Feb 152013

Contractors will be driving piles at the site of Tulane’s new Zimple House dorm on Saturday to make up for lost time during the rainy Mardi Gras season, university officials said. Meanwhile, the spelling of the dorm’s name is being questioned by history-minded locals.

Normal hours of pile-driving operations are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but The Lemoine Company is allowed to work on Saturdays and Sundays after 9 a.m. with 48-hour notice and permission from the university, according to a notice posted Thursday on the university website. The work hours Saturday are needed “in order to make up time due to the Mardi Gras congestion and recent weather conditions,” and may cause traffic congestion at Broadway and Zimple streets as workers move on and off the site, the notice states.

The name of the dorm, Zimple House, has become embroiled in the long-running controversy over spelling of the street’s name. The street is named for 19th-century German engineer Charles Zimpel, but many street signs and maps commonly have the misspelling “Zimple.” While historians debate whether the inverted letters now constitute an error or linguistic evolution, Tulane officials told John Pope of The Times-Picayune that they are simply following that convention, but that the dorm may one day be renamed if a new benefactor emerges.

  4 Responses to “Saturday construction planned on Tulane’s new Zimple House dorm”

  1. The name should certainly be spelled ‘Zimpel’ and as a linguist specialising in English and German I can say with certainty that spelling it ‘Zimple’ would result in a change in pronunciation in the native German.

    The spelling on street signs is an error but it’s not an error with continuity. On varying intersections the street is spelled Zimpel (correct) and Zimple (incorrect).

    Similar errors show up on street signs around the Carrollton area including:

    Green = Greene
    Cohn = Kohn
    Dakin = Daquin

    and by far the worst…

    Burdette = Bernadotte

    Instead of building a new dorm and using an incorrect spelling for its name, wouldn’t it instead be easier to spend a few hundred dollars to replace the incorrect street signs? *logic*

  2. slow news day. very slow news day

  3. I just went to the architect’s website and I must express my disappointment in the design of this dorm. It does not fit with the surrounding buildings and frankly looks like something out of the eastern bloc. I foresee it being called “Pimple House,” reflecting its status as an unattractive spot on an otherwise lovely section of Tulane.

  4. A dorm across the street from the Boot. Brilliant. Just brilliant.

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