A while back I ran across this pretty interesting aerial photo I’d never seen before. (Incidentally, I’ve already forgotten where I found it.) It’s labeled on the back: Rice v. Texas, 1950. Note how raw the area around the stadium still was — it struck me that this must have been one of the first games played in the new stadium.
Naturally, I was curious about what happened in the game so off I went and just a little digging turned up the story. The game was, in fact, only the fourth held in Rice Stadium and was also the first Homecoming game played there. The Owls had a decent season in 1950, going 6-4, but I sense that hopes had been somewhat higher for this team. In any event, UT won this game easily, 35-7.
One of the places I poked around in was the Woodson’s collection of football programs. This turned out to yield some pretty interesting material. Here’s the cover, a classic expression of yearning:
And the analysis of the season so far:
What I found especially delightful, though, were the ads. Here’s one for a local Dodge dealer, shot on campus, right smack in the middle of the Academic Quad:
Just for the heck of it here are a couple more. The Shamrock Hotel:
And given my well known love for obsolete technology, I’m sure it will surprise no one that this is my favorite:
Been quite a while since we filled the upper deck of the stadium!
My father who attended Rice in 1949-50 told me that a road existed through the campus where the picture of that Dodge was taken.
Look how small the trees are in the subdivisions surrounding campus.
A couple of things struck me about this picture I too had never seen before. One is how neat the cars are parked and also how many open spaces there are on the west side. I assume the north circle which you can’t see is where the buses are parked that used to come from various country clubs and other spots in town that reduced the number of cars (also cars are probably parked as far as where Reckling Park is now). For games in the 50’s my parents and I usually rode the bus (one of two or three) that originated at the Willowisp Country Club.
The bands are tiny.
Are the cars at the top of the picture parked on the grass? Or is it just a different color of parking lot surface? Yes, there was a road through the middle of the Academic Quad up until the late 50s at least, I think it exited approximately by the Lovett College entrance on Main Street. Apparently there were traffic backups in the Academic Quad during afternoon commute times. I suspect, although haven’t seen this in print anywhere, that the Academic Quad didn’t really have the “sacred space” cachet that it seems to now. Probably the removal of the road and the construction of Sewall Hall are what contributed to that.
We’ve seen pictures of that road previously. It extended all the way up to the Mech Lab, with parking and a median in the space where the Rocks are now.
I think that road had a left turn off of it just beyond the Chemistry Building.
It then went about a block or so and turned right, passing out to Rice Blvd.
I believe it went by the military buildings on the right along the way, as well as a parking lot wherein the military drilled sometimes.
The administration met some resistance when it tried to close that road with a chain roadblock and attached stopsign post. I remember seeing a picture of male feet resting on that beloved road block post and chain, in some residence — probably an off-campus apartment.
Perhaps Sandy Havens and/or John Wolda can comment upon my memory of that road.
Thank you, Gene. Melissa, we need a post about the story of this road and its disappearance!
Well, I agree in theory. However, I haven’t got this figured out yet. Stand by and I’ll keep you posted.
Look at the inside of the back cover of the 1953 “Campanile”.
I THINK it shows the probably-converted quadrangle-crossing road, coming from Main St. on the left, to the perimeter road, crossing the quadrangle, passing between Physics Bldg. and Anderson and terminating in a ?hedge at the perimeter road on the other side. It then proceeded to the Engineering bldg.
I THINK there was a connecting road under the trees behind the Chemistry complex, which road dead-ended into the road proceeding out to Rice Blvd, passing the parking lot and military buildings on the right side.
Some of my discussants on THE RICE INSTITUTE CLASS OF 1956 website state that the road to Rice Blvd. continued to the north of the Chem.Auditorium/Butcher Hall/WhatNow bldg., to dead end into the perimeter road. It may have, I sort of remember that but only vaguely.
(I am now uncertain exactly where the administration tried to block a road.)
Also note the road behind Fondren Library: It began at the perimeter road, past behind Fondren, went beside the parking lot that serviced North/Weiss Hall, and continued across the other side of the perimeter road out to Main St., passing between West/oldHansen(?sp) and South Halls on the way.
BTW, I do NOT think that I ever saw the water way in the parking lot:
We walked straight down to the Field House from West Hall for gymnasium activities. We cut across the grass to get to the stadium, which would be rather full of cars on FB day.
When I ultimately obtained a car, I always parked it up at the dormitory complexes. Thus, I never saw that royal gorge.