Eastern’s Log Cabin, between Doane Hall and the gymnasium, undoubtedly lends aesthetic value to the school’s campus. However, that is one of the few advantages the cabin has going for it.
Unopened for years, the cabin has remained locked up due to its decrepit condition. The building is ridden with insects; the wood is rotting; and it poses a potential fire hazard.
Plans to tear it down were in the works in the past; but local preservation groups stepped in and protested the razing of what they claim is a historical site. Inspectors of the cabin have differed on whether or not the cabin is salvageable.
Vice President of Student Development Bettie Ann Brigham pointed out that the real reason the cabin has not been torn down for better utilization of the space is because of the funds required to do so.
“It’s not necessarily a danger or an eyesore yet,” Brigham said. “We’re just not the historical preservation society. We’re a learning institution. We do value its historical value, but its restoration is not conducive to our mission.”
Brigham expressed that while the university would love to see the building restored, what they would really like to see replace it is a wide open space with picnic tables and even Wi-Fi access.
The Student Government Association is currently working on a proposal for such a plan. Based on a recent student poll, senior and SGA President Marvin Jones said that the Log Cabin was one of two primary issues concerning students living on campus. Jones said they will be presenting their proposal to President Black and the Board of Trustees in the near future. Joshua Sholly, president of the sophomore class, pointed out that they are specifically asking that the area be turned into a “recreational activity area.”
Originally a family clubhouse and the first building on the Walton property, the cabin suffered fire damage from a conflagration years ago. With the hazard that fire poses and the cost required to fix the cabin, renovation appears to be out of the question at this point. Students expecting to see the cabin replaced with a student center or recreational area will have to put their hopes on hold for now.
Information gathered from The Suburban and Wayne Times.