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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #61: Huddleston Hall, University of New Hampshire, Durham

Often resulting in the infamous Huddle puddle. If you know, you know.

During my undergraduate days at UNH, students had three dining hall options: Stillings (Swillings, complete with Food River and one-armed Darlene checking cards, destination of Area I), Philbrook (Spillbrook, up in the woods of Area III, green room left), and Huddleston. As a denizen of Area II and a MUB rat, Huddleston was my home ground. Specifically, Lower Hudd, eating chickwiches or Crunchberries with Joel Mellin or Dina Marie Varsalone or Jen Strickland Cyr or a host of Senate types over the years. It was a cozy, homey little environment. We had Frank in his wheelchair as our card swiper - he was even amenable to bending the rules for regulars and typing in your ID number if you forgot your card. During my term as student body president he was suspended for that kindness, resulting in perhaps the most united student response I ever saw.

Lower Hudd is faculty dining now, and Andy Smith's Survey Center alongside the Carsey Institute, while the upper dining floor has become catering space. The top flight of the building is full of a variety of academic and research offices, including the sprawling Justiceworks suite I helped spawn with Ted Kirkpatrick and Charlie Putnam. Tim MacKinnon, Lauren Osowski, Sienna Creasy, Robyn Mantel and others will remember those rooms, with their arched windows and narrow halls, furnished with chairs and tables and other accoutrements begged, borrowed, or stolen from across campus. I was there the summer they blasted the ledge for the foundations of Holloway Hall, my desk shaking with each explosion.

It's not the most beautiful building on campus, but I certainly have many memories of both my student and staff lives at UNH that involve the place. Oh, and as much as Facebook wants to argue differently, the building was named after long-dead architect Eric Huddleston, not current president Mark W Huddleston. Sorry Mark!

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