A new semester brings with it feelings of apprehension and reservation. New classes, unfamiliar professors, and ever-thickening syllabi can create a sense of dread.
But returning to campus can be exciting, especially when you realize how little you know about a place where you spend too much time. One of the best ways to get over the doldrums of a break’s end and a semester’s beginning is by discovering new places, and LSU has tons of hidden gems worth checking out.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Art Building’s Hidden Room
Did you know that there is a fourth floor of the three-story art building? Wait, a fourth floor in a three-story building? How can this be?
The art building itself isn’t the typical campus building. It only has three flights of stairs, but approaching the third floor of the art building, there is a narrow ladder leading to a little hole in the roof. It is easily overlooked because the ladder is in a corner behind a water fountain.
When I first discovered this treasure, my friend and I were taking a break from our long three-hour studio when we noticed the ladder. Of course, curiosity got the best of us, and we couldn’t resist climbing the ladder to see where exactly it led to. Once we reached the top, we crawled into a room that is covered in glass from broken mirrors, dust, roof tiles, and other miscellaneous objects. The walls are covered in graffiti, and the light leaking from the massive windows definitely created an interesting composition for photos. We thought it was the coolest little room, and being photography majors, naturally our first instinct was to take pictures. We soon came to realize that this room is no stranger amongst the rest of the art students and has served as an important part of many projects.
“No one is really sure why it’s there or what it was used for,” said Blake Cochran, a graphic design major.
The photos below were taken more recently and now the floor in this room is now cleaned up, and it’s appearance tends to look more sanitary. Every now and then, there are new “props,” random objects, or signs that mark the traces of the previous person exploring.
Landolt Astronomical Observatory
Feeling Spacey? The roof of the physics building houses the Landolt Astronomical Observatory which hosts free public observings once a month on the Saturday or Sunday with the nearest First Quarter Moon. The next scheduled public viewing is Saturday, January 24, 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. The main targets for this specific viewing is Jupiter, Quarter Moon, and Orion and changes as the months go on. However, there will be no viewing if the celestial body cannot be seen due to unfortunate weather conditions.
Design Building Courtyard/The Atrium Cafe/ Chalkboard
Need a breath of fresh air away from crowds to study? Charge up your electronics and head to the design building courtyard. The garden inhabiting most of its layout presents a unique place to study and also has a large brick wall covered in plants surrounding it. Tables occupy the spaces in between the plants, which provides a nice, quiet place to study or simply relax. Need a coffee or food to recharge? The design building’s door leads to The Atrium Cafe that sells Starbucks coffee and pastries, Roly Poly wraps, sandwiches, sushi, and a few other items. There are also vending machines near the exit facing the stadium if one prefers. While waiting for your order, don’t forget to check out the chalkboard covered in drawings, words, and quotes by whoever has felt the urge to pick up a piece of chalk and make their mark. Feel free to contribute to its existence as desired because it is free for all.
The sculpture garden at LSU is a common site for art majors who have classes daily in the buildings near them when they aren’t busy sculpting within the garden. There are many sculptures on display at any given point that are bound to raise one’s curiosity level. Some sculptures stay longer than others, but there are almost always new sculptures to view. It isn’t uncommon for students to come to the sculpture garden to unwind and rest because of the options the sculptures present, such as the bright yellow park bench. Need a better view? One sculpture has a deck with a swing hanging from it. The rope ladder leading to the top provides easy access to another level.
Business Education Complex
If you haven’t seen the Business Education Complex, it’s worth at least seeing before you leave LSU. A walk through the courtyard is bestows a pleasing site because it is unlike other senior colleges on campus. The complex is about 156,000 gross square feet and has a rotunda, a beautiful courtyard, two classroom wings, Community Coffee and an auditorium. The architecture gives a modern vibe and is made of glass metal and stone.
The Magnolia Room
The Magnolia Room often goes unnoticed amongst LSU dining, but is popular amongst the students who are aware of its existence. I mean, where else are you going to get a restaurant-style dining experience for $8.50 on campus? Did I mention it is an all you can eat buffet? That also includes a beverage plus a soup, salad, and bread bar. It is located on the third level of the student union overlooking the parade grounds.
Tunnels running under campus? It’s exactly what it sounds like. There is an entire tunnel system beneath the LSU campus that has over two and a half miles of tunnels. There are many theories behind why it was designed, but it originally served the purpose of holding the campus’ steam system when it was built in the 1920’s. These underground tunnels are linked from South Campus Drive to Highland Road and past the law buildings. As tempting as it may be to explore, it is unfortunately off limits to the public.