“They’re Breaking Me Down, To Build Me Over Again….”
Source: The Auburn Villager (file photo)
It’s almost time, folks—our questions will be answered yea or nay; our day of reckoning is at hand; in less than a week, toe meets leather on season 2016 on the Plains. We’ve read and speculated on what this year’s edition of our Men in Blue are going to look like, and we all have high hopes and expectations for them.
Obviously, we hope that our beloved Tigers look a little different than last year in terms of the final record. We have seen both coaching and personnel changes from last year and certainly from our near-championship year. And of course, each individual player, whether a veteran on the Plains or a freshman just coming in, must undergo a variety of changes in himself to grow into the player—and person—that he was meant to be.
Likewise, the campus of Auburn University itself is changing, growing, and developing. Usually, building up something new is preceded by tearing down something old. Of course, this isn’t a new phenomenon, as this was going on while I attended school there. I remember “the night they drove old Maggot down” as the Magnolia Hall dormitories made way for the new College of Business building. Also, old Broun Hall on Magnolia Avenue turned into new Broun Hall on the same site, and in a interesting case of mixing old and new, the historic columns from old Broun Hall became the portico for the new ROTC complex on Donahue Drive (which itself supplanted a small service building, I believe).
I just now heard the news that my first dorm at Auburn, the Caroline Draughon Village Extension, is being demolished. That got me reflecting on my own memories of that complex along with wanting to know more of the history behind the name.
The original Caroline Draughon Village, nestled near the foot of Magnolia Street, was a quaint group of buildings built in 1959 to provide housing for married students. In 1965, the complex was named after Caroline Marshall Draughon, the wife of retiring long-term university president Ralph Brown Draughon. The naming was altogether appropriate as Caroline Draughon recognized that more and more Auburn students following World War II were married and that many of those students were men whose wives worked to put them through school. Mrs. Draughon kept these students’ spouses involved in the university and presided at a ceremony before each graduation, conferring on these noble wives the “PHT” degree (which stood for “Pushing Hubby Through”). The wrecking ball met up with this historic complex in 2006, but Caroline Draughon’s name has lived on, now attached to the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities.
What became known as “New CDV” was built between Wire Road and (what was then) Roosevelt Drive and Thatch Avenue in 1979, only four years before I set foot on the Plains. This wasn’t really an extension of the older Village but a completely new apartment complex located about half a mile away from the married-student housing, still at (what was then) the extreme west end of campus. New CDV comprised six buildings arranged in a three-pointed star configuration surrounding a three-legged courtyard. The complex also featured a fully-stocked convenience store, snack bar, and laundromat in a separate service building at one end. Parking was plentiful, and, although the complex was at the edge of campus, just about all my classes and activities were easy walks.
Each apartment consisted of two bedrooms, housing two folks each, with a common kitchen/dining area and bathroom. The bedrooms were furnished with metal modular units for beds, desks, shelves, and drawers, which could be arranged and re-arranged into a nearly infinite number of combinations. In fact, one of our family’s neighbors told my mother that move-in day for her son, who preceded me to Auburn and New CDV, was completely absorbed by him and his roommate trying to figure out the best configuration of their furnishings. It didn’t take that long for my roommate and me to come up with an arrangement, and he only changed his side of the room once. I can say that no two rooms I saw there had the same arrangement.
After my first year of college, I decided I had enough of “independent living” for awhile and came home for the summer. When I returned in the fall, I secured an off-campus hole-in-the-wall studio apartment on North Donahue, just down from Momma Goldberg’s. I lived there by myself for my remaining time at AU. Of course, like almost everything else I had anything to do with, they knocked down those units along with the other crummy apartments in that area, in order to put up “Tailgate City” (I think it is called “Auburn’s Gameday Center” now).
I understand that New CDV hadn’t been occupied since 2010, right after they created the Auburn Village student housing area (which took up the old military parade grounds as well as a chunk of Wire Road). According to Auburn’s facilities department, “CDV Extension…does not meet the needs of today’s students.” It had four walls and indoor plumbing, so I can’t really see what today’s student’s needed there that we did not (I mean, wifi can’t be that hard to install). I am still surprised at the abandonment and demolition, especially since one of the proposed uses of the property is additional student housing. I guess that goes to show that bureaucratic inanity will probably never change!
(who remembers the aphorism, “The only constant in this world is change!)
P.S. Here is the source of the title of this article—maybe some of the older folks (or 3rd Division soldiers) will remember this.
P.P.S. I have to thank the leadership of TET for putting up with my long dry spell and allowing me to continue being a contributing part of this great enterprise!