The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is a relatively new building to the Downtown Phoenix area. The main Cronkite building was opened in 2008, removing students from the Arizona State University Tempe campus at Stauffer Hall- built in 1973.
The Stauffer building is named after the former owner and publisher of The Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette newspapers. The building now focuses on classes in combating terrorism and promoting national security.
Built by build team of Steven Ehrlich Architects of Culver City, California, whose designs are featured in their work designing and building the University of California Irvine Contemporary Arts building, John M. Roll United States Courthouse and the East Los Angeles College Student Center and Bookstore, are contemporary designs that reflect the area the building is located.
According to Ehrlich Architects, “It [the composition of the building] is kinetic and dynamic – symbolic of journalism and the media’s role in our open society.”
Built out of glass, metal and masonry, the building is light, with natural light streaming in from all sorts of angles that photographers love. Included in the designs are “shaded arcades under building’s perimeter to foster outdoor seating ‘café life’,” Ehrlich Architects stated.
Cronkite could not be more different from Stauffer Hall. The light and airiness is nonexistent at the Tempe building, with most offices being in the basement.
“Before the Cronkite building was built, when I first started with the school, I worked at Stauffer Hall, and my office was deep in the basement,” said Cronkite Faculty Associate Dave Cornelius.
The openness of the building relates to the reflectiveness of the journalism field. A journalist must be transparent open and honest to their environment.
“A journalist must always be accountable, living in a ‘Glass News Room’,” said Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas.
The Cronkite building has revived the Downtown Phoenix area, bringing in traffic from the light rail and revitalizing businesses near campus.
From its humble beginnings at Stauffer Hall, Cronkite has risen out of the basement and into the penthouse of prime locations.