Wilbur Reading room 7-30-13

 View from a reading room in the Wilbur Cross Building

There are so many interesting things to see on the UConn campus, that even a short stroll anywhere can perk up an otherwise dull day. Below are some pictures I took this year of all different subjects- buildings, plants, landscapes… that provided a flash of color or an interesting shape or texture.

Horsbarn Hill in particular is a source of stunning vista at any time of year. From the top, you can see tree-covered hills stretching out as far as the eye can see as you look to the west. Looking to the hilltop from Route 195 provides a half-sky half- landscape scene that varies every day depending on light, clouds, and the weather.  Go at sunrise, especially on foggy mornings in late summer. Don’t neglect to walk out into the swath of cut grass that makes a natural path along the fence between fields. In spring and summer there are several species of threatened birds that nest in the tall grass. You may see Meadowlarks, Bob- o-Links and kestrels, as well as bluebirds and other species that live in large, open fields and meadows.


clouda over horsebarn hill October afternoon 2013

Birdwatching on Horsebarn Hill, Storrs  above left.  View of Horsebarn hill from Rte 195 above, right.

Walking down North Eagleville Road from Route 195, you will see St. Mark’s Episcopal Chapel on the right.  Built in 1955, it won an architectural award for its design, which is representative of a ship. The angle where the two sides come together in the front forms a recess where bells are hung from small to large running to the top. This building is not part of the official campus, but is situated nearby.

St mark's Episcople church and bells uconn Dec 2012 II

The Wilbur Cross Building can be easily identified by its distinctive cupola  with a  gold leaf dome and two- story pillars at the entryway. Opened in 1939, it was originally a library, but no longer serves that purpose, except for containing many reference volumes in the large reading rooms located at both ends of the original building. The reading rooms have two- story windows on their three sides, providing both light and views for the people inside.


Cupola and dome , Wilbur Cross Building

Last on my list are the landscapes recently installed around Laurel Hall, which is near the Student Union. UConn uses “xeriscaping,” or native drought-tolerant plants which are often used in rain gardens and bio-retention swales that collect runoff and roof drainage.

Laurel Hall landscape 2012

Landscape beside Laurel Hall

Next time you are on campus, be sure to take a little walk and see if anything is worthy of a photo shoot. At any time of year there is always something of interest for most people. Come in the spring and summer for the birds and plants, and any time of year for sweeping vistas from Horse barn Hill.

Pamm Cooper          All photos © 2013 Pamm Cooper