I was only in the Woodson for a little while today but it was long enough to run across this, which I found in the circa early ’50s Freshman Guide that I picked off the shelf at random. I thought this small document was well written as these things go, both informative and amusing:
What I’m interested in here (besides the gambling on the first floor of Lovett Hall, which is a bit shocking–I think they gamble up on 2 these days) is the crazy quilt of library space that developed in the days before Fondren was built. Whatever that building’s demerits it surely answered a real need.
As far as I know I’ve only ever seen two images of library space not in either Fondren or the Administration Building, both somewhere in the Chemistry Building. This one was taken in 1947 in the Architecture Library somewhere on the second floor and the people in it are wearing the glazed looked of seminar participants. That’s William Ward Watkin at right, Art professor James Chillman in the middle and (I believe) Rice architecture alumnus Burke McGinty on the left:
This next one is from substantially earlier. I found it with a stack of pictures taken when the building opened in 1926 and I’m almost positive the books we see here were the bulk of the library’s chemistry holdings:
What’s really eye catching is the window at the back left: you can see out of it. And what you see when you blow it up are the dorms. In theory I should be able to figure out where this room was. If I have a minute tomorrow I’ll go look.
Bonus: Lovett Hall with dog, 2015.