Intercom Online......June 15, 2000

And the walls came tumbling down

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Demolition of the former Paul Robeson Cultural Center on the University Park campus, as seen from inside the gallery.
Photo: Greg Grieco

"Temporary" building finally dismantled

With the Paul Robeson Cultural Center completely moved into its new home in the HUB-Robeson Center on the University Park campus, the old building -- intended for temporary use but in service for more than 50 years -- has been demolished.

The yellow, wood-framed structure originally served as a World War II recreation building in Lebanon, Pa. It was shipped to the University Park campus to serve as a temporary student union building in 1947.

After the Hetzel Union Building opened in 1955, the building took on a number of roles before becoming the Black Cultural Center in 1971 and finally the Paul Robeson Cultural Center.

On this page are glimpses of the demolition process, captured by photographer Greg Grieco.

 

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Above, a worker clears debris from the site before the remainder of the building, seen in the background, is torn down. A new chemistry building is planned for the site in the future.
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  Chias Cerritos, left, and Joel Johnson, from Nastase Construction Co., secure the area around the former Paul Robeson Cultural Center before the building is torn down, above.

The auditorium stands nearly empty in the days leading up to the demolition.

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Chain-link fencing completely surrounded the building and adjacent area before the demolition could begin.

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