Stepping into the past and into Ordway Hall

Photo by Josh Wagner

Editorial By Ranger Staff

Stepping into Ordway Hall is like stepping into the past. It feels like a place where one might find some stuffy rich kid wearing a blazer and smoking in the men’s room.

In Ordway, you feel like you could bump into Holden Caulfield or the cast of The Dead Poets Society at any moment.

Ordway Hall is the oldest building on the Washington Street Campus. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has been inside.

The building was constructed in 1936-37 as the administration building when Amarillo College moved to Washington Street, and it later was given its familiar name in honor of George Ordway, the first president of the board of trustees and one of two men responsible for establishing AC.

The classrooms today may be equipped with projection screens and high-powered computers, but the actual building still is all original.

The age of the building is a nice treat for the adventurous or curious student, but it also applies to some of the stalls in the men’s room, so be careful.

Just being in Ordway can make a person feel smarter.

Walk into an empty classroom for some peace and quiet and a place to reflect on the grand tradition of higher education.

The accessibility of most parts of the building reflects the belief that education should be available to all.

Ordway certainly is inspiring, but it also holds many mysteries.

Carved into each of the western corners are pairs of gnomes engaged in the acts of reading and writing.

They may seem a little scary at first, but don’t worry, they are there to learn, just like us. There also is the four-story tower on the southwest corner that was built for no immediately apparent reason. Students can visit the Natural History Museum from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The exhibits there are not just from the Texas Panhandle, but from all over the world. So students have a chance to see something they may never have seen before. Just drop by sometime.

It doesn’t take long to see everything, and the workers there might appreciate the company.

Ordway also is home to the Writers’ Corner, where students can get help with those troublesome papers that tend to be graded on grammar and syntax.

Ordway Hall has been registered as a Texas Historic Landmark since 2008, meaning it’s safe from all the cold, modern renovation and construction projects going on around campus.

Ordway is not just a landmark to the state of Texas; it is also a treasure for any AC student.

Fun fact: Free soda and party supplies in locker No. 10.


Originally published: Thursday, October 20, 2011

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