Getting Ready for the Summer…
This summer, Campus Archaeology is going to be very busy doing archaeological surveys and monitoring various construction projects. There are eight different projects occurring over the summer that we will be a part of in some manner. Over the past couple months we’ve been meeting with Physical Plant and construction company members to discuss the projects. We’ve done research with the MSU Archives to determine the historic significance of the area. We’re just about ready, and now all we have to do is wait for all the projects to start up!
The first project is the reconstruction of the Jenison Parking Lot. As we’ve discussed about before, parking lots and sidewalks can be great for archaeologists, because they protect any historic or prehistoric material underneath them. We’ve also had good luck finding things on the banks of rivers, so this project will give us the opportunity to do just that and explore a new section of the Red Cedar River.
Next, there is the renovations occurring at Landon Hall. This will also involve removal of asphalt and concrete, under which will we be testing for artifacts. We know that this area was once Faculty Row, and had a number of residences for faculty that were built in the late 19th century. Third, the Bogue Street round-about is being redesigned to match the intersection between Farm Ln, Shaw Ln, and Red Cedar Rd. This project has already begun. There is also a possible project along the railroad and arboretum to the south. The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams will be placing power ducts from the Power Plant to their main site on Bogue and Wilson, so this will required some survey.
There are also two major demolitions that are going to occur. The first is the Old Botany Greenhouse, part of which has already been removed. The greenhouses are over 100 years old, and no longer are in use. The second demolition is the one we’ve all been talking about- the Morrill Hall demolition. Sadly, the building cannot be maintained, so it will be torn down over the summer. For both of these, we will be recording the process for history and then checking the sites prior to renovation.
Finally, just as there was last year, a section of West Circle Drive is going to be removed to replace steam tunnels. We will be closely working with the team to record and survey all their work. In particular we hope to find out more about what happened to the brook that ran through MSU’s north campus, and whether there are remains of the bridge that once was there. Along with this project there will also be some sidewalk replacement around the Sacred Space.
It will be an exciting summer, and we invite you to come out to visit us throughout May, June and July. Further updates on the blog will be given about specific project details, and we will be sharing information from the field on facebook and twitter!
Author: Katy Meyers Emery