Embracing Yale’s Common Room

At 12:00:01 a.m., a campus common room was born.

Or so we hope.

As far back as 1968, stories appear in News archives reporting on plans for a “hidden library” — the mysterious, ever-delayed (even then) underground expansion of SML. The idea was for a pseudo-center of student life.

But the reality — at least for those of us who experienced CCL two years ago — was something different: a library, that’s all.

Again in 2007 the ingredients — a modern feel, deep resources, a campus (bizarrely) energized — are there for something more. But will reality follow hype?

We think it can — with two caveats. The original CCL design, as drafted in 1969, was optimized for potential 24/7 operation. Imagine how much more integral a part of campus life Bass Library would be if it remained open through the night. We’ve also heard that the cafe’s food, however exquisite, could use a price slash. Small requests.

At midnight, a campus common room was born. But was a new — renewed — era of student life born, too? We’ll see.

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