Life in Towers: A final look at Carmichael Towers before their demolition

After 53 years, Carmichael Towers, Vanderbilt’s monument to 1960s Brutalist design, are coming down, soon to be replaced by the next phase of the university’s residential colleges along West End Avenue. No matter what you thought of their blocky aesthetic, many who lived in the Towers remember them with a fond sense of nostalgia.

The final group of students to live in Towers 3 and 4 this past year—Towers 1 and 2 will remain in use for one more year—shared a truly unique experience among former residents as they closed the chapter on their home away from home. Some chose to decorate their walls by drawing and painting on them, creating ephemeral artwork that would last only until the buildings’ demise began July 27. Vanderbilt Hustler staff photographer Claire Barnett, BS’19, who graduated in May and lived in the Towers, first as an RA and then as head resident of Towers 2, has created a more lasting tribute. She spent the spring documenting life with the last cohort of students living in one of Vanderbilt’s most beloved eyesores.

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