Wednesday, April 16, 2008

View from and of the refectory tower

For the last several days I have been enjoying the kind hospitality of Seabury-Western Episcopal Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Considering that this place is going through its own difficult changes, people could not have been more welcoming, friendly, and accommodating to a guest.

The physical plant is a wonderful example of an architectural style I'd call Early Twentieth Century Pseudo-Monastic. My window this week is the one on the left at the top of the tower.

Here's what I see when I look toward the street. It is a lovely time of year alongside Lake Michigan. It is also colder than it looks as the wind whips off the lake.

Other buildings look like this.

To get to my room, I enter here.

Yes, I am staying above the Horlick Refectory.

Across from the entrance I see this...

... explicated by this.

Turning to my right, I see the refectory itself. Clerical gents, some quite modern, look down from the walls.

If I ate here regularly, I am not sure they'd improve my digestion.

But I turn left and proceed up this absolutely not ADA compliant stairwell.

Here's my room where I am composing this now. You'll note the only disorder is my suitcase. And whatever else these accommodations may lack, they provide a solid fast internet connection. What else does the modern traveling organizer really need?

I hope the future goes well for Seabury. The physical plant may present some obstacles to modern uses, but the spirit here is a pleasure and a challenge -- just what I would hope the spirit would be in a place that teaches religious leadership.

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