At Florida State, it isn’t hard to let the beautiful architecture, clean, well-kept landscapes and countless historical landmarks distract you from the daily stress of college life. The college’s 477-acre campus is well known for its elegant brick buildings, lush greens and Gothic style architecture. There’s no doubt, students at FSU get massive bragging rights when it comes to the beauty of the campus.
Take a quick break from your responsibilities and check out these 10 FSU Landmarks:
1. Westcott Fountain
Westcott Fountain has captured the attention of FSU students for over 70 years. It was originally built as a gift from the Florida State College of Women back in 1915. Since then, it has been a symbol of FSU’s proud heritage and pays tribute to those who came before. You’ve probably heard of the countless traditions surrounding the fountain, the most famous being getting thrown in on your 21st birthday. Pro tip: make sure all electronics are removed from your pocket beforehand—I had to learn this the hard way.
It has been said you aren’t a true Seminole if you haven’t been dunked in Westcott Fountain during your four years here. The commemorative brick plaza surrounding the fountain includes names of alumni, dates and special accomplishments. It’s also a go–to photo spot. If you plan on getting graduation photos, you better come months in advance. Otherwise, you’ll get caught in the swarm of last-minute grad shoots.
2. Integration Statue
In 1965, Maxwell Courtney became the first African American to graduate from FSU. During the same year, Fred Flowers, the first African American to wear an FSU uniform, enrolled at the university. In 1970, Florida State students selected the first African American Homecoming Queen, Doby Lee Flowers. The Integration Statue was commissioned in 2002 to honor and celebrate the efforts of these FSU students who pioneered integration during the 1960’s.
The bronze statue stands at one of busiest student intersections on campus at the end of Woodward Plaza. The three figures stand around nine feet tall on a brick pedestal. Each symbolizes a milestone of integration: academic, athletic and social. When I walk by the monument on my way to class, it makes me appreciate that I go to such a socially progressive school.
3. Dodd Hall
Dodd Hall is the best example of Gothic architecture on campus. “Dodd is beautiful—when I first saw it my freshman year, I thought it was a church,” senior Will Hagy said. The Gatsby-era building was originally constructed as a library in 1923 and later turned into a classroom building. It houses the ornate Werkmeister Humanities Reading Room in its west wing. The room has a stunning wooden ceiling and walls lined with intricate stained glass. I personally love studying in there, it makes me feel like I’m in an 18th century French church.
The building was named after William George Dodd, who joined the Florida State faculty in 1910 as the head of the English Department and eventually moved up to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Tallahassee firm MLD Architects recently restored the building, for which they received an award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. So yeah, Dodd is a pretty big deal. Engraved over the main entrance is the phrase “The half of knowledge is to know where to find knowledge.” This saying goes with Dodd’s original construction as a library.
4. FSU Labyrinth
If you ever need a place to just chill all alone with your thoughts, head over to the labyrinth nestled between the College of Medicine and the psychology building. You walk from the beginning of the labyrinth around the winding paths until you reach the center. Take a breather in-between classes and de-stress. “Ever since Florida State built the labyrinth right outside the Psychology building, I always walk it in-between classes to let go of my anxieties about school,” sophomore Jessie Tatum said. The labyrinth is designed to be accessible by everyone. It includes three-foot walking paths which make it wheelchair accessible and a tactile map at the entrance for those with visual disabilities.
5. Strozier Library
Many students have a complicated relationship with Florida State University’s main library. It might bring up memories of painful all-nighters prior to finals week, but with its books, digital resources and valuable study spaces for thousands of students, you can’t deny its grandeur. Strozier (or “Stroz” as some call it) anchors the north side of Landis Green. This center for academic learning bears the last name of Robert Manning Strozier, who served as FSU’s president from 1957 to 1960. Avoid talking on the third through fifth floor quiet zones, unless you want to get death stares from everybody. “I concentrate better when it is silent, so the upstairs quiet zones are where I prefer to work,” senior Mia Ersoff said. There is also a basement and a high-end digital studio. While the outside looks historic, the library’s inside boasts a modern interior with comfortable study pods, tables and computers. Fun fact: Stroz has the nation’s first double-sided Starbucks, providing twice the speed for getting students their caffeine fix.
6. Legacy Fountain
I remember swimming in this fountain as a freshman on hot summer days. This sparkling fountain graces the center of Landis Green and represents the university’s journey from a liberal arts school for women to the nationally recognized liberal arts and research university it models today. Inside the water stands six life-sized bronze figures. The female figures on the south end symbolize the university’s years as Florida State College for Women. Their long, boxy dresses reflect the university’s culture during the early 1900’s. The north end figures signify the students of today. “I love how much history it stands for, and my dog also loves to swim in the water,” junior Abby Buchanan said. From the spirited figures to the dancing water in the reflection pool, Legacy Fountain offers bystanders a view into FSU’s past and a look toward the future.
7. The Greek Park
One of the more hidden spots on campus, the beautiful Greek Park sits right at the south gate to the university. Standing next to the lush, overgrown pavilion is a 15-foot high bronze statue called “Three Sisters.” Even though the trees might slightly resemble the trees in Sleepy Hollow, I can ensure your safety in this cozy spot . The naturally shaded area provides students a shadowy place to sit and enjoy the surrounding nature.
8. Unconquered Statue
If any one landmark boasts the loud and proud spirit of the Noles, it’s the Unconquered Statue. Chief Osceola sits on his rearing horse Renegade holding the famous Seminole spear. The monument stands with Doak Campbell Stadium on one side and historic Langford Green on the other. On a walk from campus to a football game you will definitely pass this notorious FSU landmark. The statue symbolizes the massive success of Florida State athletics and the school as a whole.
9. Doak Campbell Stadium
When the Seminoles opened the 2018 football season, the cheers and claps of over 60,000 fans roared across Tallahassee. Doak Campbell Stadium offers the most exciting atmosphere on the Florida State Campus, especially during football season. Alumni return, students throw wild tailgates and all roads lead to Doak on Game Day. The legendary Marching Chiefs play and Chief Osceola makes his pregame ceremony entrance in this massive stadium. “Nothing stands more for FSU than Doak does. This is where students come together as a team,” senior Dexter Lossano said. You also won’t want to miss the Garnet and Gold guys who have been at every FSU home game since 1998. Whether or not Florida State is victorious, the winning spirit of Doak exemplifies the winning spirit of Florida State.
10. Health and Wellness Center
When I sprained my ankle last year, I was a little less mad when I got to come get fixed up at the Health and Wellness Building. It reminds you of a fancy hotel when you walk in with its incredibly sleek and modern looking interior. It also features a two-story gym. “The Health and Wellness Center is my go-to spot for a workout. It is a nice break from the crowded Leach,” junior Lawrence Wahl said. This building is one of the more hidden gems on the FSU campus. If you find yourself feeling under the weather or want a less crowded workout space, this building offers the best option on campus.