When 10:00PM hit on the night of February 21st, every employee of the Jerome S. Coles Gym knew that this would be their last moment in the historic NYU Athletic Facility.
But before they could take off their “Coles” shirts and immediately forget about their old, smelly, dead love to be with the new, shiny, 404 Lafayette, they had one more task to complete.
It was a task that required some planning ahead, which unfortunately Gym Manager Terry Falcon did not do. “I forgot to order the ‘Closed’ sign. I’m sorry—I’m fucking sorry, okay?!”
Fearful that without the Closed sign, students would be prying at the cold, lifeless doors of the once great establishment—wondering why the lights were turned off, why the sound of fit youth was faded to oblivion—the Athletic Center staff knew that had to think quickly and find an appropriate solution.
Minutes passed. Then hours. The entire staff locked inside Coles until they could crack the answer.
Luckily, Freshman Work Study locker room-cleaner Wendy Ramsey eventually came up with the solution. “It was so simple! We were staring right at it the whole time! ‘Close!’ ”
“Coles? That’s the name of the gym,” exclaimed Wendy’s immediate supervisor, Jerry Greenwald.
The light bulb flashed. Everyone was on board. And the staff collectively worked all night to rearrange the COLES lettering on the outside of 181 Mercer to CLOSE.
“Now, we are finally being honest with who we truly are. We are Close. And it feels good.”