Photo Album - Page 21

Photos by Fred Cerwick, 1972

Another view of Acton Ostling conducting

When Hilton Coluseum was finally opened, the little pep band could hardly hear themselves blow,
so it was time to get more organized.  It was like playing outside!

Hilton Coliseum: An Exciting First Year

Like all large projects, Hilton Coliseum was plagued by all the little bugs that seem to come creeping out when a project nears completion.  Hilton was originally scheduled to be ready for the Spring 1971 graduation, but construction difficulties prevented it from opening on time.  Then a "Hilton Coliseum Week" was set aside in September for the gala opening.  Plans were cancelled when a majority of the seats and other finishing touches were not installed on time.  Once the coliseum was finally opened skating and hockey enthusiasts found they had to change their plans since, due to equipment and sesign ploblems, the ice would not be ready.

Yet once the Coliseum opened, it proved to be the main topic of conversation for the year.  Students and alumni were obviously proud of the new addition to the Iowa State Center: "It's impressive!  Hilton and C.Y. are the two things you can really be proud of around here.  They're places that everybody points to when they want to show off the school."  Some students were afraid that the coliseum, which had been intended for a variety of uses, was becoming too oriented to athletics.  "It seems like it was an awful lot of money to spend on what seems like just glorifying athletics."

The official debut coincided with the Ames debut of Maury John and his Cyclone basketball team.  The building was at its best.  The mercury vapor lights, especially installed for color television, bathed the floor.  The scoreboards colorfully displayed a summary of the game as it proceeded.  the sound system seemed to work well and the promise of a $10,000 organ made up for the faint portable organ music.  Through the entire games, the capacity crowd was kept at a constant 72 degrees and 35% humidity.  Indeed, there wasn't a bad seat in the beamless house.

The first year was an exciting one.  Athletic event after athletic events received wide publicity.  But the special rooms and the other uses of the coliseum received very little mention.  One could almost wonder if they were used at all.  But the use of the building in coming years truly determined the fears of athletic-conscious students were not founded.  Hilton Coliseum will remain one of the most impressive buildings on campus.

Band rehearsal scene seen reflected in a the bell of a brass instrument

Ralph Borck

Dr. Lawrence Burkhalter, the orchestra leader and the Music Department Chair
His office was the first room just inside Music Hall.

Exhibit Hall rehearsal view

vocal rehearsal view, top floor of Morrill Hall

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