Madonna and whore, house of the holy and den of iniquity, Sterling Memorial Library has been entangled for a lifetime in a luxurious struggle between the sacred and the profane. On first sight, Yale's central book facility resembles a deconsecrated late-medieval church, but in fact it's an ersatz Epcot-Gothic version of same—a towering monument to Yale's insuperable Anglophilia and perpetual anxiety that Old Blue was born too late, despite its 300th anniversary this year (bested for oldest-college honors by not only that harlot Harvard but a God-fearing couple named William & Mary). Dedicated in 1931, SML is rococo-a-go-go: vaulted multistory ceilings with painted webs, bulbous tracery, gargoylish corbels, buttresses a-leapin', stained... More >>>