Campus Quirks: The Oddities Of The Multi-Purpose O'Connell House
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 19:09
A typical Sunday afternoon finds you stirring, sluggishly awakening from that recurrent weekend hibernation to dormant determination, despite your whopping load of homework. But persevere you must, and as some meager amount of unbeknownst energy leads you from your bed to your closet a ghastly recognition dawns upon you: your hamper, filled to the very brim with your dresser’s contents, reeks subtly, and your default study outfit is long overdue for a washing.
Groggily, you separate whites from darks, grab your bulky bottle of Tide, and ransack your backpack until you find your student ID. To the lone washing machine of Fitzpatrick three you head with outrageously foolish hopes of finding it vacant, and, sure enough, a cruel, green “17” blinks mockingly at your naivete, the wrecking ball to all of your laundry dreams and ambitions. And, disinclined to face the same disappointment upon reaching four occupied washers and dryers in the basement, you decide to haul your overflowing basket to the O’Connell House, wherein the abundance of washing appliances certainly will do the trick.
From O’Connell’s aged aroma and lavish furnishings to its solitary printer tucked away in a desolate corner of one of the upstairs rooms, the place definitely strikes any fledgling freshman as quirky. Daytime brings few visitors to the otherwise deserted estate, until 8 p.m., when the student union hosts a plethora of activities and events to entertain the BC community.
Ping-pong, foosball, darts, and billiards create within the second floor game room an atmosphere of rivalry and hilarity, as tournaments attract many a competitor to the challenge. Pianists and vocalists alike flock to the music room to exercise their melodious skills, karaoke, and open mic sessions allow individuals to share vocal and artistic endeavors, and the dance studio at the back of the house hosts dance classes and certain BC club meetings. In addition to the extra curricular activities hosted within O’Connell, a multitude of comfortable couches, tables, and chairs fosters an excellent study environment. And if none of the aforementioned fits your fancy, over 500 newly-released DVD’s are available for renting.
Although the hall is quite creepy due to the many private, “no entry” rooms, few areas of construction, and musty, cavernous nature, it does have good reason to be. The O’Connell House was constructed as a distinguished palace at the turn of the 20th century by the famous baron Louis K. Ligett before being given to Cardinal O’Connell, until the Church bequeathed it to a young Boston College in 1937. The building has since housed the School of Management, a football dorm, a Jesuit residence, and classroom facilities. Therefore, while ominous it is indeed, this may be allocated, in part, to its great age and variety of uses.
After touring the O’Connell House in all of its allure and splendor, you remember the slightly stinking bunch of clothes that you left on the ground floor and the daunting pile of homework that begs your attention, and you retreat downstairs stubbornly. As you reach the bottom stair, piano music suddenly breaks the air’s silence, and the house you thought was deserted becomes increasingly spooky when you dash out of the front entrance, forgetting your dirty clothes entirely.