  8. Suzy Shedd

    To clarify my previous post: I’m well aware that Bennet is the major mover in MoCon’s destruction. However, Roth has been in office THREE YEARS and had more than enough time to conclude that the underhanded, malign neglect of the building was inappropriate and find remedies. (Yes, very political — highly analogous to Obama’s deciding to keep all of Bush’s inappropriate executive power grabs.)

    Transparency: Please, people — show a little Wesleyan training and THINK. Since when is “talking about” something EVIDENCE? “All the options were too expensive…” OK, EXACTLY what options were considered? Who gave the cost estimates? Based on what? Was a feasibility study ever done? By whom? What did it say? Remember that before we’re through, it will have cost a MILLION DOLLARS, more or less, to destroy this building. That’s an outlay for which there is no return. I have always said that I was prepared — most sadly — to reach a conclusion that it wasn’t viable to save MoCon BASED ON EVIDENCE. So here’s what “transparency” is — you take all the evidence (which you obtained by following a thoughtful and rational process) and you PUT IT ONLINE where the community can look at it. How hard is that? It costs nothing.

    And IF you have that evidence, why wouldn’t you put it out to be viewed? All it would do is strengthen the administration’s case. This leads to a very reasonable and serious concern: has the university spent a million dollars to destroy a beautiful and architecturally significant building (sorry — you don’t get to just eliminate the 60’s because you personally don’t like them)…without ever getting actual estimates and feasibility studies? How could that ever be responsible?

    Try this on for size: Your doctor says, “Look, we know you’ve been begging us to take care of that wound on your leg for years. But now it’s so bad, we’re just going to amputate. I mean, I talked to lots of other doctors and they all say it just costs too much to do reconstructive surgery. I had a friend of mine eyeball it last night — he says it will cost a lot to make it possible for you to walk on it, and walking isn’t a use I have any need for. We DID need a dancer, but that new young guy moved into town and he’s competent to dance even though he has no sense of rhythm. And your leg is old and your muscles aren’t efficient. And stop asking about getting a thorough examination and cost estimates — I TOLD you, I talked and talked about it with other doctors. I’ve really gone out of my way to give you the information you asked for. And btw — the bill for your amputation will be about a million bucks.” I’m sure that’s evidence any of us would accept. Not.

  9. Anonymous

    actually Shanklin is an architecture building… designed by McKIm, Mead, and White…

  10. Colleen McKiernan, '89

    To #8, Mocon was an architecturally important building that functioned very well as a dining hall. The outdated science buildings are not structurally what is required to be a science building (or even a reasonable faculty office– go up to the top floor of Shanklin on a warm day and you will understand).

    I am very sad to see Mocon destroyed.

  11. Colleen McKiernan, '89

    To #8, Mocon was an architecturally important building that functioned very well as a dining hall. The outdated science buildings are not structurally what is required to be a science building (or even a reasonable faculty office– go up to the top floor of Shanklin on a warm day and you will understand).

    I am very sad to see Mocon destroyed.

  12. Lloyd Komesar

    Benign neglect of McConaughy predates Roth administration. Long considered environmentally unsound and a building without portfolio, this campus icon was targeted by Bennet team for extinction. At one point in the middle part of last decade, I floated an idea to house all Wes media inside those glass and concrete walls, e.g., WESU, Argus, nascent television station. Had a good audience for the proposal but it got absolutely no traction even when I offered to do fundrasing around the idea. And so a nearly five decade run comes to an unfortunate end. I felt this way about Shea Stadium which rose and fell in virtually the same time frame. At least in Queens, a new stadium rose out of the ashes. What will replace McConaughy besides asphalt?

  13. Lloyd Komesar

    Benign neglect of McConaughy predates Roth administration. Long considered environmentally unsound and a building without portfolio, this campus icon was targeted by Bennet team for extinction. At one point in the middle part of last decade, I floated an idea to house all Wes media inside those glass and concrete walls, e.g., WESU, Argus, nascent television station. Had a good audience for the proposal but it got absolutely no traction even when I offered to do fundrasing around the idea. And so a nearly five decade run comes to an unfortunate end. I felt this way about Shea Stadium which rose and fell in virtually the same time frame. At least in Queens, a new stadium rose out of the ashes. What will replace McConaughy besides asphalt?

