The 1970 Campanile

There’s always a lot of discussion about this one, for a number of reasons. There’s some unusual content (it was 1970 after all). From a historical standpoint it doesn’t have much value except as an artifact. From an archival one it’s problematic—the box contained so many loose pieces that it’s hard to find a complete copy. But if I could walk into this picture I’d grab a half dozen:

Homecoming 1970 Campanile

I’d love to know whose idea this was.

Bonus:L1000237

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20 Responses to The 1970 Campanile

  1. C Kelly says:

    I always thought it was Paul Hester’s idea.

  2. marmer01 says:

    I’ve seen the monks around before. Maybe it was Warren Skaaren’s idea.

  3. mattnoall says:

    Melissa, I was scrolling through you Woodson pictures of Willie ( http://woodsononline.wordpress.com/page/3/ ) and noticed that you lack pictures of the statue “Crowned” I have a photo (or probably a negative somewhere (maybe)) with the statue tastefully crowned with a toilet. I have no idea who did that, but I think it was there for a couple of days. If my poor memory serves, I was coming back to Sid Rich in the early evening (probably from either Herman Brown, those days home to ICSA where we had to use the computer system) or Abercrombie my senior year so probably the fall of 1978. I’m thinking that it might have made the Thresher as well.

    Anyway, it might be interesting sometime to see a pictorial history showing the “great respect” the students have sown the statue over the years, or maybe all of the statues….the one between Jones and Brown might be of special interest although perhaps not “family friendly”

    Matt Noall

  4. Kathleen A. Boyd says:

    I also heard it was Paul Hester’s idea.

  5. Paul Hester says:

    i am risking my anonymity in the interest of self-defensiveness. My role with the Campanile 1970 was mandated by election as editor. The business manager Lee Straus had nothing to do with the form or the content, so he’s innocent; he performed the difficult tasks of keeping us within the budget, selling ads, and raising money to make it happen. Groups of architecture students, lapsed architecture students and a few art students were the talent pools that gave the distinctive late 60s flavors. Steve Harf was the cartoonist of the booklet of advertising and clubs; David Stoms did the enormous task of collecting and editing the sounds recorded on the record, listening to hours of the recently created KTRU tapes; Peter Layne was the wise resident overseer of sophistication and taste (which was often ignored); a staff of writers and photographers and editors did all the hard work. Inside the top of the box is a list of hundreds of names, influences, pets, friends, relatives, poets, photographers, staff, faculty, and students. My friend Deborah Wright was the muse that opened my heart to a wider world. Peter Papademetriou of the architecture faculty was graphics provocateur and sponsor. Geoff Winningham was the photography professor whose independent study classes provided the photographic inspiration and credit hours. Charles Schorre was the artist whose design of workshops and publications in the School of Architecture was the model for the book entitled “Us” of senior pages that expanded the traditional 3 or 4 lines of bio/resume to a 5×7 inch space of possibilities. The arrival on campus of the Menil phalanx was a unique moment in the history of Rice, and the pied pipers of art, photography and film led many toward a promised land. Doug Milburn of the German department was teaching the magic of many things. I do not remember the precise conditions of our minds that conjured the audacious notion of renting a photo booth and making it accessible in the RMC for students, staff and faculty to record their own versions of themselves. All i can say for certainty is that it was in the air, all around us, the urges to remake the old forms, to challenge the status quo, to invent different languages, to alter our thinking, to search for new possibilities.

    That’s me sitting beside the stack of boxes in the photograph Melissa posted on October 2. When you arrived in the Grand Hall of the RMC to pick up your Campanile, you constructed your own box, filled it with ingredients from stacks around the room. The idea was to leave space in the box to add your own experiences. The dissolution, fading, and loss was a design goal. We could not imagine living to the ripe old age of 66, or even wanting to hang onto the past. It was a Memory Box; it would not be the same for everyone; falling out of memory was expected and desired.

    I was wrong. We were young. We made it in the spirit of the moment. The moment passed. Ironically, or predictably, our nostalgia for that moment (our youth) grows.

    If enough interest exists, the idea of making a digital version is a possibility. Maybe it would include an index in which a wiki offers the opportunity to identify ourselves and extend our collective memories. The web offers new ways to say, “I was there.”

    At that moment we were saying, “Be Here Now.”

    • wsanders says:

      “Paul’s legendary yearbox (not quite as legendary as the ’69 one, but
      close!) was an inspiration for us 2nd floor RMC denizens. By 1977 the
      only ’69 Campanile we knew of was in the library, but there were bits
      and pieces of the ’70 around, like the phonograph record and the
      poster of wonderful twisted Widelux pictures (the Widelux was a super
      wide angle slit camera that took several seconds to make an exposure,
      and you could twist it in the middle of its run and get both
      horizontally and vertically oriented images in the same frame.) I
      didn’t have the Archi student’s command of design, but as ’77
      Campanile editor I did manage to cram as many pictures of campus life
      into the book as I possibly could, perhaps inspired by Garry
      Winogrand, who was a resident at the Media Center for a time. The
      Campanile had also firmly adopted the “senior box” by this time; like
      the white box in the Rice application, seniors could submit any
      camera-ready thing that fit into a 3x5ish space.”

