What is that over by West Hall?

I used up all my energy today putting together a baby swing. Seriously. I’ve got nothing left.

But—I do have a couple of pictures. These are two more from the batch that Officer David Anderson of the RUPD brought in to the Woodson a while back, but they are much earlier than the images of Rice Stadium construction that I posted earlier. These are both great shots, sort of small panoramas, and you need to click in to zoom so you can get a good look. I think they were taken in late 1921 or early 1922. This first one is pretty interesting for obvious reasons, and I can date it because Autry House is finished and the snack shop called The Owl is still there. I don’t know anything about the airplane.

This next one isn’t quite so dramatic but it was taken from an unusual vantage point. Any early photo that shows the west side of campus is worth a close look and I’ve managed to get myself thoroughly confused with this one.

If you zoom in and look to the far right just above the middle of the picture, you’ll see some sort of fence-like structure. I can’t tell what that is. Just above it you can clearly see a smaller fence that I believe is a baseball backstop. The baseball field was originally on the other side of Harris Gully, but when they built the Fieldhouse and real football grandstands there in 1921 the baseball field moved here.

So what’s with the long fence, or whatever it is? Well, there were tennis courts in roughly that area for some time. But look at this:

 This was taken in 1921 (note you can see Autry House and the Owl at the end of the road)–and there are tennis courts just north of the Physics Building, right by the airplane wing. Still, tennis was really popular in this era and there might well have been two sets of courts. I’m still away from campus and I can’t check this out right now, but I will when I get back on Monday.

Just for reference, here’s another aerial shot, this one taken in 1928, that shows this part of campus. The tennis courts by Physics are gone and there are new ones by the baseball field. (I don’t have the strength to even deal with those buildings over there. I’ll think about that tomorrow.)



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4 Responses to What is that over by West Hall?

  1. Jerry Outlaw says:

    Great pictures. What you think may be a baseball fence in the area just past where Weiss College is situated looks more like an old fashioned tennis fence to me. That kind of construction was common for a long time. Add in the fact that there are still tennis courts in that location (as far as I know, at least there were a few years ago) and the probability of it being a fence around some courts increases. These are some of the best pictures you have published. Keep up the good work. I look forward to every e-mail from you.

  2. Helen says:

    Melissa, in the 4th picture, what is that lovely big house with the circular drive?! South on Main Street from campus. At the left edge of the picture, toward lower corner.

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