Univ. of Pennsylvania's Campus - where would you rank it in the Ivies?

<p>looking forward to your thoughts on this matter</p>

<p>oops, forgot....</p>

<p>In my opinion Penn would rank 8th of all the Ivies in terms of campus beauty.</p>

<p>I like Penn. I actually like all the Ivies. Cornell, Princeton and Yale are the prettiest, but they each have their appeal. On an absolute scale, all Ivies have nice campuses, but on a relative scale, Harvard and Columbia would be my least favorite.</p>

<p>so Alexandre, where would you rank Penn then?</p>

<p>4, 5, 6?</p>

<p>I don't rank, I rate. I would give Penn a very strong rating for its campus, certainly up there with Brown and Dartmouth.</p>

<p>Are we talking about campus architecture only, or also the setting? If the setting is an important consideration, are we talking only about the natural environment, or also about the surrounding built environment?</p>

<p>Traditionally, following Vitruvius, architectural quality has been judged by a combination of "commodity, firmness, and delight". How well does the design meet the practical needs of its inhabiltants, users or visitors? Is it well constructed and maintained? Is it beautiful?</p>

<p>Beauty in a college campus is largely in the eyes of the beholder. Do you prefer collegiate Gothic (Yale, Princeton) or red brick Georgian (Harvard)? Gothic evokes the religious roots of the university in medieval Europe. Georgian suggests a more American, revolutionary spirit. But for the average person not well schooled in architectural theory, there is no accounting for taste. </p>

<p>By the "firmness" test, all of the Ivies have stood the test of time. </p>

<p>So in my opinion, in judging these campuses the most significant feature that lends itslf to rational discussion is "commodity". How well does the campus setting and design accomodate the mission ojectives of a modern university? By that standard, in my judgement, Harvard has the best campus of the Ivy League schools. By comparison, Yale, Penn, and to some extent Columbia are all compromised by surrounding urban decay. Dartmouth and Cornell are in beautiful settings but remote from the resources of civic life (except to the extent these resources are provided by the institutions themselves). Harvard is located in a thriving, relatively safe urban setting with easy access to museums, theaters, the headquarters of cutting edge IT firms, and major transportation hubs. In addition, Harvard probably has the best research facilities (largest library system, etc.) of these schools.</p>

<p>For an environmental scientist or biologist, then Cornell or Dartmouth have the most commodious settings for field work.</p>

<p>Wait, how soon is this thread going to turn into "I hate Penn but Princeton is so beautiful" thread Johnadams? PM me and let me know.</p>

<p>John adams is a ******, he only put this thread to prove penn has an ugly campus to another member, which is nos true. A sad little man</p>

<p>Penn's campus is actually pretty spectacular, and the urban blight around it is steadily being turned into vibrant retail, dining and nice housing.</p>

<p>^ That's good to hear. I haven't been in that part of Philly recently. I understand Morningside Heights has improved greatly in the past few years, too.</p>

<p>I definitely like Penn. Among urban campuses, it is one of the nicer ones. And from what I hear, the city and university are investing hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars on the development of the areas surounding the University.</p>

<p>


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<p>Indeed! As reported in the national media (e.g., Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe), for the last 15 years Penn has been--and continues to be--THE leading example of an urban university investing in and reinvigorating its surrounding neighborhood:</p>

<p>Urban</a> Colleges Learn to Be Good Neighbors - washingtonpost.com</p>

<p>Colleges</a> Teach 'Urban Development 101' - WSJ.com</p>

<p>Penn's</a> $500m project could be Harvard's model - The Boston Globe</p>

<p>^^^^^^^^</p>

<p>If I remember correctly, they made an attempt in the 70's too. Unfortunately, the economy tanked pretty bad around 1975 and it was money down the drain. So, with the economy not so good as we speak, I hope their efforts aren't hurt again by unfortunate timing.</p>

<p>


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<p>This is a quite vigorous long-term policy (15 years and counting) that shouldn't be inordinately affected by the current economic downturn. During the tenures of President Rodin (1994-2004) and President Gutmann (2004-present), this strong commitment to the surrounding neighborhood has become deeply ingrained in Penn's DNA.</p>

<p>Of the Ivy campuses, I am most familiar with Penn and Princeton.</p>

<p>I love the authenticity of Penn's campus, how much it evokes the whole history of Philadelphia, and in particular I like Locust Walk. I am often in Philly on business and sometimes just go there just to walk around and think my own thoughts. When I'm in the right mood, it could literally move me to tears. </p>

<p>I think Princeton's campus is beautiful as well - just a different type of beauty. </p>

<p>It's of no importance to me to try to rank one as "better" than the other, any more than I'd try to rank a view of the ocean as being better than a view of the mountains. </p>

<p>And, of course, collecting "mass opinions" of which Ivy campuses are the prettiest is useless, because the only thing that matters is the personal taste / opinion of the beholder in question</p>

<p>Locust Walk is terrible, but the food at ABP is really good.</p>

<p>"...remote from the resources of civic life ..""</p>

<p>??? ***???</p>

<p>Granted Ithaca is a small city, with 30,000 residents and 100,000 in the metro area.</p>

<p>But the way some of these descriptions read you'd think it was located on Gilligan's Island or something. That is far from the case.</p>

<p>There are some bigger cities around there- Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo. But students rarely go to any of them. IIRC I went to each once or twice, for specific concerts or something, just for yucks. The "resources of civic life" that I required at the time were quite satisfactorily met in Ithaca.</p>

<p>I think Locust Walk is the nicest place in Philadelphia!</p>

<p>I go to Cornell and I even I think that UPenn actually has a pretty nice campus. I never really understood why people talk trash about their campus, as far as urban campuses go its very nice. I would say I like it more than Columbia and perhaps even Brown. However, its no Cornell, Princeton, or Yale</p>

<p>^ I have not visited Penn yet, but I was not impressed with Columbia during my two visits.</p>