Ask Bwog: Lerner’s Stained Glass

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Welcome back to Ask Bwog, a feature in which we answer burning questions about such disparate topics as Juicy Campus (ha, remember that?), PBK, and how to become gainfully employed by celebrities.

We return this week with an important question about the Lerner ramps and Your Safety. One CC senior, who is not fond of heights, is nervous about the strange discolorations on the ramps (see architectural oddity in question below.)

She’s worried they’re pressure marks of some sort, and Lerner’s ramps are headed for collapse. Do the markings on the ramps foretell terrible disaster?

By all accounts, no. Bwog just spoke with a custodian in Lerner, who assured us that this was not the case. He explaind that the strange white abnormalities were the aftermath of some spilled cleaning solution. (The ramps have been tinted since a few years ago, when it became apparent that transparent glass and skirts were a rather unfortunate combination. UPDATE: This is a Columbia urban legend, according to Lerner’s architect.) “Just stains, yeah.”

Have burning questions about campus, social etiquette, technology or anything else? Send them to [email protected].

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  1. hmm  

    By "by all accounts," you mean "by the one account of the single person we asked." Can we have a second opinion?

  2. Second opinion

    it's semen. My semen, to be more precise.

  3. 1239139123  

    It's artistic.

  4. ...  

    i want to recreate a mini BYOBW in lerner.

  5. The King of Spain

    I asked someone who worked on the design about this and he laughed when I mentioned the theory. The glass has always been frosted, from day one.

    If it were falling down, you'd probably see stress in the glass wall too, since it is supported by the ramps.

  6. As an engineer  

    I can assure you that Lerner's ramps were properly designed with a significant factor of safety. However as we engineers often see, there is no guarantee that this design was correctly implemented. If you have a fear of falling from great heights or being crushed by steel and glass I recommend you stay off the ramps from now on.

    (maybe now I can get to my mailbox in under 15 minutes)

  7. engineering

    Glass won't change color if it's under stress - it cracks and breaks.

  8. Alum

    The ramps were never transparent. I challenge Bwog to find any reliable evidence that they were.

    When the building was under construction I emailed the architect to point out the issue re skirts and didn't hear back from him, but if I thought of the problem I'm sure he did as well.

    • ummm  

      except I have talked to several alums who were here when it was transparent so that is in fact false.

      • Alum

        Nope. I admit that I graduated years before Lerner opened, but I visited the campus during the late phases of its construction and could see from the outside that the ramps were translucent, not transparent. I'm not sure they looked precisely like they do now, but they were opaque enough to preserve the modesty of anyone in a skirt, dress, sari, kilt, etc.

      • '02er

        Those alums were trying to impress you. The building opened after my freshman year and were always tinted the same as they are now. However, there was a rumor going around that they were originally designed to be transparent, but the design was switched to tinted when someone pointed out the obvious. Transparent glass was never installed.

  9. Silly Rabbit  

    So. Slow news day or slow news day?

  10. my guess...

    i'm not one to stare closely at the floors of lerner, but i'd guess it's moisture trapped between the glass plates (maybe from the floor moppings or just from the gross humidity in the building when it rains)... while the glass may be sound, it's probable that the sealer between the glass and the frame can crack or doesn't fully seal between

  11. ...  

    i like this feature.

  12. Transparent  

    glass ramps would be AWESOME.

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