The View From the Top of Bonner Lab

Rooftop 7Here’s something I’ve never seen before. I was looking at some old aerial photos of campus and at the bottom of the stack were a couple black and white contact sheets, the images not much larger than postage stamps. I squinted at them and realized that they weren’t aerials at all, but they were quite strange.

Rooftop 2It’s very easy to see how the mistake was made. Even after I scanned a few it took a few minutes to understand what I was looking at: one misty day someone got on top of the Bonner Lab and took pictures all the way around.

RooftopThey’re a bit fuzzy and the contact sheet is a bit worse for the wear, but these are really interesting. Plus, we’ll never be able to do this again.

Rooftop 5

So we know where the photographer was standing. The open question is when was he standing there?

Rooftop 8

Bonus: This one is my favorite.

Rooftop 3

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10 Responses to The View From the Top of Bonner Lab

  1. Judging from the cars, late 1970’s, maybe early ’80s. Probably more likely ’70s. Note that you see no SUV’s and only one pickup truck.

  2. Leoguy says:

    Mid 1980’s. Anderson Hall has been enlarged and altered.

  3. James Medford says:

    In the second photo it looks like the 1981 addition to Anderson Hall is in place, so probably no earlier than 1981. The Shamrock Hilton is barely visible in the 2nd and 5th photos, so it’s no later than 1987, the year it was demolished.

  4. Sandy Havens says:

    Also, the Michael Heizer sculptures are not in place.

  5. marmer01 says:

    Could be ’83, cars-wise. Most of the cars are a few years older than that. Looks like there might be one early-80’s Buick sedan.

  6. mjthannisch says:

    Cars seem to be consistent with early 1980s. I did see one suburban.

  7. Not much very big in the Med Center yet, St. Luke’s Medical Towers _might_ be under construction. There might be a crane over there but it’s hard to tell.

  8. Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen '82) says:

    I love every posting that starts “Here’s something I’ve never seen before.”

  9. Pingback: The View From the Top of the Mudd Building, 1983 and a Mystery Solved (Probably) | Rice History Corner

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