Marty Goldberg, Arch., '69
My favorite places were just off campus: Charlie's (Institute artists materials) and Eric's Bar. As a hardware and supply freak, I worked for Charlie for several years and loved all the million items he had in inventory. Eric's was a place to relax and talk, something really necessary after charetting as an architecture student.
Roger McKean Bazeley, Packaging/ I.D., '73
Pratt was probably different than it is now in the area of student meeting places and facilities. I do not remember any real “student union” of the kind that most schools have. There were more off-campus meeting places that were attached at the hip to the Pratt campus like Joe’s Place Restaurant, located in an old carriage house on Waverly Street in an alley near the campus. It was operated by an incredible man called Joe Yaccarino, an Italian boy from the neighborhood, whose father and brothers had an Italian restaurant on Myrtle Avenue. He actually later married a Pratt student named Nancy, and had two children. Joe employed many Pratt students as waiters working their way through school. I spent many an evening dining there with Pratt friends and dates, while listening to operatic music flowing from the kitchen, where Joe cooked for all his neighborhood regulars and friends.
As far as the campus goes, I lived in Willoughby Hall for the first semester until I found an off-campus apartment in Grand Army Plaza near Prospect Park. I enjoyed the campus especially during the fall and spring seasons when the trees near Main Building and the library were in full foliage. Probably the most memorably unique place I visited and photographed on campus was the old Pratt power plant building interior.
I still have quite a few photographs of Joe, his restaurant, and the Pratt neighborhood available for a story about this incredible character, and lifelong friend. He passed away about 10 years ago.
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Katherine Lenard, I.D., '81
The smell of Pratt studios: It's a sublime mix of plasticene clay and the floor-sweeping compound. A few years back, I took my husband for a walk through the campus. We went to the studios building and it was as if time had stood still—the first thing that greeted us was that smell. Upstairs in the ID rooms, the student work was strewn about: there were the same projects that we did 20 years earlier. Very cool. It made me want to come back and get my hands dirty.
Rick Fichthorn, Comm. D., '82
Pratt’s historic standing in the community is without a doubt responsible for the local urban renaissance, but it’s not a particular place that reminds me the most of my experience at Pratt: It’s the happiness and enthusiasm I see in the faces of the students and faculty. There’s a spirit of excitement and anticipation of serious young professionals about to embark on their dream careers. I can see it’s still there as I remember.