Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 22, 2021
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COURTESY OF CHRIS H. PARK

The Mattin Center has been the center of the University’s arts scene since 2001.

The Mattin Center will soon be leveled to make room for the construction of the new student center, which is scheduled to open in fall 2024. Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the same firm designing the Barack Obama Presidential Center, the four buildings that make up Mattin have served the arts community on the Homewood Campus since 2001.

According to Alanna Klos, project manager at Hopkins Facilities and Real Estate, the demolition of the Mattin Center is slated to begin in late May and will be completed by the end of the fall semester.

COURTESY OF CHRIS H. PARK

The entrance to the Mattin Center, located on the intersection between 33rd Street and Charles Street.

For sophomore Snigdha Panda, the Mattin Center served as the weekly rehearsal spot for the Bands at Hopkins.

“I loved walking in and disconnecting from the academic rigor to create something artistic with a group of people, and the building definitely represented that,” she said. “The first thing you see walking in is the display case of student-produced art, and there were always students practicing dance routines. I’m going to really miss having that space that allowed students to express themselves.”

During the construction of the student center, music practice rooms and rehearsal spaces will be available in Shriver Hall.

COURTESY OF HOPKINS FACILITIES AND REAL ESTATE

Swirnow Theater served the 11 theatre groups at Hopkins.

Sophomore Andrea Guillen, a member of Witness Theater, expressed concern about limited spaces for theater groups over the next two years.

“We need to be able to build a set, so there should have been better accommodation from Hopkins,” she said. “I know there will be spaces for us in the student center, but I’ll be two years out of college.”

She appreciated that the University is improving the Arellano Theatre in Levering Hall for theater groups to temporarily relocate to, but criticized the lack of space.

“They are renovating Arellano for us, which is nice, but it’s a very tough space for 11 theater groups,” she said.

COURTESY OF CHRIS H. PARK

Adjacent to the Swirnow Theatre was the set construction studio.

The University plans to permanently move Bamboo Café to the Charles Street Market. Additionally, the Digital Media Center (DMC) will be moved to Charles Commons as DMC Gaming and to Homewood Apartments as DMC Instructional. Student Leadership and Involvement will temporarily move to the space formerly occupied by the LaB in Homewood Apartments.

The Spirit of Music statue — which memorializes Rex Chao, a student shot and killed by a fellow student in 1996 — and the bust of Johns Hopkins will be preserved and relocated elsewhere on the Homewood Campus, according to Klos.

Guillen reflected on her memories of the Mattin Center. 

“Mattin’s practice rooms were a good space to decompress late at night,” she said. “The space was fun and felt very personal and tight-knit. I am going to miss those smaller moments where I could disconnect from school and just have fun.”

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