NEW YORK—In a press statement released
Friday afternoon, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized Gustavus Adolphus College’s Lund Athletic Center as a World Heritage Site. The addition of the Lund Center to a list of historical buildings and sites “with special cultural or physical significance” was described by the organization as “a testament to the facility’s charming collection of antiquated exercise equipment.” A passage from the press release is included below:
The Lund Center has been identified as the globe’s best-curated ensemble of 1980s workout equipment, lighting, and interior decor. Our global team of archaeologists and sociologists has been unable to find any building which so seamlessly recreates the indoor exercise experience which would have been suffered by the least imaginative architectural generation in the annals of history. In addition to the building’s contents, its structural elements, from the cement walls, to the cement floor, to the cement ceiling, each fully embody the rich legacy of the brutalist school of architectural thought. In the same way a modern traveler experiences the High Renaissance today in the streets of Florence, so to does the athletic Gustie taste, smell, and feel the 1980s in the dimly-lit cave of the Lund cardiovascular machine area.
Athletic Director Tom Green was “truly humbled” by the recognition. “The Gustavus Athletic Department has been blessed with decades of administrative leadership wholeheartedly committed to maintaining the raw, drab aesthetic of the Lund Center through a long legacy of outmoded equipment and absolutely shit funding.”
In the wake of the remarkable recognition, many students have expressed their appreciation for the administration’s commitment to maintaining the Lund Center as it was under US President Ronald Reagan. Junior Economics Major Erica Habley explained, “When I’m working out, I don’t want to be distracted by graceful architecture, integrated technologies, or the obnoxious light of the sun- I just want to fix my eyes on the same tile of speckled taupe concrete and forget what decade I’m in. I’m so glad to be at a college who, unlike any of her peer institutions, completely respects my wish for architectural monotony.”