Rustling through some oversized materials yesterday I came across this great shot of what seems to be more than a groundbreaking yet much less than an opening of Autry House. A dedication, I’m guessing. It’s dated June 5-6, 1921, which coincided with Rice’s baccalaureate service and commencement. I like the view of the Institute in the background. Without any sizable trees in the way you can really tell how close Autry House is to campus: I recognize William Ward Watkin, the architect for the building, and of course Dr. Lovett but I don’t know who the other men are. There’s one other thing I recognize as well–the sort of channeled tiles that make up the wall behind them. I’ve seen those before, inside the walls of Baker Commons when they renovated in December, 2011: Bonus: I don’t know what they call this new style of lamp post but I like them.
UPDATE: I have this from a generally reliable source.
The man in the center was the commencement speaker for 1921. (Editor’s Note: If I had five minutes I would look this up but I don’t. Also, there is no editor.)
To his right is the Rev. Harris Masterson, Jr., (uncle of Harris Masterson III), who began the Episcopal church’s ministry to Rice and was responsible for building Autry House.
To Fr. Masterson’s right is the Rev. Peter Gray Sears, rector of Christ Church, who would become the first rector of Palmer Memorial Church after it ceased its short lived function as a student chapel, the Edward Albert Palmer Memorial Chapel, and became a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
Further, and just as interesting in my opinion: The building material is hollow tile block, the most commonly used load-bearing masonry material for building construction in Houston in the 1910-1940 period.