You may know Seigle Hall for its towering four-stories of collegiate gothic architecture, its phantom woop-sounds, or its 145,736-square-feet of chest-thumping social science learnin’ space. But let’s face it, on that fraught walk past the bike racks, you’re only thinking one thing about the university’s LEED-certified behemoth: It has irrationally heavy doors.
Why must one of Wash U’s most beautiful buildings – inside and out – ruin its reputation with such a cumbersome entryway? One rationalization, taxingly offered by a friend of mine as he struggled against every Poli Sci major’s bête noire, was that Seigle’s unique status as an environmentally friendly building explained why the doors were so heavy. Because, science man, you know? But a cursory Google search of “LEED certification heavy doors” yielded no real results. Debunked!Harry and Susan Seigle, who are probably none too pleased about the door weight of their eponymous building (Credit: Joe Angeles)
Maybe it’s more nefarious: to keep all them social science haters out! Or maybe it’s more poignant: to keep all dat knowledge in! Whatever the reason, I dread class in Seigle for no other reason than the stupid doors – the enormous torque necessary to get those puppies started, the inescapable tendon strain they bring to my fatigued elbows, and the awkward social encounters they inescapably engender.
You know that day over summer break when you log on WebSTAC and it’s all like, hey cool, I can see where my classes are next semester? Oooh, how far are my walks in between class? WUT. I’ll never make that in time! Kelly, OMG, we can totes walk to Human Ev together! You’re dropping it? Um, like who am I going to sit with then? When the fuck were you going to mention this to me, Kelly?
Yeah, well for me, I simply ask: Do I have class in Seigle? Because if the answer is yes, better head straight to the gym.
Wash U boasts that Seigle is “noted for its well lit, airy hallways and glass-encased stairwells.” First, no, Seigle isn’t “noted” for anything other than its comically laborious doors. And second, what good is a showy foyer if you can’t actually get inside the thing?
That’s why I mourn for Eliot Hall. Apparently while I was abroad last semester (read: I went to Europe and am better than you), the university decided to demolish the impregnable bastion of 1970s neo-Mayan concrete architecture. Eliot was, admittedly, an eyesore. Not to mention a perennial campus joke. Still, it had character. It had chutzpah. And more than that, it had light fucking doors.
Not Seigle. Granted, the doors foster a sense of camaraderie absent from other doored campus locations. I am likely to hold open a Seigle door for a far-off stranger because it’s so heavy, and I’m just that chivalrous. This is sometimes received as a nice gesture, but it’s more often received as a sketchily nice gesture. Why are you holding the door open for that long, bro? Go Bears, or something, I don’t know – just go inside please.
Seriously though, if you want to have a laugh, camp outside of Seigle every half hour. Envision your derpiest Olympic shotput face. It’s great. Especially with the first-timers.
Ever wonder why the university was ranked as America’s most stressful campus? Seigle doors. Why Wash U Wok offers such stingy portions? Seigle doors. Why you can’t get bottled water on campus? Seigle doors. You get the picture.
Seigle-crafters Kallman, McKinnell & Wood Architects refused to comment for this story, citing the fact that I never asked them to as the main reason.