Paddyfote stirs memories for many

The razing of Paddyfote residential complex is mostly complete. Photo courtesy: Oshia Myers

Paddyfote was built in 1967 on FAMU;s campus. Housing countless students during its time, the co-ed dorm complex is now in the midst of a demolition, later to be transformed into a parking garage.

From students to alumni, the FAMU population has mixed feelings about the destruction of a building that has stood for more than half a century.

Paddyfoote holds a lot of weight for Florida A&M junior Yakora Pitts.

“It was the first dorm I stayed in during my freshman year at FAMU, so it has a lot of significance for me. When I think of my freshman year, I instantly think of Paddyfote.”

Pitts is split about which dorm Florida A&M chose to destroy, but thinks a new garage on campus is a step in the right direction.

“I believe they should’ve torn down Gibbs first, but I do think Paddyfote should become a garage because that’s what we need,” she said. “It took me 30 minutes today to find parking. I was late to class just trying to find parking.”

With the repairs and renovations happening, Pitts also thinks a skating rink would be a welcomed addition to pair with the bowling alley in the Rattlers Den.

“I think they should make a skating rink because people like to bowl and people like to skate,” she said. “Just make something for us to all unite and have fun.”

Despite previously being unaware of the new garage to come, FAMU senior Charlesalyn Preston is all for a little extra space on campus.

“I didn’t know it was going to be a garage, but as long as it’s more spaced out than the one we have now, I don’t see an issue. We definitely need more parking,” she said.

Preston dreams of more inclusion when it comes to college threads on Rattler turf.

“I would love to see FAMU with a store that catered to FAMU clothing,” she said. “Florida State University has them all over the place and you have to really search for FAMU apparel.”

Florida A&M alum Asia Strong wasn’t personally connected to Paddyfote, but it just happened to be her mother’s stomping grounds.

“Paddyfote didn’t hold any real significance to me but it did for my mom who attended FAMU in the ’90s and had fond memories there. She was not happy about it but understood why,” she said.

Much like Pitts, Strong didn’t agree with the placement of this new garage.

“I feel that another garage was necessary but not where Paddyfote was. A garage would have been more beneficial, to me, near Banneker or pharmacy,” she said.

Strong would rather a creative outlet had taken the place of Paddyfote.

“I think it would be a good idea for them to have a mini student center on that side of campus where students can study and practice their craft, sort of like a creative space for students that’s open 24 hours,” she said. “FAMU is full of creative people and there has never been enough space for people to practice with their org or just be in their own zone without interruption.”

Strong has a myriad of ideas for new additions around campus.

“Parcel lockers for students would be great and it would decrease traffic in the mail center, and laptop rental centers for students or just even a tech station that they can take their computers to for free would be good,” she said. “I would even consider a farmer’s market on certain days of the week.”