Good Contact, c1970

I love baseball and I hope Rice plays until there aren’t any games left.

Rebellious as I am, I refused to crop it.

Bonus: I’m headed off early for the long weekend, partly for fun and then with a side trip for some quick research on the scenic campus of Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to post but if I don’t see you until mid-week have a great Memorial Day.

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“the passing of an old sentinel,” 1921

Yesterday I was looking for something in some William Ward Watkin materials and I found this little poem written by Dr. Lovett and its accompanying explanation. It was in a folder labeled “Landscaping.” While I do follow the logic, that doesn’t seem quite right.

It’s hard to be sure but I think the tree Lovett so admired is at the left just inside Gate 1:

When I read this I sat down on the floor and cried. It might be time to take some vacation.

Bonus: I’ve been seeing these little guys all over campus recently. They look like juvenile golden crested night herons.

Extra Bonus: That was quick.


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Your Summer Assignment, 1915

Deny everything.

These rumors are pretty interesting, even 102 years later:

Bonus: View from third floor of Space Science, which is about to start demo for the big renovation.

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Friday Follies: En garde!

Oh, those zany band guys.

There’s actually quite a bit going on in this picture.


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Gate Number . . . 4??

I was not expecting this:

It’s there right at the bottom–drawings for Gate 4, with wonderful owls on the top. I’m on record as not being a total nut for owls (I’ve seen way too many collections of owls made of bottle caps, macrame and etc.) but those are great looking and appropriate for the space. Sadly, we didn’t build this. From aerial images you can tell that we did lay out entrance four in the wide semicircle that Cram Goodhue and Ferguson drew for the spot, albeit with only one of the two drives:

This was my surprise for the week. The most presentable one anyway.

Bonus: There’s still a gate there but it’s no longer semicircular and the gate itself is probably best described as serviceable.


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Another Note About Gate Number 3

There’s really no end to the things you could say about Gate Number 3. In a single afternoon in the Woodson I found more information and images than I can coherently discuss so here are just a few of the highlights, sort of The Greatest Hits of Gate 3.

First, the early Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson drawing for the original gate (there’s some stuff here that didn’t happen–I’ll get to that later):

Next, the contract for the construction of all three of the original gates:

It was photographed a lot. My favorite is this, which Arthur Bryant used for the cover of his scrapbook from the early 1920s:

Another nice one is this rather strange shot of John and Craig Cullinan, sons of Texaco founder Joseph Cullinan, parked in front of the gate for some unknown reason. This is very early–those scraggly sticks lined up at left are the hedges:

And happily, this western side of the gate will remain:


Bonus: Other way around.

Tomorrow: a surprise!

Also, I was interested that I got so much reaction to the picture of me on top of the gate. I really do find myself in many unusual places and I’ve been toying with the idea of strapping on one of those GoPro point-of-view cameras so I can take you through all the daily excitement and razzle-dazzle of life as a university historian. It might be too much, though. We’ll see.

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Farewell to Gate Number 3

Now that commencement is over they’re set to demolish the Third Gate, or at least its eastern half, in order to manage the traffic flow out of the new parking garage behind Allen Center:

That gate has been here for a very long time. You can see it in the upper right corner in this classic image from Rice’s Formal Opening in October 1912. Quite reasonably, no one in 1912 anticipated that there would one day be a nasty multi-lane intersection at this spot whose negotiation would require more lanes coming off campus:

As the gate closest to the first dorms it naturally attracted the attention of our high-spirited early students. This was called “gate sitting” and that pretty much covers it. Sometimes it was used as a form of mild hazing, other times they seem to have done it just for a lark. This must have been taken in 1916:

Bonus: Let me tell you this–it’s a lot higher than it looks from the ground. I’ll have a bit more about Gate Number 3 tomorrow.


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