“We will miss you some but not a lot”: Farewell to the Glasscock School Doublewide

Over the years, one of the mainstays of Continuing Education at Rice has been photography courses. In particular, serious students return repeatedly to the classes offered by Peter Brown. Last week marked the conclusion of the last such class to be given in the old building, one of the two “temporary” structures built for the Institute of the Arts in 1969. I searched high and low for an old image of these metal building but came up with nothing except this December, 1968 article that details the Menil’s new involvement with Rice. I don’t know how closely the little model pictured here resembles what was actually built, but I do know that it doesn’t look like that now.

Temporary Buildings 1968

In any event, the last class inspired Robert Flatt, one of the regulars, to compose–and, I believe, perform as a rap–a stirring tribute to the decrepit old building on the eve of the move into the new one. I very much regret that I didn’t witness this myself.

An Ode to the Old Metal Building

Our last class in the old metal building                                                                                    Brings tears to our eyes amidst our celebrating                                                                                    It began its life in 1969                                                                                                           Patroned by the de Menils                                                                                                             Using Howard Barnstone for architecting                                                                                     One of two metal buildings referred to affectionately                                                                   As “Barn” and the “Son of Barn” respectively

(Chorus) I am Blue you would be too                                                                                              If you had the Closing Down Blues

Its first featured exhibit was a real success                                                                                     An Andy Warhol show about an installation in progress                                                            It featured a tree ready for planting                                                                                                 That is alive today just outside the building                                                                                      It was home to some owls just a few months past                                                                           No one thought the building would last

(Chorus)

In 1987 it came to acquire                                                                                                               The attentions of Mary McIntire                                                                                                And became the home of continuing education                                                                            And of course the wonderful course,                                                                                         Taught to our class with Peter’s dedication

(Chorus)

The temperature was never exactly right                                                                                        And it took a long time                                                                                                                          To get the tables just right                                                                                                               But it’s been a good home                                                                                                                       For our photography critiques                                                                                                    Getting better & better with each passing year                                                                             The passion to improve is really sincere

(Chorus)

It’s just part of the law of entropy                                                                                        Everything must decay and die someday                                                                                       Even the Astrodome cannot escape destruction                                                                        Please say goodbye to this wonderful old building                                                               With it squeaks and groans and temporary construction                                                          We will miss you some but not a lot                                                                                                 As we enter the new building across the parking lot.

Bonus:

Out Glasscock School window 12-13

Update: This analysis of yesterday’s Lovett Hall renovation post came in my email. I think it’s about right.

If my recollection is correct, the registrar, cashier, etc., were all located on the second floor of Lovett Hall where the Founder’s Room is now. I think it is true that the Founder’s Room space was also divided vertically into 2 floors of such offices.
Those offices were moved into Allen Center when it opened, and Lovett Hall was remodelled thereafter. Portions of Doug Killgore’s movie “Grigsby, G.” were filmed in what became the Founder’s Room after it had been returned to a single room and was covered with whitewashed wall board  (and not yet finished into what was called by many the “New Orleans brothel” style it sported until the Glanvilles paid for it to be remodelled to today’s appearance sometime before the Economic Summit). Doug’s movie was made, if I recall correcty, during the spring of 1970, and so that is probably a good guess for the date of the photos on today’s blog.  

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4 Responses to “We will miss you some but not a lot”: Farewell to the Glasscock School Doublewide

  1. effegee says:

    The Registrar in the fall of 1969 was located in Lovett Hall on the south side of the sallyport (Entrance C?) in the first floor suite off the stairway to the Founder’s Room. It stayed there until the renovation of Allen Center that added the 4th floor and attic. The current Registrar space was occupied by the Treasurer in 1969, which is the reason for the humongous vault in that space. The Registrar space in Lovett Hall became the Visitor Center when the Registrar moved out.

    The Cashier in 1969 was located in its present location but, I believe the office was wider than it is today and more easily reached from the Main Street side. The Main Street end of the original Cashier suite was occupied by Employment as of 2002.

  2. Pingback: Ode to the Doublewide | Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

  3. Robert Flatt says:

    The “Ode to the Old Metal Building” was performed by our class as a rap song. I “rapped” the lyrics and the class “rapped” the chorus.

  4. Robert Flatt says:

    Melissa – I found these 3 photos on the web I think on the Rice web. The best history comes from the following link:

    http://arts.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=2147484117

    Regards, Robert

    From: Rice History Corner Reply-To: Rice History Corner Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 4:39 PM To: My Mac Subject: [New post] We will miss you some but not a lot: Farewell to the Glasscock School Doublewide

    WordPress.com Melissa Kean posted: “Over the years, one of the mainstays of Continuing Education at Rice has been photography courses. In particular, serious students return repeatedly to the classes offered by Peter Brown. Last week marked the conclusion of the last such class to be given “

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