Where Did That Turnstile Come From??

I find myself quite pressed for time tonight, but I do have something cool that I found unexpectedly this afternoon. This was the centerpiece of a full page newspaper spread published in the early spring of 1941–the reporter followed a Rice co-ed through her day on campus.
Turnstile 1941

This is baffling to me. Why is there a turnstile in the middle of campus? Really, sometimes I just have to stop in wonderment.

Also, do you think this is the same walkway? It’s obviously much earlier (note the top of the campanile) but it sort of looks the same.

Mech Lab from road c late 20sBonus:


An aside: I was very touched by all the emails I got about Eddie Wojecki. I’ll have another post about him tomorrow.

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10 Responses to Where Did That Turnstile Come From??

  1. almadenmike says:

    Could the turnstile be at the hedges of the campus coundary, behind the Mech Lab/Campanile?

    Didn’t coeds still have to live off campus at that time? The caption says she’s completed her class schedule (“for the day,” I presume is continued), so maybe she’s leaving campus for her off-campus domicile.

  2. almadenmike says:

    “boundary” … not “coundary”, of course.

  3. effegee says:

    Turnstiles at the hedges would keep bicyclists off the walks (at least dismount them and encourage use of roadways). I assume any loose cattle were long gone by then…

    • mjthannisch says:

      There were still cattle on the south side of campus when I moved to Houston in1960, between Rice U and University. Of course there were still some where Reliant/Astrodome are until they started building the Astrodome. I don’t remember when the cows disappeared from that little section, or when that last piece of land was bought. Seems like we have talked about it.

      • effegee says:

        IIRC the on-campus cattle seemed pretty well contained. I was wondering to what extent the farms north of campus had disappeared by the time of the turnstile photo and whether cattle might have been wandering off them.

        While I hadn’t thought of it before making the previous comment, a turnstile is effectively a gate that doesn’t require someone to close it. Such gates would have reinforced the fact that the land was private property.

  4. The Portal to Texas History Rice Thresher archives shows this for Friday, November 11, 1938. There’s a letter to the editor written by one Pete Burns who seems to have been quite a card. He describes a bicyclist named Roy McWhinney who got stuck in the turnstile at the “rear entrance” to campus and made “fifty students” late to class. The implication in the letter is that it was indeed intended to discourage bicycles on the path and Mr. Burns was urging the removal of the turnstile in the name of democracy.


    • Melissa Kean says:

      If that’s the case, I would welcome turnstiles back. I’m a fan of bikes, but the bicycle traffic has become chaotic. I almost got clocked yesterday morning on the sidewalk behind Fondren.

      • James Medford says:

        Melissa, I’ve run into the same thing walking down that sidewalk behind Fondren and along Brochstein Pavillion. There are clearly posted signs telling people to walk their bikes on that portion of the sidewalk, but they’re mostly ignored.

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

    Could the second pic of the tower be showing where the quadrangle-crossing road met and crossed the North Loop Road?

  6. PERCO says:

    If this turnstile turns only in one direction, it looks like campus administration wants to allow enter but restrict exit at this point. That’s why they use a simple model of rotor turnstile.

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