Merrill Library Demolition

Merrill Library Demolition April 2006

Merrill Library Demolition time-lapse video from April 2006

(Click image to view video)

By the early 2000s, the Merrill Library had outgrown its space and a decision was made to demolish the 1967 structure and build a new library off of the existing Cazier Science and Technology Library. Once the new Merrill-Cazier Library opened its doors in September of 2005, the process began to demolish the old Merrill Library. It was razed March–April 2006 after serving the campus for seventy-five years.

Gallery: Graffiti of the Move

I do think it [the graffiti efforts] made the moving process real for people. It made them realize they were leaving something behind. Even though the artwork was transitory and ephemeral, it kind of served as a memorial to the old building.” —Steven Harris, former library employee

During the spring and summer of 2005, as word spread that the demolition date was scheduled for the Merrill Library, several employees began a “grassroots, in-house graffiti campaign,” adorning their offices walls with graffiti artwork.[1] The graffiti ended up serving as a “community conversation in the Merrill Library [that] worked like a good joke, to vent, release, and have fun.”[2] Fife Folklore Archives Curator and Oral History Specialist Randy Williams collected and documented much of this graffiti art before the Merrill Library’s demolition along with employees’ reactions from their graffiti experience. This gallery contains many of those images captured during the finals days of the Merrill Library. Also included are Randy Williams’s “Graffiti of the Move” presentation slides and notes describing the graffiti experience for a talk she gave at the 2006 American Folklore Society Annual Meeting.

[1] Randy Williams, “Graffiti of the Move” (presentation notes, American Folklore Society Conference, Milwaukee, WI, October 20, 2006), 1–2.
[2] Williams, “Graffiti of the Move,” 6.