The Old Old Football Stadium

One of the Texas National Guard aerial photos gives us a beautiful look at the old old stadium–that is, the old stadium before it was expanded in 1938. Just to be clear, I don’t mean the very first stadium (such as it was). The first stands, complete in time for the 1913 season, were just wooden bleachers:

That's Tiny Kalb in the middle, without a helmet!

I’m talking about the the original “old stadium” built in 1921, at the same time as the Fieldhouse. These were the first new structures on campus, by the way, since West Hall was completed in 1916. Some time ago I posted a 1921 aerial shot of the stadium taken from the Main Street side. Just for fun, here it is again:

The 1933 picture, though, was taken from the west side and unfortunately it’s a bit blurrier than the others in the series. (Yes, there is a lot going on in this unusual photo, so much that I can only manage to talk about one thing at a time. I’m just warming up here.)

Twelve years after it was built, the stadium looks more or less unchanged. But within only a few years of when this picture was taken, growing crowds began creating problems. Lovett insisted that if improvements were to be made, Rice boosters would have to raise the money for the expansion. I wrote about that project in this post on the 1937 Owl map.

And just by chance, a couple of days ago I ran across two photos of that addition being constructed:

Not as scary as the construction pictures of the new stadium

Bonus: I admire their confidence.

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4 Responses to The Old Old Football Stadium

  1. Deborah Gronke Bennett says:

    Are those billboards across Main Street from the stadium?

  2. Melissa Kean says:

    Yes, ma’am, they sure are. I’ll get to those later, I promise!

  3. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    Are we also seeing an early Ye Old College Inn?
    That Owl Roose eat-drinkery seems to have disappeared.

  4. Pingback: Thursday Evening Follies with Bleachers | Rice History Corner

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