“Stadium for the Rice Institute, Original Topography,” 1950

You have to click on this twice to get a good look at it, but it’s fabulous. It’s a topo map of the west side of campus done by Rice stadium architects Lloyd and Morgan and Milton McGinty in April of 1950:


This was brought to my attention by Richard Johnson, who, among several other things, directs the Administrative Center for Sustainablity and Energy Management. He came across it in the FE&P files and he was by his own admission “completely geeked out upon finding it.” I confess I’m pretty pumped about it too–the precise location of the barns!–and that I was also quite interested in Richard’s observations:

The drawing to my eyes is wildly interesting, as it shows the considerable depth of Harris Gully, the location of the barn/shed complex to the east of the Gully, and – to my surprise – that the southern portion of the Gully was put into a culvert underground first (I had always assumed it was the other way around due to the construction of the stadium, although it does make sense to start downstream and work one’s way upwards, to the extent that burying a stream makes sense at all). 

Just as a refresher, here is an earlier post about the enclosure of the southern part of Harris gully. The photo of “the last days of the old footbridge” appeared in the February 1950 issue of the Sallyport, so when the map above was drawn in April, the gully hadn’t been buried for more than a few months.


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14 Responses to “Stadium for the Rice Institute, Original Topography,” 1950

  1. grungy1973 says:

    Sewall Hall, by the sculpture pit?

  2. Carolyn Brewer says:

    When did the new stadium open?

  3. Marty Merritt (Hanszen '84/85) says:

    Bonus: coming up from the side of Fondren, looking toward Humanities?

  4. loki_the_bubba says:


  5. Mark Williamson says:

    Given those spoil banks, the “considerable depth of Harris Gully” was no accident.

    What I wonder is what that “Dyke” near the barns was intended to protect and why it had gaps. It looks more like a series of rifle target backstops than a dike. Is that around where we think the rifle range was?

    • Richard Miller (Hanszen '75 & '76) says:

      Not only that, the elevations on both sides of the ‘dyke’ appear to be the same but there is a 1 foot rise to the SSE of the structure.

      Even without the spoil banks, Harris was still a pretty good sized creek

  6. Kathy says:

    I’m amazed at the amount of relief, generally. I would have thought that area was the veritable pancake.

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