  14. 2013

    it was really generations of poor planning that facilitated MoCon’s demise. maybe if they had renovated it over the years, or developed a plan for it when they decided to build Usdan it could’ve been re-adapted for another use. but as Roth inherited it, I don’t see what could’ve been done.

  15. 2013

    it was really generations of poor planning that facilitated MoCon’s demise. maybe if they had renovated it over the years, or developed a plan for it when they decided to build Usdan it could’ve been re-adapted for another use. but as Roth inherited it, I don’t see what could’ve been done.

  16. 2011

    #14, I bet *you’re* not a science major. Shanklin is highly outdated and HA, as we saw last year, is just dangerous in its current situation. They aren’t architecture buildings and utility trumps sentimentality where science buildings are concerned. We need to put some money into the science buildings (except exley, obviously) and if that involves demolition, that’s fine (though they need to have a plan for the time between demolition and the new building being ready).

  17. 2011

    #14, I bet *you’re* not a science major. Shanklin is highly outdated and HA, as we saw last year, is just dangerous in its current situation. They aren’t architecture buildings and utility trumps sentimentality where science buildings are concerned. We need to put some money into the science buildings (except exley, obviously) and if that involves demolition, that’s fine (though they need to have a plan for the time between demolition and the new building being ready).

  18. Anonymous

    #12 has it correct. to all the people saying Roth wasn’t transparent, what SHOULD we have done with MoCon? renovate it into WHAT?

    dorms? would have involved killing the open main space. dining? we have enough dining spaces, it’s unnecessary. concert space? that had potential…

    but really, it would have amount to millions of dollars to renovate MoCon for a concert space. not exactly the core academic mission of the school, which is focused on during these tough times. MoCon was kick ass, but it simply became outdated.

    I will raise hell if Shanklin is ever knocked down, though. thats still a useful building. Anonimouse, I bet you arent a science major. Shanklin is wonderful. also, Anonimouse, Roth had just as much attachment to MoCon as we did – he ate there, saw concerts there. why would he give us the runaround for MoCon of all things? typical blind cynic…

    – ’10

  19. Anonymous

    #12 has it correct. to all the people saying Roth wasn’t transparent, what SHOULD we have done with MoCon? renovate it into WHAT?

    dorms? would have involved killing the open main space. dining? we have enough dining spaces, it’s unnecessary. concert space? that had potential…

    but really, it would have amount to millions of dollars to renovate MoCon for a concert space. not exactly the core academic mission of the school, which is focused on during these tough times. MoCon was kick ass, but it simply became outdated.

    I will raise hell if Shanklin is ever knocked down, though. thats still a useful building. Anonimouse, I bet you arent a science major. Shanklin is wonderful. also, Anonimouse, Roth had just as much attachment to MoCon as we did – he ate there, saw concerts there. why would he give us the runaround for MoCon of all things? typical blind cynic…

    – ’10

  20. Anonimouse

    All those options were available before hand. They were discussed and explored beforehand. Discussions and consultations were done beforehand.

  21. Anonimouse

    All those options were available before hand. They were discussed and explored beforehand. Discussions and consultations were done beforehand.

  22. Anonymous

    Roth’s delay was not a political move. He consulted many many people and genuinely wanted to find a way to preserve the building. All options would have been ridiculously expensive and would have necessitated the reconstruction of much of the building to make it useable.

  23. Anonymous

    Roth’s delay was not a political move. He consulted many many people and genuinely wanted to find a way to preserve the building. All options would have been ridiculously expensive and would have necessitated the reconstruction of much of the building to make it useable.

  24. Anonimouse

    If we’re going to be demolishing buildings, can we please get rid of those hideous science buildings. Exley, Hall-Atwater, even Shanklin. They are quite the eyesore, ugly, dirty, and very much in the way.

  25. Anonimouse

    If we’re going to be demolishing buildings, can we please get rid of those hideous science buildings. Exley, Hall-Atwater, even Shanklin. They are quite the eyesore, ugly, dirty, and very much in the way.

