Cohen House, circa 1950

I was looking at a batch of slides from the early 1950s this afternoon when I came across this one. It’s Cohen house, about 1952, from an unusual angle. It was taken essentially from behind– today Allen Center would be to the left of the parked cars and the terrace behind the right side of the building is now the main dining room. The arched window on the bottom in the middle of the building is now over the shoulder of the nice folks who give us the daily special.

Coincidentally, just a week or so ago I found some pictures of a wedding reception held at Cohen House in 1950, so I also have some idea what the interior looked like at about this time. The most notable thing to me is the decoration of the wall in the main lounge area. I think this must have been painted.

My daughter Maggie had her wedding reception in this room.

The man in the middle facing the camera with his hand in his jacket pocket is Hubert Bray, famous as Rice’s first Ph.D. recipient and a long-time member of the mathematics faculty. The very tall, slim man with his back to the camera is William Ward Watkin, the founder of our school of architecture.

So whose wedding was it?

Mechanical Engineering professor Alan Chapman and Marjorie Bray, daughter of Hubert Bray. (Here’s Chapman’s  2007 obituary from Rice News and Media Relations, written by two friends of mine. I still think of Alan nearly daily.)

I wish I could explain why I love this picture so much.

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3 Responses to Cohen House, circa 1950

  1. Sandy Havens says:

    The couple on the left is Professor of English Will Dowden and his wife Betty Rose.

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