A Perplexing Paint Job

After two and a half years of working almost entirely remotely, it’s been something of a process adjusting to working in-person again in the Uniter office. Much of it has been pleasant. Reacquainting myself with the weird hole in the drywall next to my desk (it’s been there since before I started) or moving my beloved Super Mario and Heironymus Bosch ornaments from my home desk to my work office was a sweet ritual.

But I’ve been noticing a few changes on campus that have me scratching my head. One in particular is, in my (admittedly melodramatic) opinion, a full-blown tragedy.

Longtime denizens of the University of Winnipeg campus are likely familiar with the bright yellow spiral staircase in Centennial Hall. A garish, geometric, downright iconic bit of 1970s architecture and design, this stairwell used to glare with the fluorescent hues of French’s mustard. You could almost smell condiments just from looking at it.

So imagine my confusion when a fellow campus worker brought to my attention that the staircase had been repainted. Not a touch-up to the existing dandelion splendour or a new neon flair.

No, the staircase so iconic that The Uniter once wrote an article spotlighting it and other ’70s campus architecture has been repainted in bland, industrial black. It is now barely distinguishable from a fire escape.

What were they thinking?!

Published in Volume 77, Number 02 of The Uniter (September 15, 2022)

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