      • IN CASE YOU DIDN’T SEE IT:
        “Mea Culpa”!! Spring 1969, I was the youngest Assistant Prof in the School of Architecture, and had the (then) Juniors as my Studio, with architects Robert Venturi (my Thesis Director at Yale) and Denise Scott-Brown as Visiting Critics. Campanile ’69 came out with the “famous” (but tasteful) nude Senior female; it even made the Johnny Carson Show.

        [in retrospect, not as exciting as the President Search of 1969, which resulted in demonstrations and the 3-day appointment, followed by a real Search leading to Norman Hackerman in 1970: I disagree that 1969 was more important, because . . .]

        Paul had been in the Studio, and asked me to be an Advisor . . . and “what to do?”. I suggested he could do “the same thing”, but instead of using a ‘steel staple’, use a ‘gold staple’, or do “something else” . . . what about all the ‘stuff’ you have, and would like to keep? how about setting up a “4 shots for a quarter” photobooth in the RMC and let Seniors use it? maybe do an album specially printed of RU photos? etc etc. Oh, and put it all in a “Year Box”!!

        • Paul Hester says:

          Dear Peter, I sincerely extend my gratitude and appreciation for all your many suggestions, not only in the year 1970, but backward to your counsel when I found my attention span was too brief for the time required to design and build architecture and forward to photography for the 1972 AIA Guidebook, in which you edited the photographs by William C. Lukes and myself. I have memories of my dreams and hallucinations about a yearbox, complete with posters and comix and sounds contributed by fellow archis such as David Stoms and Steve Harf. So many contributions. As I have credited you before, you were the instrumental provocateur, throwing up all kinds of ideas. But all claims are really suspect: if you remember the Sixties, then you didn’t fully participate.
          Charles Schorre’s Architecture @ Rice book contributed the title and poem “Us” to the blue book of senior biographies. Many embraced the photo booth, but the publication would not have happened without the repair man who maintained the dip-and-dunk technology way past its prime. The photographs that you and Elinor Evans submitted with the silvery moon backgrounds from the lower Main Street photographer set a particular tone. Geoff Winningham contributed several photographs, as did many of his photography students. Many faculty members got it, and they found the time to pose in that beautiful wooden box. Years later I have realized the narrowness of our visions, and immaturity of our attitudes. But that’s why youth is wasted on the young. To learn from our mistakes. Perhaps a Fiftieth Anniversary Digital Edition, in which wikis will allow more people to contribute, identify, and remember. Stay Tuned! That’s NOT all, folks!

  6. Melissa Kean says:

    You weren’t wrong. Not even a little. But a digital version with an index (!) would earn my lasting gratitude.

    • Paul Hester says:

      Now that is definitely an award that i will prize! One vote for A Digital Version. i will keep a tally and let you know.

      • almadenmike says:

        I’d also love a digital version. Especially since I don’t know which of attic storage box my Campanile Box is in. 🙂 — Mike Ross (Baker ’70)

        • Paul Hester says:

          Hi Mike, that’s two votes. Of course, based on the comments, we might require your digging into the attic to make a complete set. Not. Yet. Thanks.

  7. Peter C. Papademetriou says:

    “Mea Culpa”!! Spring 1969, I was the youngest Assistant Prof in the School of Architecture, and had the (then) Juniors as my Studio, with architects Robert Venturi (my Thesis Director at Yale) and Denise Scott-Brown as Visiting Critics. Campanile ’69 came out with the “famous” (but tasteful) nude Senior female; it even made the Johnny Carson Show.
    Paul had been in the Studio, and asked me to be an Advisor . . . and “what to do?”. I suggested he could do “the same thing”, but instead of using a ‘steel staple’, use a ‘gold staple’, or do “something else” . . . what about all the ‘stuff’ you have, and would like to keep? how about setting up a “4 shots for a quarter” photobooth in the RMC and let Seniors use it? maybe do an album specially printed of RU photos? etc etc. Oh, and put it all in a “Year Box”!!

  8. Pingback: Wherein Paul Hester ’71 Enters My Pantheon of Heroes | Rice History Corner

  9. I totally agree with the “idea” of a digitized version, dynamic, etc: so, who’s prepared to do the work? before Rice, before Yale, I was a Princeton UG and became photo editor of the Daily Princetonian; I $upported creating the Archive http://theprince.princeton.edu/ which has the paper run pre-digital collection
    Oh, BTW: I bought a Widelux in Houston, which we [Paul Hester and I] used for the AIA Guidebook HOUSTON: an architectural guide, in order to document those wide wide spaces, fronted by signs with buildings set behind parking
    all this before the West Loop was even finished

  10. I remember the ’60s . . . campaigning for Eugene McCarthy, protesting against Hubert Humphrey [for stealing the nomination, and letting Nixon win], and thankful that you, Paul, were a CO! the Guidebook wouldn’t have been at all without you + Lukes
    Digital Version: it ain’t over!

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