Re: Oh, no! (Ceilings Div)
From: Paul Kilduff (
Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 21:44:38 -0500

You mention Pioneer Valley as a positive example, though the one
response to my earlier message that I know of from a resident of Pioneer
Valley recommended against a high ceiling, although she did mention that
low-hanging lights would improve the situation.   When I visited there,
I was told that common meals were an ordeal (one resident used the
phrase "we're trying to _ratchet up_ [emphasis mine] the number of meals
from three nights a week to four, but without success") and not well
attended.  I was also told that the library, a second floor loft which
overlooks the dining room, was little used.  Even the architect (a
resident) said she would not design a two-story dining room if she had
it to do again, if I recall correctly.

You tout the height of your proposed dining room ceiling, and add that
it will have a huge amount of glass, and observe that this is about the
most sound-reFLECtive substance around!  I guess I'm wondering what the
good news is!  And I take it that Old Oakland's dining room will be much
bigger than Doyle Street's.

It occurs to me that an objective study would include the questions:  

How high is your dining room ceiling; Is it designed according to good
acoustical principles; How many common meals do you have per week; and
What percentage of your residents attend any given common meal.  

With enough respondents, a graph could be made, correlating those
factors, and answering the question, what is the effect of ceiling
height on attendance at common meals?  

I take it that attendance at common meals is the most significant
measure of the success of a common dining room's design.

I know I've gone on too long with this, but would anyone care to answer
the questions between the ==='s above?


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