As Ohio University prepares to move into the new Baker University Center, three events commemorate the significance of the building that has served campus since 1954.
ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 8, 2006) -- In all the excitement surrounding the opening of the new Baker University Center, some conscientious members of the Ohio University community wanted to make sure another important milestone didn't pass without fanfare: the closing of the current Baker Center.
Bruce Dalzell, coordinator of the Front Room's long-running Open Stage, has assembled 13 acts for The Last Hurrah, an event commemorating the coffee house's final performance. It will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, and is free and open to the public.
All of the concert's musical guests are Front Room alumni. Some, including Dalzell, are alumni of its predecessor, the Frontier Room. Acts will include favorites such as The Kings of Hollywood, The Local Girls and Realbilly Jive and will range from sensitive singer-songwriting to country-based acoustic and Celtic bands.
"We have a lot of folks who have performed from the '60s to now," he says. Of the Front Room's significance over the past two decades, he says, "I would call it the cornerstone of the Athens music scene."
In addition to Saturday's musical extravaganza, the Baker Center Farewell Committee -- comprising several Baker Center staff members -- invites the campus and wider communities to a farewell open house from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. The event will be held in the 1804 Lounge and will feature a display of Baker Center mementos from University Archives and Special Collections as well as time for those attending to share their own Baker Center memories. Light refreshments will be served.
"Think about all the hours you spent working and playing, all the events you attended, all the people you met, all the speakers you heard, all the friendships you formed, and all the memories you made within the walls of Baker Center," says Mickey Hart, a member of the committee whose office is in the center. "It is the end of an era at Ohio University."
A farewell lunch buffet is planned for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, in the Baker Center Stateroom. Sponsored by Baker Center Catering, the event is open to the public. Cost for the lunch is $7 for one or $10 for a couple. For reservations, call 593-4035.
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