A lot has changed since 1971.
Temple has seen four university presidents, the rise and fall of the John Chaney era, and the complete metamorphosis of the university into a residential campus.
But one thing that’s remained the same is Temple Towers, the not-so-aptly named residence at 13th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
But the Board of Trustees announced last month that the diminutive towers would receive their first upgrade since they were built nearly 40 years ago.
It’s about time.
The announcement ends nearly three years of uncertainty over the future of the residences, which faced possible demolition in 2006 when The Temple News [“Will Temple Towers Fall?” Megan Kelsey, Feb. 7, 2006] reported that the Trustees had brought in a consultant to consider the future of the residences.
While it was once a desirable destination – juniors and seniors were housed there before losing guaranteed off-campus housing – in recent years, Temple Towers has become known as the lowest level in campus living. While it’s difficult enough for students to stay on top of normal responsibilities like laundry and garbage, it’s even harder to try to instill a sense of pride in one’s residence when it’s in disrepair.
When they were built, upperclassmen had few options for living on campus. A large population of upperclassmen were commuters, more so than today.
But the fruition of Peter Liacouras’ dream of a “Temple Town” has rendered the once desirable residences obsolete. Today, when Temple students want to live communally, there are myriad options near campus, many of which are less expensive than participating in the Temple housing system.
Despite that, the university’s growing population of underclassmen has created a crisis situation for new, mostly suburban students who need on-campus housing. Freshmen and sophomores need a place to live, and the proposed funding for Temple Towers will work to resurrect the dormitory as a desirable address.
For too long, the students who have been placed in Temple Towers have taken it for granted. Specific renovations are still in the planning stages. While it may be impossible to get students to take care of their own trash and laundry, changes at Temple Towers could generate a sense of propriety for the students who call it home.
Just as long as we don’t wait 40 years to renovate it again.