The U of C may look different now, but many of the forces that made it tick 40 years ago are still active today. In the first issue of GREY CITY JOURNAL—printed back in 1968—the editors sought to explore the facets of their growing campus. At this point, the Regenstein Library existed only as "a huge excavated hole," in the editors' words. And with plans being floated for a student village in "North Campus" (they fell through) and Cobb Hall only recently renovated, the University was in the now-familiar position of balancing new developments with campus tradition and community sentiment.
GREY CITY's name was borrowed from a stanza of the University's alma mater:
The City White hath fled the Earth,
But where the azure waters lie
A nobler city hath its birth,
The City Grey that ne'er shall die.
The author, Edwin H. Lewis, wanted to suggest that the newly laid gray stones
of the University of Chicago would outlive the white stucco that had formed the
1893 World's Fair buildings on the Midway. We brought the name back to honor
GREY CITY's 25-year run, but the words also remind us of the dynamic ways in
which the University shapes and is shaped by its community.