University of Chicago follows George Mason

The University [of Chicago]  turns a former seminary into a new home for economics.

…When the refurbished building reopens in 2014, the economics department and Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics will have a spectacular space. Planned upgrades include a cloister café, LEED certification, high-tech classrooms in old library and chapel areas, and more.

Some of you will know that the Fairfax offices of Alex and me are in the space of a former church (scroll down to 1960)…

Here is more information and an interview with the architect.  For the pointer I thank Mike Tamada.


What, you guys don't rate offices in the former president's house? The grounds were a great place to have a picnic, after all.

I suspect that those days are long in the past at this point, though.

The ecclesiastical setting for the econ departments at these two schools seems appropriate since Chicago and GM both tend to view economics as religion.

Who from the Chicago econ department views economics as religion? Heckman? Hansen? Myerson? Lucas and Stokey? Shimer? List? What is religious about selection models, GMM, mechanism design, dynamic optimization, search in labor markets or experiments?

Evidently, like clerics, U of C economists tend to be thin-skinned.

The profession really needs some divine intervention to reinvent itself.

Well, come to think of it, academia and religion are nearly identical.

Actually, many people have argued that economic theory has theological roots including Jacob Viner, Robert Nelson, John Gray, and Deirdre McCloskey (the latter was a professor at University of Chicago in its heyday).

Going into Carow as an undergrad was always fairly intimidating. I thought of it as the ivory bunker.

What does it say about beliefs that the building is LEED certified?

What would Friedman think?

I have often wondered about this. Would a profit maximizing firm care about LEED certification? I mean if you could save $300 a year in energy costs by putting in $1000 worth of insulation, you would probably do it, if you would save $25 a year you probably wouldn't. At our school our new building is LEED certified and some of the so called energy savings devices just don't work, like the hand dryers in the bathrooms that just aren't powerful enough to dry your hands.

Yeah, those no-flush urinals are passe. Think how much greener we could be with no urinals at all.

A fitting location for the priests of the digital age.

They are still seminaries, just the new god is Mamon.

Booth GSB building is a Greek temple to finance capitalism

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