  26. Anonimouse

    #8, I think Roth was not completely transparent about it. I believe he was completely set on demolishing it when he “delayed” demolition to explore further options. This was only to give (false) hope to the Wesleyan community. Those opposed to the demolition of MoCon had made several alternatives apparent before he made this delay. The delay was a purely political move, something that should be left in Washington at worst.
    Now, I am not opposed to the demolition of MoCon myself. But the administration’s handling of the situation was not appropriate. They are trying trickery and quite frankly, they are no longer listening to the Wesleyan community. This is just one instance of something that has become a pattern. The administration will hear the appeals of the WSA, the general student body, alumni, and parents, and still do as they please.

  27. Anonimouse

    #8, I think Roth was not completely transparent about it. I believe he was completely set on demolishing it when he “delayed” demolition to explore further options. This was only to give (false) hope to the Wesleyan community. Those opposed to the demolition of MoCon had made several alternatives apparent before he made this delay. The delay was a purely political move, something that should be left in Washington at worst.
    Now, I am not opposed to the demolition of MoCon myself. But the administration’s handling of the situation was not appropriate. They are trying trickery and quite frankly, they are no longer listening to the Wesleyan community. This is just one instance of something that has become a pattern. The administration will hear the appeals of the WSA, the general student body, alumni, and parents, and still do as they please.

  28. Ben

    @Xue: It isn’t. If anything, the process has become even more of a convoluted mess thanks to the hoops you have to jump through to get an eco-friendly to-go container (i.e. not get charged 50 cents every time you get a take-out container).

  29. Ben

    @Xue: It isn’t. If anything, the process has become even more of a convoluted mess thanks to the hoops you have to jump through to get an eco-friendly to-go container (i.e. not get charged 50 cents every time you get a take-out container).

  30. anon

    i also think it’s incredibly important to preserve important historic campus buildings, but mocon was built in the 60s along with the foss hill dorms, and isn’t really the kind of historic architecture we should preserve, IMO. (shanklin is another matter).

    also, people really can’t complain about the low endowment if they wanted to preserve a building that was draining all our money since it was so unenvironmental.

    also, even if you disagree with the choice roth made, you can’t say he wasn’t transparent about it. get a grip, people.

  31. anon

    i also think it’s incredibly important to preserve important historic campus buildings, but mocon was built in the 60s along with the foss hill dorms, and isn’t really the kind of historic architecture we should preserve, IMO. (shanklin is another matter).

    also, people really can’t complain about the low endowment if they wanted to preserve a building that was draining all our money since it was so unenvironmental.

    also, even if you disagree with the choice roth made, you can’t say he wasn’t transparent about it. get a grip, people.

  32. Xue

    ^I haven’t been in school for more than two years now so my opinion is pretty much worthless, but I sure hope getting food to-go from Usdan is easier now than it was my senior year.

  33. Xue

    ^I haven’t been in school for more than two years now so my opinion is pretty much worthless, but I sure hope getting food to-go from Usdan is easier now than it was my senior year.

  34. Ben

    @anon 3: This decision was made well before Roth took office. Douggie B & Co. made up their minds that their brand spanking new (travesty of a) campus center would be our only dining facility many a year ago, which is why no maintenance was done to Mocon while it lay dormant. I still believe the best course of action would have been to renovate Mocon once Usdan opened so we could actually have some semblance of a decent campus dining program (@Xue: please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks the to-go system post-Davenport is a travesty), but nooooo, that would make too much sense.

  35. Ben

    @anon 3: This decision was made well before Roth took office. Douggie B & Co. made up their minds that their brand spanking new (travesty of a) campus center would be our only dining facility many a year ago, which is why no maintenance was done to Mocon while it lay dormant. I still believe the best course of action would have been to renovate Mocon once Usdan opened so we could actually have some semblance of a decent campus dining program (@Xue: please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks the to-go system post-Davenport is a travesty), but nooooo, that would make too much sense.

  36. Suzy Shedd

    Well, we’ve begged and BEGGED Pres. Roth to be transparent and open — and lo, our cries have been heard. The face of this administration? See above.

  37. Suzy Shedd

    Well, we’ve begged and BEGGED Pres. Roth to be transparent and open — and lo, our cries have been heard. The face of this administration? See above.

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