Vernon Louis Parrington Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus and houses the graduate school with arguably the vaguest academic discipline in the university, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs. While I withhold my bad jokes about the School of Public Affairs, I will tell you that Mr. Parrington was the University of Oklahoma’s first football coach and that Mr. Evans is a former Senator and governor (R-WA) in the 60’s. It can be assumed that the latter very much involved in several public affairs and is a fitting namesake to the schools.
Parrington is located north of the World War II memorial cul-de-sac on Memorial Drive, right by the stairs between Kane and Odegaard. Since it’s the home to a graduate school the majority of students will rarely ever have a class there save for a very occasional humanities class or quiz section that snags a room there. What its role is most of the time is that really old building that’s not Denny Hall that everyone walks by but never ventures into. Enticing is the quaint coffee bar that’s usually hidden by a huddle of grad students discussing various public affairs, but it’s really not worth it; the line is usually long and it’s really not that great of coffee. They also close really early, around 4 or so.
Given that Parrington is one of the oldest buildings on campus, I’m going to guess that it’s undergone at least a couple renovations since its opening in 1902. Who knows what the second floor men’s room looked like in its original form? Perhaps only the likes of Daniel J. Evans himself would know, as he graduated from UW in 1948 and will celebrate his 88th birthday this year. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.
This was one of the stranger bathrooms I’ve been to on campus simply because of the décor and the surreal atmosphere it exudes upon walking in. The most noticeable trait of this bathroom is the stall made of what I believe was the white walls with black marbling. You don’t expect that sort of opulence when you walk into a bathroom. The size of the bathroom made the marble that much more noticeable; this room is small, containing only one urinal and one stall. As I went to pee, I was looking down at the floor and noticed white hexagonal tiles.
But then I looked at the walls and they had really glossy white rectangular tiles. Throw in the clouded windows opposite from the urinal and stall and that is sensory overload!
Too many textures are playing out simultaneously for this to be a relaxing experience. And with how small it is, the room becomes that much more intense as every sensory input is concentrated that much. I was getting a headache just standing there waiting for the old guy that was just getting out of the stall to wash his hands in the lone sink.
When the old man moved out of the way to dry his hands, I finally got a look at wall with the sink mounted to it, I saw one of the strangest things I have seen in a bathroom in recent memory.
Could it be? A framed picture of clip art of toilets? In a bathroom? What is going on? I looked around in disbelief only to see the door of the marble stall made out of wood. This was just too much. Who on Earth comes up with this sort of decorating scheme? This was either the work of a directionless interior designer or a surrealist genius. This bathroom is brilliant. I will only say the major drawback for this one is the long flight of stairs you need to climb (it is at the top of the left staircase as you enter PAR). This should definitely not be a go-to hotspot by any means but with how badly everything clashes and the really great toilet picture on the wall it’s too funny to not enjoy every now and then walking along Memorial Drive.