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[Photo Story] Penn State Building Interior Superlatives

At Penn State, you’ve got the buildings that everyone loves and frequently roams, like the HUB, the library, Old Main, just to name a few. But it’s been a while since masses of students walked the halls of what makes up much of Penn State’s campus: the academic buildings!

It’s been a while since some of us saw the interiors of some classroom buildings. While the halls of the buildings are still relatively quiet, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst interiors across campus.

The ‘It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane!’ Award For Stealing The HUB’s Thunder

While it’s just a taste of what the HUB’s ceiling offers, it just looks better inside the Steidle Building. Not to mention, Steidle is plenty quieter than the HUB. If you’re trying to look at a cool-looking ceiling in peace, this building is definitely for you.

The ‘King Of The World’ Award For Having A Powerful Overlook

Plenty of buildings have good views of the outdoors that make you feel like you’re on top of the world, but few have both the overlook and the view indoors. The Leonhard Building’s overlook into its FAME Lab is quite the sight, and certainly gives you the feeling that you’re the one in charge.

The ‘It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts’ Award For, ‘Well…I’m Sorry. It’s Just…Yeah.’

I try my best to avoid the word “ugly,” but I’m pretty certain that the Chambers Building doesn’t come to mind when you think about the prettiest building on campus from the outside.

I will say, however, its interior is quite nice. The natural light shines beautifully across the lobby of the building, and the main stairwell to the second floor is aesthetically pleasing. Make sure you just stare at the lights of the science education wall on the left side of the first floor, too. You’ll be glad you did.

Most Likely To Make You Trip Upstairs

Measuring at 7 inches per stair (yes, I measured), Hammond’s stairs may not sound like much. However, those inches add up quickly if you’re looking to go from the first floor to the third floor. It actually adds up to approximately 21 feet upward in stairs, just through 36 steps. In total, let’s just say it’s much easier to move laterally than it is to move longitudinally in the building.

Most Likely To Double As A Museum

If you’ve ever walked into the first floor of the McAllister Building, you’ll quickly be met with an elegant ambiance. Dark lighting, sculptures, framed art…I almost feel like I accidentally walk into an art gala whenever I walk into this building. That said, if the Palmer Art Museum could ever use some extra space, I think a few pieces of art can easily be placed in the McAllister building.

The CAPS Award For Trying To Become The Best Version Of Yourself

The Tyson Building was undergoing some construction on the exterior of the building over the course of the fall 2020 semester. While you can actually enter through the front entrance of the building now, it’s still a bit of a work in progress. I have a feeling it’ll look great once it’s completed, though.

Most Likely To Serve As A Field Trip Destination For A Middle School History Class

Remember field trips? I do. I even bet that when there are field trips again, students in middle school will be getting their permission slips signed to go visit the Carnegie Building for their history class. Just look at this stairwell! It may not have any real historical significance, but the interior designers really nailed the 19th-century look, so at least it looks historic.

Most Likely To Make You A Little Uncomfortable

The Agricultural Science and Industry Building has a stellar interior. Not too flashy, not too dull. That is, until you get to the fifth floor, where you can meet plenty of six-legged (or eight-legged) friends.

Personally, I’m not so much a fan of the thought of a glass tank suddenly not separating me and these creatures, so it’s safe to say that this is the academic building that has the best chance to make me uneasy.

The ‘Entrance-To-Major Course Experience’ Award For Starting Out Great & Then Getting Scary

If you’re in a major that has entrance-to-major requirements, you’ll know exactly what I mean. For the first few weeks, everything’s going well, and you’re sailing along with a good grade in the class. All of a sudden, before a midterm, there’s that one concept that you just don’t understand, and it all snowballs from there. The Osmond Lab does just that, starting with a welcoming lobby, but quickly transitioning to a dark, bleak hallway. Cs get degrees, folks.

Most Likely To Double As A Haunted House

The Henderson Building just needs to turn the lights out, and it’ll already be ready to open up to folks who are itching to walk through a building and scream for $15. It has all the elements in play: a fireplace, a framed photo of someone above the fireplace, elegant hallways. Come October, a dark Henderson Building would be quite the scary sight!

The ‘Hannah Montana’ Award For Giving Visitors The Best Of Both Worlds

The Reber Building can do it all. When you’re in either wing of the building, you get the vibe that it’s an old, classic building. But if you walk to the center of the building where the E-Knowledge Commons is located, the atmosphere blasts into the future with a more modern look. The building rocks both looks!

The Worst Classroom Building Interior

No building is as consistently dark and musty as the Boucke Building. The classrooms themselves aren’t too bad, but I simply don’t like how I feel like I’m about to be in a scene of “Fight Club” every time I enter the halls of the building. I’ve had only one class in Boucke Building, and I ended up dropping it during syllabus week. I just don’t enjoy a constantly dark classroom building.

The Best Classroom Building Interior

Not too old, not too new. Welcoming and warm. Spread out. These are just some of the features I love about the inside of the Stuckeman Family Building. On top of the benefits I listed, it was practically empty when I visited. If you’re looking for some peace, quiet, and comfort, the Stuckeman Family Building is a recommendable hidden gem on campus.

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About the Author

Michael Tauriello

Michael is a senior(!) majoring in industrial engineering originally hailing from outside of Frederick, Maryland and is Onward State's visual editor. In his spare time, he likes to explain to his friends why Mint Nittany ice cream is clearly superior to Bittersweet Mint, discuss '80s music as if it was just released yesterday, or stand around at the top of a parking deck. You can find him on Twitter talking about things only he finds interesting or making dad jokes @mtauriello_.

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