West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University in the Summertime

Last week, Eric attended a conference up at Purdue. I accompanied him (we were heading to a wedding in Ft. Wayne afterward) and had a very enjoyable day walking around campus. I've been to Purdue countless times (my three best friends from high school went there, and DePauw is just an hour away, so I visited frequently) but mostly only in the winter (winter is, uh, cold and windy, not ideal for walking leisurely around outside). I've been there in the summer twice but neither visit did I have much unaccounted for time to wander around. So, I spent several hours enjoying campus in the summer (hardly any people around on the 25th of May), going places and eating food recommended by my friends.

We stayed at the hotel in the Union building, so my walk started there.

Then I headed down the road to the main part of campus. First up comes the bell tower, which is the 3rd tower the campus has had. The first one burned down four days after it was built in 1894. The second one, built 9 bricks higher than the first, was torn down in 1956 to make room for a building. This one has been here since 1995. The four bells in the tower are the originals. More information here.

Next is the engineering fountain, probably the most iconic part of the campus and known for "fountain runs". I enjoyed the spray this day, too, as it was already really hot even before lunchtime. I stopped here for about an hour and watched families play, runners cool off, students lay out on beach towels, and people stroll by heading to lunch.

From this angle, you can also watch tiny planes come in to land behind the bell tower. There were several but I never managed to get a photo in time.

From there I headed toward the engineering building. I wanted to get the sign below from the front, but there is a bunch of construction happening in between it and the football stadium so everything was blocked off.

Turn right toward the engineering building and you'll find Neil Armstrong. He is gazing out across his moon footsteps, which are shown in cement (see two photos down).

Inside the engineering building is this Air Force plane, which gets no description anywhere...

...and a full scale replica of the Apollo I command module capsule. Two astronauts who were Purdue graduates died in a training exercise inside Apollo I on the pad in 1967 (Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffey). There is an entire museum in Spring Mill State Park (in Mitchell, near Bedford) dedicated to Gus Grissom (more info here). We've been to it and it contains a lot of information about the astronaut.

At this point, I left the engineering building to head back to the hotel to meet up with Eric. That evening we walked over to Lafayette for dinner via the pedestrian bridge near the movie theater and I enjoyed taking some photos of this fountain. The last time I was on this bridge, I was in disguise taking secret proposal photos for Ryan and Nicole. It hasn't changed at all, not even the colors of the flowers in the pots.

Dinner took us past the courthouse square in downtown Lafayette. Nearly all courthouses in Indiana are beautiful, and this one was lit up really nicely.

A very pleasant little trip behind "enemy" lines - glad I got to explore it in the summertime.

PS. I also had a really good time eating around campus. I had crepes and delicious tea lattes at Greyhouse Coffee (recommended by Nicole) for breakfast and lunch at Maru Sushi for sushi that was some of the best I've had.
West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University in the Summertime West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University in the Summertime Reviewed by Maria on 3:05:00 PM Rating: 5

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