I’m Back!

And with a bang. Here are some great pictures of the 1970 power plant expansion!

The first three are pretty self-explanatory as well as scenic. Work began (as usual) in July and continued through February, 1971:

Central plant exp 7 70

Central plant exp 10 29 70

Central plant exp 2 12 71

But there’s a fourth picture in this batch that I’m struggling to make sense of. This clearly isn’t the power plant; it’s a pile of dirt and debris. And I had to look very carefully at the towers in order to determine that it was taken from somewhere in the vicinity of the athletic fields along Rice Boulevard, just before the stadium parking lot. But it’s labeled “central plant expansion” on the back. What is going on here? And is that a white fence along the road by the science buildings?

Central plant exp 10 1 70 piles of dirt



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4 Responses to I’m Back!

  1. Richard Schafer says:

    I can’t see enough to be sure, but I suspect that some pipe was being laid along the road as part of that exercise. My 1975 steam tunnel map doesn’t show a steam tunnel running along that road, so if I’m right, it’s some other sort of pipe. I’m also intrigued by the curved implement in the dirt at the foreground, which also seems to suggest some trenching going on, even without any protective fencing. I wonder it is something dug up in the process; it doesn’t look like a natural object.

  2. Ron Sass says:

    I believe at the time dirt could not be added to a Houston building property for flooding reasons. Thus if one had dirt on campus that was excavated from a building site it was prudent to keep it in case you wanted to add dirt somewhere else such as a low spot on campus. I remember quite a bit of dirt kept in this particular place.

  3. effegee says:

    Foundation excavations? The Facilities parking lot between the current building and Power Plant was full of buried slabs when we trenches it for new comm cable ducts in 1999.

    If this photo is 1971, could it be part of the excavation at Sewall. That would be a huge mound of dirt.

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