Where Were Those Set-Builders Working?

I’m still trying to narrow down the location of the set building for the 1947 Archi-arts ball that we saw in Tuesday’s post. My initial hunch was that it must have taken place in the Chemistry Building because that’s where Architecture was at the time. After further review, I think that call stands. I don’t have a whole lot to go on but there are a couple of clues and, honestly, there weren’t very many buildings then so I feel pretty good about my odds.

First, notice that we can see a little bit of a ceiling light fixture in this shot:

Archi Arts set 2 1947

I do happen to have several pictures that show the interior of Chemistry right after it was completed and from what I can see, it seems to be the same kind of fixture that was used throughout the building:



Second, in this one–and I can’t believe I didn’t notice this immediately–there’s a near life sized plaster cast of a naked male torso at top left:

Archi Arts set 4 1947

This sent me to the 1947-48 General Announcements to find out where the freehand drawing room was. The answer is in the “Library and Laboratories” section, which is a real wealth of information in general. Pages 62 and 63 describe the architecture facilities,  all in Chemistry: riceuniversityge194748hous (dragged) 1 and riceuniversityge194748hous (dragged)

Not an airtight case, perhaps, but I’m at peace with my decision to call this the freehand studio on the second floor of the Chemistry Building.

Bonus: Was anybody else creeped out by the vague, almost shadowy description of the Psychology lab in the general announcements above? It struck me as rather ominous. What could they have been doing in there?

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4 Responses to Where Were Those Set-Builders Working?

  1. Wendy Kilpatrick Laubach '78 says:

    Seeing those glass-fronted cabinets in the Chemistry Building gives me a powerful shot of nostalgia.

  2. marmer01 says:

    Sounds creepy but it’s probably just academic boilerplate filler written by someone who really didn’t know very much about that lab. Probably didn’t come from someone in the Psych department. Or maybe their vision lab involved blindfolds…

    • A dark room is pretty handy for vision research. If you want to control light, it helps to start with no light, then add exactly what you want. That is how you can do repeatable experiments. In a room with windows, the time of day, year, the weather, all affect the light.

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