June is Limestone Month in southern Indiana, so what better time to honor this architectural staple of Indiana University's Bloomington campus. The schools, residence halls and administrative buildings are passed hundreds of times a day, but many of their unique carvings can go unnoticed. Here are a few to look out for that embody the beauty of the IU's campus.
Perched on top of Goodbody Hall is a friendly bird. The Goodbody duck, wearing glasses and a mortarboard, has the initials AWS, standing for "Association of Women Students." Goodbody Hall, built in 1936 to serve as a women's residence hall, has continued to grow and serve many different purposes over the years. With the Wells Quad renovations, it has now been reverted back to student housing. This charming creature on the west entrance of the building will make anyone's day.
Bacterium, fruit flies, mushroom, corn, mouse and a single cell paramecium
Whether someone's a lover of all things science or barely passed biology back in the day, Simon Hall is a necessary stop on everyone's limestone parade. Designed by Indiana sculptor Amy Brier, these items ring the outside of the science building, and between each piece lie carved letters of a mouse's DNA sequence. The Chemistry Building's limestone exterior reflects its purpose as well. Covering the building are elemental and alchemical symbols. Walk around the building and search for SnF2 -- stannous fluoride -- a major ingredient in Crest toothpaste, which was created in the 1950s in that exact building.
Owls, owls and more owls
The most common carving on campus, besides the names of buildings, are owls. There are 12 individual owls on six different buildings; Memorial Hall is home to five of them. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled in order to spot these hidden birds. The carving above, located on the arch of Memorial Hall, depicts a sleeping student with a miniature owl lounging on his shoulder. Look to the right to see what appears to be an angry professor ringing a bell to wake up the student.
Veritas Filia Temporis
Ballantine Hall may not the most ornate building the Bloomington campus has to offer. However, there is a special relief tucked away on its west side. Created in 1959 by Robert Laurent, who we can also thank for Showalter Fountain, is the carving "Veritas Filia Temporis." The latin words translate as "Truth is the daughter of time." This stone treasure is the perfect stop in the central part of campus.
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center courtyard
When you've worked or lived in Bloomington long enough, it's easy to overlook some of the details. While this engraving of letters might not look like much from afar, up close the wall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center courtyard has an extensive outline technique. Approach the wall and notice that the designer carved the shadows of each letter instead of the actual outline; the eyes are able to fill in the rest. Make sure to pay a visit to this visually dynamic wall.
See it all
If you have the time, spend the afternoon taking Brian Keith's Follow the Limestone tour through campus. Enter through the Sample Gates and stop to learn about each place with a brief overview. Hit all 30 stops on the tour or pick and choose the ones that interest you most.