I got back to campus today and I must admit that I really enjoyed being back. I had badly missed my colleagues–and my scanner. I figured that I would be tired and would just put up a post tonight about Rice Christmas cards, but something much more exciting came up. (Don’t worry, you’ll get to see the Christmas cards tomorrow.)
Over in the Baker Commons, Phase One of the renovations has begun. The panels have been taken down and sent off for refinishing. But what’s really interesting is what’s under the panels. It looks like a riot under there! During the planning phases they had peeked under one of the panels to get a sense of how the building had been constructed, but that couldn’t really prepare anyone for the wildness of the room.
There are all kinds of materials–several kinds of brick, clay panels, wood, concrete–and the remains of at least two systems for attaching the beautiful wood panels to the walls. The older system is the one on the darker wall. Those circles are wooden dowels embedded in the wall that had grommets on the ends. The newer system is visible on the lighter wall on the left. The dark stripes are also wood, strips with nails meant to hold the panels. I think.
I’m not even going to try to get into the addition yet. My head is still spinning.
Bonus: It’s pretty obvious that over time there’s been quite a bit of patching done in this room. Here’s a note from a carpenter who took a crack at it in the summer of 1964: