A Visit to Campus, 1938

Some interesting photographs turned up in the papers of Ray Watkin Hoagland Strange ’36, recently. In them, we see Ray on a visit to campus two years after her graduation in the company of some of her co-workers. I was frankly astonished to learn that she worked for several years for a major oil company, mostly because I can’t quite imagine her having a boss. In any event, there’s Ray sitting by the fountain at Cohen House with a great view of the fancy terrace furniture:

Ray Watkin and friend 1938 Cohen House fountain

My instant reaction to this next image is that it was taken by someone standing in the middle doorway of the Physics building. (And while we’re looking around, look at the size of that tree! How did that happen?)

Ray Watkin and friends 1938 gravel path

When I went and stood in that middle doorway, though, I saw something surprising. The changes in the shrubbery are about what I expected but there’s no sidewalk coming out from the doorway towards the middle of the quad.



A quick perusal of some random aerial shots cleared this up, mostly. Where there are now two sidewalks coming off the front of Physics, there were for many years three. Here’s one example, a photo taken near the beginning of the second wave of building after World War II—construction of the Geology Building is well underway. Zoom in and you can clearly see the three lines from Physics:

Aerial from treasurer's office nd


I don’t know when that middle walk went away but I don’t have time to figure it out right now. I have a new granddaughter about to be born in Oregon and I’ve got to get up there!


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7 Responses to A Visit to Campus, 1938

  1. effegee says:

    Hmmm … concrete is more expensive than crushed shell. Had to economize some where? I don’t recall the absence of the third walk presenting any real problem reaching the concrete walk when exiting the door in the cloister 🙂

    Lot of that grandchild stuff going around right now and even more on tap in the next couple of months. Congratulations!

  2. Keith Cooper says:

    Let me offer a hypothesis on the Italian cypress. I would bet that the shot predates automatic irrigation in the quadrangle. Much of the difficulty with the current cypress trees relates back to watering the lawn.

  3. Where in Oregon? We just got back from getting our son settled in his off-campus house in Salem (Willamette University).

    I also see some use paths in that aerial photo. Some university (LSU?) gave up and paved all the use paths that the students had made across the lawns.

  4. Joan Rea says:

    Congratulations on the new grandchild, Melissa. See you around campus.

  5. Pingback: A Visit to Campus, 1962 | Rice History Corner

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