Friday Follies: BOYS!

A good enough reason to join the band, circa 1969:

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George Dallas Perkins: A Loose End Tied Up

A while back I wrote about a beautiful tribute that President Lovett penned at the death of George Perkins, the Institute’s head custodian for many years:

At the time, I looked everywhere I could think of for a photograph of Mr. Perkins but came up empty. Then earlier this week I idly opened a photo folder labeled “Mr. Dennis.” Mr. Dennis, who was in charge of the power plant, was most definitely in there but according to the label on the back of the image (written in Miss Dean‘s hand, and she should know) was Mr. Perkins and his son:

That’s Perkins on the left, Dennis on the right, and “son Perkins” in the middle. It’s undated but quite early; late teens I’d guess.

Bonus: Of master planning there is no end.





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This photo from yesterday’s batch is also undated but I can definitely date it to after the 1990 Economic Summit:

Remember the pots from this post about Economic Summit landscaping? They’re upside down but still the same pots.


Bonus: There’s been a significant cart upgrade in the intervening years.

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Facilities’ Facilities, nd

The other day I wound up with a very strange little box in my hands. It contained a stack of   polaroid pictures of broken stuff: corroded pipes, cracked vents, malfunctioning equipment of all kinds across campus that needed to be repaired or replaced. None of it was especially interesting since you can’t really tell one busted pipe from another.

There were, however, a few exciting images of something that is rarely photographed–the area behind Abercrombie and along Rice Boulevard that is the home of the Facilities Department. I freely admit that I don’t have a good understanding of this. On top of that they are undated and I can’t be sure they were taken at the same time:

I have a decent grasp on this next one because of the rectangular piece of the building that’s sticking out on the right:

You can still see it in this picture I took this morning, straight ahead and with the ladder attached to the side:

And from the other side you can see how much the building has changed. The rectangular piece is at the end on the left:

So I’m wondering a couple of things. How do these pictures fit together? Dates? And for the first and third–where in the world was the photographer standing?

I’ve got a special one for tomorrow.

Bonus: Unconventional Wisdom.


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“the next statue on Rice campus,” 1941

In May of 1941 Edgar Odell Lovett submitted his resignation after 34 years as president of Rice. At a dinner held at Homecoming that November he was presented with the second Rice Alumni Medal for Distinguished Service by Harvin Moore, president of the ARA:

Lovett didn’t get out quite so cleanly, of course, as the press of war made finding a replacement impossible. He continued to serve until the arrival of William Houston in 1946. I admire very much the selflessness of the work he performed these last years, laboring on at a time when age and weariness must surely have made it a struggle.

I recently ran across the copy of Will Rice’s remarks that were read by Moore at this event:

Mr. Rice got his wish 71 years later, but that’s really not so bad in University Time and it’s a beauty:


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Friday Follies: Bottoms Up

Today is the last day of classes AND San Jacinto Day!

Bonus: Not “ahead” so much really. It was more like “above.”

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“I have very great hopes of these men,” 1909

I’ve had occasion lately to be thinking about the construction of Lovett Hall. I went back to a collection that was in part the topic of my second post on this blog: Sundry Contracts. As it turned out there are over a dozen boxes of these records, all of which came from the files of Arthur Cohn, and among them are several folders of materials that document the construction contracting process from beginning to end.

Here’s the very beginning, a letter from Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson to Edgar Odell Lovett, accepting the job of designing the first campus plan and buildings:

The very next day Lovett wrote to trustee Emmanuel Raphael with the exciting news:

Lovett’s statement to the local newspapers did indeed get there in time for the Sunday papers, which were pressing for action and hungry for any bit of information about the new Institute’s progress. This article was published on August 29:

Bonus: If you’re looking for strange you can usually count on a bassoonist.

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