Trees, or Lack Thereof

I’m just getting home after a really long day and I can’t come up with much to say. However, I’ve been thinking about something in the 1969 campus picture from yesterday. Notice how small and how few the trees were along the loop in between the then relatively new science buildings and the RMC:

Aerial 1969

I recently found a ground level photo that must have been taken at around this same time. The whole row of oaks near the road isn’t there yet. It looks powerfully strange:

Biology no trees

And there are only a few tiny trees in that spot in this rather dizzying 1965 shot:

Aerial 1965

Bonus: Just for fun, here’s the front side of the library in 1969.

Fondren from Lovett w grad wing 1969

Extra Bonus:


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12 Responses to Trees, or Lack Thereof

  1. Sandy Havens says:

    Just look at all the parking lots! As for trees, I am reminded of a comment made to me by the then Chairman of the English Dept., Will Dowden. I was new on the faculty and impatient for something or other to happen immediately. Will said to me, “Sandy, when the University wants a tree it plants one.” And so it has. And so are we blessed with many trees–speaking both literally and metaphorically–as was Will Dowden.

  2. Wolfgang says:

    Thanks for your research. I love old photos of our University and am your blog’s fan número uno!

  3. James Medford says:

    I had the same reaction on seeing the 1981 aerial photo on I arrived at Rice in August, 1981, and I remember the lack of trees along that stretch of the loop. It’s amazing how much that’s changed.

  4. Buddy Chuoke '75 says:

    When looking at the aerial of the campus of 1965, what caught my eye was the baseball diamond behind then Weiss College. There were no permanent bleachers or even a fence as I recall. When the baseball season was over, the land just returned to a good place to toss a frisbee. Hard to believe the quantum leap the Rice baseball program has made since those days.

  5. mjthannisch says:

    Comments on trees and parking bring me back mentally to high school. We had grown up on Silent Spring, and other such books, and Conroe High School had cut down a bunch of trees in front for a parking lot. The young lady running for president of the student council (from that liberal state of CA I might add) made a very impassioned speech on the subject and as I recall got elected. Of course the funny thing was, all those people in favour of the trees still drove their cars to school instead of taking the bus.

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

      “all those people in favour of the trees still drove their cars to school instead of taking the bus.”
      Has anyone read “The Liberal among us”?

  6. Grungy says:

    A few trees, really large trees, were moved in order to install the Rocks (and the steam tunnels got extra bracing to help support the load of the crane carrying each one).

  7. Grungy says:

    ’65 aerial shot: the shadow of the greased pole is just visible, H-Lot is still oyster shell(?), no SPAC, no Herman Brown. What’s the white square on the grass north of Fondren?
    And The Bozobus appears to be parked on the loading dock at the Campus Store. This makes me smile.

  8. almadenmike says:

    What is the low structure nestled in the grove of trees between the track stadium and the baseball diamond?

  9. Grungy says:

    If it’s the same thing in the low-angle aerial shot, you’re seeing the shadows of the archery targets.

  10. almadenmike says:

    The structures I’m referring to appear to be in the grove of trees near a confluence of paths between the track stadium and centerfield of the baseball diamond. That area is not visible in the low-angle image, but rather further to the right of the archery targets and out of the frame.

  11. Craig says:

    Thanks for your blogging. I enjoy it greatly!

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