The Cornell Daily Sun

21 10 2009



So, I first thought about writing an entry on the Sun because of fortuitous circumstances. I happen to write in some small capacity for the Sun, but with the exception of one person (to my knowledge; most everyone else couldn’t care less), no one at the Sun knows that I write this blog. Occasionally, someone will ask “when was Mann Library built?” or “when is Milstein Hall supposed to finish construction”, and it’s really tempting to put in my two cents, but  for the most part I focus on my work and leave when I’m done.

Regarding the Sun itself, the newspaper is based out of the former Elks Lodge building on the 100 block of West State Street, a block west of the Commons. The building itself dates from 1916, and the Sun renovated the building and moved into the 7,000 sq. ft. building during 2003 (prior to that, thsun rented space around the corner on Cayuga Street). The Sun is totally independent of the university, which is great because the school paper of the university I worked at this summer was nothing more than a mouthpiece for the administration and its cultish president, but I digress. The original Cornell newspaper was The Cornell Era, which was founded in 1868 and named as such because it marked the beginning of a great new era. Much to the Era’s chagrin, the Sun appeared on September 16, 1880, in the format of a four-page pamphlet-sized newspaper (Bishop 206).  The Era eventually became more of a literary magazine and shut down permanently in the late 1940s. The Sun has operated continuously since its founding.

The building itself is an interesting place ot visit. The main work area on the first floor has private offices, and a general work areas for contributors and writers filled with newspapers and article drafts from previous days. The upstairs has a spacious and stately wood-trimmed great room, which I suspect was probably used as a cermeonial/banquet room back when it was the Elks Lodge. I’ve never felt compelled to take photos inside the building, mostly because of the stares I would probably get.

Bishop, Morris. A History of Cornell. New York, New York: Cornell University Press, 1962. ISBN 0-8014-0036-8



2 responses

21 10 2009

I’m on the Sun (Cornell senior). I have read your blog for over a year now. I’m not sure who you are, but I have forwarded your posts around for quite some time now. Keep up the good work, I’ve learned a lot from here.

26 10 2009

one small addendum, you’re technically correct in saying the Sun has “operated” continuously since then. But “published” continuously, as a logical corollary of that, is not true. There were a couple years during the second world war when the paper had a sitting board, but no papers were published.

Also, before the Sun moved into the Elks lodge building (1994? maybe…) there was talk of moving into the first floor of Sheldon Court. This would have been an obvious boon for recruitment, finally being up by campus, but it would have been disappointing, renting space from the University. The Sun has always had its offices down on State Street, though not always in its current location.

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