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OP-ED: They Should Just Stack the High Rises on Top of Each Other


Photo (with edits) by the Daily Pennsylvanian

If there’s one thing I love about the University of Pennsylvania, it’s the high rises. Nothing screams Ivy League like 25 beige stories studded with sparsely dispersed windows, adding some much-needed cement to the historical West Philly landscape. The high rises are truly an outstanding architectural feat, and it’s no wonder second-year students are eager to pay $15,418 for a breathtaking view—either of the Philadelphia skyline or of one of the other high rises.

But when I do trek to those beloved dorms to visit friends, hookups, and everything in between, I often find myself yearning for an elevator ride that’s just a little longer. Which is why I propose that they just stack the high rises on top of each other.

As an urban institution unable to expand our campus without purchasing fast food restaurants, consider the amount of space that would be saved on the ground. Penn could repurpose this space for new academic facilities, a thousand tiny homes, or a second Kelly Writers House. 

Additionally, the 75 floors would foster an increased sense of community amongst Penn’s second-year students. They could add cafés in all of the elevators so residents of the higher floors can grab a bite to eat on their long way down. Your friends could all hang out and exclude you without even having to step outside.

From a financial standpoint, Penn could also save money on fire detection systems by simply not installing fire alarms on the 50th floor and up (let’s be real—they’re not gonna make it out in time anyways).

Once I get an architecture student to back me up on this, I plan on bringing my proposal to Penn’s Residential Services. I have high hopes that this change will be implemented by the time I make my room selection for next year.