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Beautiful Sieg Hall
"The Pride of UW"
Sieg Hall comes in a laptop version,
Update, June 1999: Chunks of metal
have started falling off the building.
What? Me worry?
(Explore the new Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering!)
From 1975-2003, UW Computer Science & Engineering was housed in Beautiful Sieg Hall, "The Pride of UW."
OK, we admit it: it's a joke. It's not even a very funny joke. But, through the magic of the Web, relive with us those thrilling days of yesteryear ...
Sieg in the 1990s
Sieg Hall, inexplicably the recipient of national architectural accolades and the subject of postcards when it was built in 1960, has fallen on hard times.
Sieg Hall was not damaged in any way
through the collection of these chunks!
We just count ourselves lucky that it hasn't fallen on us, too. We used to think the only advantage to being housed in Sieg was that we didn't have to look at it out the window. Only recently has the personal safety advantage revealed itself.
Making the best of a sorry situation, we inaugurated a new tradition in 1999: we sent every visiting prospective graduate student home with "a piece of the rock."
You tell us: Which other top-ten Computer Science department gives you a chunk of its building to take home and stare at as you make your decision? (OK, maybe Berkeley, desperately trying to ship that mal-de-mer green bathroom-tile exterior to other parts of the country. But who else?)
Is it working? Decide for yourself:
Interchange between Professor Brian Curless and a prospective student:
From: To: Brian Curless
Subject: Re: Glad you visited Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 23:11:56 (EDT) > So -- does this mean you're coming?! How could I say "no" to a school that gave me a piece of their computer science building? (At the beginning to the visitation day, Dr. Lazowska gave the prospective students a small piece of the building that had crumbled to the ground.)
Then-UW President Dick McCormick responds:
From: Richard McCormick
To: Ed Lazowska Subject: Re: Grad student recruiting Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 22:30:56 (PDT) That's just very cool. Can I have a chunk too? Dick
(Hey, you can have the whole damned thing. Just find us a new building!)
N.B. Beautiful Sieg Hall, "The Pride of UW," has not been damaged in any way during this process. No chunks were pried loose. Nobody jostled the building. We scrupulously restrict ourselves to retrieving pieces of Sieg Hall already laying on the ground. Think "souvenir collection in a National Park."
Update, February 2000
Sieg 2000 -- A 21st century
modernization project brought
to you by the University of
In an effort to preserve Beautiful Sieg Hall for future generations, the University of Washington has completed a six-month, $178,408.57 project to slap painted steel cosmetic sheathing over the columns. (Does "Only $6,500/column!" sound better?)
The windows on the first floor of the building were covered with black plastic for four of the six months of this project. Although we were suffocating, we were optimistic -- we thought maybe Christo had been hired to do the entire building. No such luck.
But, don't despair -- contribute! Track the progress of the CSE Building campaign here.
Meanwhile, come visit us in Sieg 2000 -- now, more than ever, "The Pride of UW."
Update, October 2000
A new facility for Computer Science & Engineering is the University of Washington's top institutional priority. Information here.
Update, February 2001 -- EARTHQUAKE!
Beautiful Sieg Hall is still standing. Curses -- foiled again!
From: Denice Denton To: Ed Lazowska Subject: Re: Shake, Rattle and Roll! Sent: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 12:16:00 (PST) > Sieg is still standing. The damn thing > just won't go away. FEMA would have been WAY easier than fundraising!!! ddd
Update, April 1 2002
New graduate student office in the Sieg
2000 east stairwell (note attractive high-
intensity task lighting, as well as OSHA-
approved rope ladder at far right)
While construction forges ahead on the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering, the graduate students are getting creative back in Sieg 2000, trying to squeeze in some additional seating.
Applicants who gave the right answers to "Are you really short?" and "Are you OK with heights?" received special consideration in the 2002 admissions process.
Update, May 2002
Sieg Hall has failed to make Forbes Magazine's list of "The World's Ugliest Buildings". We're incredibly bummed at this slight. Compare their photos to ours and see if you don't agree!
On a brighter note, 2002 CSE Ph.D. alumnus Craig Kaplan ran across an official Sieg manhole cover on a recent trip to Montreaux, Switzerland (although he was too much of a wimp to bring it home as a trophy). Says Craig, "I should point out that this isn't a service cover for, say, electricity or gas. It's an honest-to-goodness sewer."
2002 CSE Ph.D. alumnus Craig Kaplan
encountered this official Sieg sewer cover
on a recent trip to Montreaux, Switzerland.
Blast from the past -- Sieg Hall during the Vietnam war
Longtime CSE technical staff member Mark Murray snapped the picture linked here at an anti-war protest in May 1970.
Make the pilgrimage!
And while you're visiting Sieg, take a short detour
to check out the
Paul G. Allen
Center for Computer Science & Engineering, our
extraordinary new home,
dedicated in Autumn 2003!
Computer Science & Engineering|
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2350
(206) 543-1695 voice, (206) 543-2969 FAX
[comments to lazowska at cs.washington.edu]