“Tentative Location of Proposed Library Group,” 1941

When Tommy sent that beautiful shot of Brochstein Pavilion the other day he also included this lovely image of the campus taken from just above the main entrance:

130518_Rice_Aerials 0303

It made me remember this drawing, which I found about a month or so ago. It’s a 1941 Cram and Ferguson sketch of a proposed location for the already anticipated new library group. They wanted to put it where George R. Brown is today. Although I think that in recent years we’ve found a way to make the best of it, I wish we would have done it their way.

Fondren proposed library group location

Bonus: Last week I saw this over by Sewall, where they’re working on the roof.


I laughed, reminded of this:


I still miss Johnny.

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11 Responses to “Tentative Location of Proposed Library Group,” 1941

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

    I disagree: I think the library would have been too far away from the residential dormitories had it been done ‘their’ way.

    BTW, reading about the murder of W.M.Rice recently, I realized that a “public library” was mentioned as one of his desires, even before the institute of higher learning. I wonder if that ever came to fruition?
    What do you know about that?
    Perhaps it became a moot point after Houston built a library or sumpin.

  2. loki_the_bubba says:

    I always loved that the library seemed to set in the exact center of campus. I guess it pretty much is if you discount the stadium. Fondren is exactly where it should be.

  3. Fondren used to have a lot of cork floors. Worn, but quiet and soft on the feet. I agree, there’s a powerful statement made when the library is in the center of the campus.

  4. Da.Owl says:

    Are you going to do a story on Tommy’s photo shoot ?

  5. Charley Landgraf (Sid Rich '75) says:


    The 1941 Cram & Ferguson plan seems to envisage some sort of bilaterally-symmetrical structure on the west end of the Academic Quadrangle, where asymmetric Fondren is now. Do you know what they planned there, if the Library Group was to be on the north of the Loop?

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

      Thanks for your Class year, Charley.
      Wish everybody did the same.

  6. Looks to me like it remained open in kind of a “super-quad” all the way to kind of a plaza about where the Brochstein is now. Note that “Sewall,” “Anderson,” “Rayzor,” the “Student Center,” the “Brochstein Wing of Architecture,” the “new section of Baker” and approximately “old Wiess” are anticipated with placeholders in this drawing.

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