Many, many thanks to everyone who helped figure these out. The basketball photo was clearly taken on the loop side of Hanszen. This is a satisfying answer, as West Hall was the closest dorm to the athletic facilities. Here’s the spot today:
The light fixture is much uglier, they’ve fancied up the small windows at the bottom of the building and we’ve got mature vegetation, but it’s pretty obviously the same place.
We also had some discussion in the comments about exactly how many buildings were on campus in 1920. It’s seven. Here’s an aerial that was taken in 1921 and you can see all of them except the field house, which is just out of range to the top left. If you zoom in on it you can sort of almost make out the football field on the far side of the trees if you squint hard and use your imagination.
I’m slowly working my way through all the comments about the other aerial shot from the mid-90s. Everyone’s observations are proving extremely valuable to me beyond the issue at hand, significantly adding to my store of knowledge about the more recent history of Rice’s physical plant. I really appreciate the help.
Bonus: Willie ate a bland diet while he was alive but he was excited about all the dining choices that are now available in the RMC. As a die-hard capitalist he always enjoys seeing an entrepreneur fill a market niche.
That is the exact menu that was served at Ma Hardy’s Commons during my day at the Institute.
Of course, it was all mixed in the same pot: some labelled it “Mystery Meat”.
Wow, you’re right about the light fixture. The newer one is a poor, almost laughable, replacement. Those little details make a big difference.
I had never realized that the space in front of Lovett Hall had been a big parking lot with a small grassy space in the middle, instead of a large grassy area, with parking lots around it. Much better now.
I am glad to see that my favorite tree is visible in the 1920 aerial photo. The tree is about halfway between the Physics Lecture Hall and the Mechanical building, on the far side of the field. Today it is between Biology and Geology, on the street side (away from Hamman Hall). As we have looked at aerial photos of the campus from the earlier days, the tree is a good marker since it is usually visible, being a big tree in the middle of a mostly grassy area back then.
In the aerial photo, across from the Main St. entrance, there seems to be a pathway, going over a bridge which crosses some stream of water.
What was that body of water, where did it go and where is it now?