Historians tend to explain the past in terms of the tensions between continuity and change, between what endures over time and what disappears. At first blush these seem like two very different things, but the longer I think about it the more I wonder.
This is one of Joseph Davies’s photographs, taken during the construction of the Bonner Lab in 1952:
I don’t know who took this one, but it shows construction of Duncan Hall in 1995 on precisely the same spot:
Bonus: Lovett Hall tiles.
It is an interesting footnote on the location in the first two pictures that the architects were directed to design Mudd Laboratory using that site in 1982. Or more accurately, they designed for the parking lot (old Lot D?) south of Abercrombie and west of Bonner but had to leave Bonner intact. The site was ultimately rejected because the projected cost of the project on that site was 1-1/2 to 2 times the planned budget, largely due to the exterior appearance requirements of the location. Mudd Laboratory was ultimately built on the staff parking lot bounded by Ryon, Herman Brown, and Hamman (old Lot E?).
Thanks for your great followup post on the plaster casts and for posting about another interesting topic, which is tiles on campus (a very overlooked architectural feature in my opinion). According to Stephen Fox in his General Plan of the William M. Rice Institute and its Architectural Development, the titles on the Administration Building were done by the Enfield Pottery and Tile Company, who also did East and West Hall, while the more well known Pewabic Pottery did the tile work on the Physics building and the Mechanical Lab.