USC School of Architecture students have no idea what the pointy things are either

‘They serve no purpose other than to fluff president Nikias’s ego’

As of 2017, the beloved yet puzzling finger fountain is no more. Make way for the “pointy things.” If you’re confused about what the “pointy things” are, don’t worry, so are we.

The USC Memes for Spoiled Pre-Teens page inspired us to investigate what the “pointy things” are, as they are at both the main entrance and the Glorya Kaufman Dance Center entrance.

Created by Joshua Jaeho Lee

University of Summer Construction was in full swing this past July, the most memorable change being the Trousdale Parkway and Jefferson Boulevard entrance. For months on end, students were forced to bike all the way around the entrance area to make way for the exciting improvements ahead.

The improvements? Expansion of the entrance, some beautiful landscaping, and two “pointy things” at each end of the new and improved gate.

To better understand these structures, I decided to ask three incredibly talented architecture students the following questions:

1) What is your opinion on the “pointy things?”

2) What is the proper term for them?

3) What purpose do they serve?

Turns out, they were just as confused as the rest of us.

“Pointy thing” aka column, structure, spire, or gothic motif

Nicole Bertrand, Freshman

“I think they’re cool and all, but I don’t see the purpose. The spire (the pointy thing) blends in with the rest of the gothic architecture on campus. They kinda remind me of church steeples, like the church steeples to enter the heaven that is USC.”

It’s true, USC is pretty heavenly.

Priya Dhairyawan, Junior

“I don’t really like them. I think they’re ugly, and the columns would have been fine without the top part. The purpose of the towers are to hold the gate up, and the bricks blend in with the rest of the school. I believe they tried to make them grand because they separate campus from the outside.”

No, she didn’t really know what to call them either.

Nicole Blue, Senior

“As an architecture student, who has extensively studied architectural history and design, I find them atrocious. They’re a cheap attempt by President Nikias to attempt to elevate the status of USC to the level of the Ivy Leagues.

I would call them gothic motifs, meant to play off of the new buildings being built. The majority of the new buildings on campus are pseudo-gothic in style; pseudo in that the buildings are poorly designed replicas that miss the very essence of true gothic style buildings. Buildings like Doheney have their own grand style and integral history that make them great additions to the campus, but the new buildings on campus don’t have the history they purport to have.

They serve no purpose other than to fluff president Nikias’ ego. Hopefully, the next time Nikias decides to build something, he’ll consult the world renowned school of architecture that he just so happens to preside over.”

That, my friends, is one knowledgable, opinionated architecture student.


For now, USC only has four of these bad boys, but Nikias is bound to add a couple more, as the real church steeples to heaven will be at USC Village.

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