Centennial of Lovett Hall

There’s going to be a big celebration tonight in honor of the centennial of the laying of the cornerstone of the Administration Building (now called Lovett Hall). I’m up in Omaha for a meeting so I won’t be there, but I think I’ll be in the video that they’re going to show. (Quite a treat for everyone, I’m sure!) So my tribute to Lovett Hall today is this:

We think of Lovett Hall as being always the same, almost as a symbol of the stability of Rice itself. But it isn’t really always the same. Obviously, people and offices have moved in and out over the years and we can all see the worn marble and tiles on the floors. But there’s more to it than that. These are pieces of interior concrete from Lovett that were cored out so that data cables could be run in the building. The shiny metal is rebar–it was square back in the day–and if you look closely you can see pale brown pieces in there. Those are of wood chips that got mixed in with the aggregate. These things are really heavy.

This is where the pieces came from. It’s the basement, towards the southeast corner of the building. I’ve spent quite a lot of time down there, but I never thought about these cables or about how the building has been adapted to make use of new technologies over the years. At least I never thought about it until last week, when Susann Glenn from FE&P and Ryan Moore from IT came in and brought us the concrete. Now, of course, I will pay obsessive attention to this until I understand how the building actually works and how it has changed over the last hundred years to fit new purposes as they arise.

Today’s Bonus Picture:

This is Susann and Ryan, when they came in with the concrete cores. It’s just possible that they were laughing at us for being so excited about it. We’re extremely grateful to them for bringing them in! And FYI, Ryan is the genius behind the Centennial Lego Owls.

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