What’s That?

I apologize for yet another post about Founder’s Court. But I just can’t help it. I was interested in those hedges from yesterday so I began peering intently at the images in the Lovett Hall photo files to see what might turn up. Before I even got to the hedges I saw something I’d never noticed before. It’s hard to see without zooming in, but there’s a small white dot just to the right of the first car on the right:

Front of Lovett with cars and sign nd


When you get closer you can see that it’s a sign of some sort:

Front of Lovett with cars and sign nd

One would expect or at least hope that it was a campus map, but we haven’t had an especially good history in that regard. Neither is this a particularly helpful location for such a map. Still, I can’t think what else it might be. Anyone know?

The picture isn’t dated, by the way, but I expect that one of you car nuts might be able to help with that. (I love that station wagon second from left–I’ve always felt cheated by the rise of the mini-van.)

I was able to make out the sign in a second image, an aerial taken in what looks like the late ’80s, which give rise to the problem of when the thing disappeared. I got here in 1991 and I have no recollection of it, which is not at all dispositive:

Lovett front aerial nd but c late 80s with sign

Really, it’s there:

Lovett front aerial nd but c late 80s with signThoughts?


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10 Responses to What’s That?

  1. james lang says:


  2. C Kelly says:

    It was after my time. Don’t ever recall it in the early 70s.

  3. effegee says:

    The aerial is after the replanting of the quad early in the Rupp administration although I think it was there prior to that time.

    I remember the sign enclosure but really didn’t pay much attention to the contents. If you were walking through the sallyport from Cohen House, you had to go out of your way to look at it. I think it contained a campus map and some info about where to go to get various info that a visitor would want before the first Welcome Center was created in the old Registrar’s Office on the south side of the sallyport.. Often looked like the enclosure had been wet on the inside due to leaks or condensation. I think the “glass” of the enclosure was Plexiglas — eventually somewhat yellowed and frosted due to exposure to sun and dirt.

  4. mjthannisch says:

    I agree with you about the minivans.

    BTW. keep up the great work, we don’t always say anything, but really enjoy your postings

  5. Hannes Hofer says:

    I remember that map. I believe it was there during the 80s and 90s. Marty can probably give us an approximate date based on the cars.

  6. Don Johnson says:

    I was a campus map. Didn’t everyone swing over to the right to view it before walking into the Sallyport?

  7. James Medford says:

    It was a campus map. I remember when some local show (PM Magazine Houston, or something like that) taped an episode on campus, and as the two anchors looked at the map, one of them said, “Wow, I didn’t realize the campus was the big.” This was someone who had lived in Houston for years …

  8. Left to right, the Chevette is mid-to-late 70s, the Buick Estate wagon is probably a ’77, I can’t tell with the early-70s beat-up GM midsize, BUT I’m guessing that Delta 88 is from 1980 or so. And the Cutlass is probably a ’76. I came to Rice in 1980 and I remember this sign. And yes, it was a campus map, probably a color enlargement of a picture from the General Announcements or other campus printed material. If memory serves there was one near Sewall Hall across from Allen Center, also. Yes, it was faded and yellowed and full of condensation. There was a very long period when the University basically ignored any kind of public wayfinding and I think the deterioration of signs like this basically is what brought the need for something better to everyone’s attention. It probably went away when they tried the first “interactive” video display at Lovett Hall.

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