After taking tour groups through Bridge, if people weren’t tired yet, an occasional last stop on a tunnel tour was the “Quiet Box”, on the roof of a nearby building. There were a number of roofs at Caltech that one could get on relatively easily, but the Quiet Box was notable both because it was particularly easy to sneak onto and because it was one of the highest roofs on campus and had a meter-tall parapet around a small square area only a couple meters across. The name came from the fact that if you ducked your head below the parapet, most of the noise of the city completely vanished and you had a view of the night sky with nothing else visible. It was occasionally a nice place to go up to to talk, and we often told additional stories to the frosh while sitting there. Once, several friends and I even brought sleeping bags up and spent the night camping there.
The first time I went to the Quiet Box was as part of a tour I was taken on as a prefrosh. At that time, it had another feature: the first chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes was written on the walls in runes. This was completely gone by the first time I visited as a student, and I assumed that the walls must have been repainted. I developed a vague ambition to restore it, which was later expanded after discussion with some friends to a goal of writing sections from ancient texts of as many cultures as possible on the walls. We came up with a long list of passages and I begun by writing the beginning of the Popul Vuh in one corner. However, after a week or two, it became clear that the marker I’d used was already starting to fade from the sunlight and we gave up on the project as unworkable.