Fondren Library, Part III, Plus a Bonus Football Innovation

I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten about the library additions, didn’t you? Wrong!

Here’s the first—and I think the weirder—one. When Rayzor Hall was built in 1962, they decided it needed to be connected to Fondren by a cloister in order to reflect Anderson Hall on the other side. Here’s a picture of the newly completed Rayzor with the cloister sticking off the side:

The problem, though, is that while Anderson and Fondren were built at roughly the same time and were made to fit neatly together, Rayzor was built over a decade later and it seemed that no thought had been given to how a building there would relate to the library. Maddeningly, I cannot find a single photo of the new cloisters being built. The best I can do is this shot of Rayzor itself under construction that gives us one last look at the original building. (You can just make out here five reliefs over the four windows on the left. Four of them have been moved over to the front where the door is, but I don’t know where the fifth is.)

And here is the result. It’s just ungainly–the windows on the south front disappear as does the sense of back and forth that the original design produced.

Bonus: Here’s some crazy talk from 1957.

Extra Bonus: An alert and very sharp-eyed reader sends this from the sidewalk in front of the BRC.

What is that? Let’s have a closer look.

That strange sound you hear is me, working hard to suppress a smart remark.


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8 Responses to Fondren Library, Part III, Plus a Bonus Football Innovation

  1. marmer01 says:

    Wireless mouse.

  2. Leoguy says:

    The altered front of Fondren is perhaps the most awkward and unresolved architectural element on the campus. Especially so, given its central position in the campus plan. But, we already know that.
    I wonder if it might be possible to add a new addition to the front of the library that would screen the original facade, eliminate the awkward jog in the cloister and allow for a proper resolution of this “messy” composition. The addition wouldn’t need to be very deep. Just enough building to provide some usable interior space (new elevators, too?) and finally create a facade that is the equal of Lovett Hall. Well, nothing can equal Lovett Hall, but at least a facade that’s respectful of the campus architectural style and vocabulary.

  3. Melissa Kean says:

    You are so funny! I don’t even have money to get F&E to move boxes for me.

    I thought maybe you’d just been doodling.

    • Leoguy says:

      I have been thinking about it. Talking with Mary Bixby today, I mentioned this and she told me that an architect had already suggested this approach and had created a design for that location. Perhaps you can look into this and share it with us, your loyal subjects.

      • Melissa Kean says:

        Hmmmmm. Interesting. I have an inkling of what she might have meant. I’ll see what I can find.

        This is exactly how to stay in my good graces–give me something to hunt for.

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