Sarah Lawrence has an awkward history with the surrounding houses. When Sarah Lawrence wanted to buy two buildings (assumed to be Warren and Perkins) in May 1929, the neighbors protested, saying that they had loud parties late at night.
The fence along Meadway historically would be a cut-off line from the college and the surrounding community. That was no longer the case after the college bought the Meadway houses. What was once simply part of Lawrence Park became a new section of campus. The college zoning laws of the ‘80s in Yonkers restricted expansion of the campus during the Yonkers housing segregation issue. However, even with the sections campus that’s already been bought, we still see remnants of the original expansions with the fences blocking mid campus.
“I hate the fences. It makes it hard to get anywhere on main campus,” said KG Garlington (’18), who lives in Lynd and has to walk a longer distance along Kimball Avenue to get to the North Lawn due to one of Sarah Lawrence’s fences.
This semester, the fence was finally taken down, making it easier for the students who live on Meadway to enter mid-campus.
“Various facilities studies undertaken by the College have all indicated the immense aesthetic and practical appeal of removing the fencing so that the perimeter line separating the historic core of campus from the Mead Way homes disappears,” said Kyle E. Wilkie, Assistant Vice President for Campus Operations and Planning.
Part of the financial support for this fence removal project came from Vicki Ford, class of 1960 and member of the board of trustees. Vicki Ford dedicated some of her annual money to the college to renovate Gilbert and beautify Meadway.
“This spring, we will identify areas where trees and seating areas could be added to create small gathering areas where seating will be installed. Vicki Ford has been passionate about creating informal areas for students to gather and is responsible for many of the benches that are seen throughout campus,” said Wilkie.
Many students seem excited about this change.
Victoria Silva (’18) said, “I’m happy about that because I didn’t want a fence there to begin with. It had no purpose and it separated the Meadway houses, so you’d have to find one of the openings. I think that’s good for the school’s image to have some benches there to make it be a student friendly area.”
Joseph McFarland '16