Neil Brennan Looks At The Chemistry Building, 1942

As I mentioned before, the reason I got so interested in Neill Brennan in the first place was the quality of the pictures he took. It’s not so much that they’re great images as images, but rather that they show glimpses of an interesting sensibility. Here’s an example of what I mean, a startling shot taken out of a lab window:

New view from chem 220 lab Neil Brennan 1941054

Looking dead straight on the cloister, there’s only one place this could have been taken from–the first floor lab on the left:

New WWW Chemistry first floor plan

While the unexpected yucca plants certainly grab your attention, that’s not what I’m interested in. What I care about is the ivy that’s visible on the side of the Chem Lecture Hall through the arch on the left. In this second photo that Brennan took from . . . where? would you say the top of the Administration Building? . . . you can clearly see that half of Lecture Hall is covered with the vines:

New Chem with ivy Neil Brennan 1941050

I first noticed those vines when I wrote this post about the Lecture Hall door over a year ago and I have been squirreling away pictures that demonstrate their history ever since, just waiting for an excuse to drag you through the whole thing. This I shall do directly.



Extra Bonus:


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3 Responses to Neil Brennan Looks At The Chemistry Building, 1942

  1. effegee says:

    That looks like the room that was used for my section of freshman chem lab in 1969-70.

    The long shot from the Administration Building shows ivy that is the unruliest that I have ever seen. I recall it confined to parts of the east wall with periodic trimmings of varying severity, including complete removal a couple of times during the years I frequented Valhalla.

  2. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    An ivy-covered building is reportedly cooler than one that is NOT tso covered.
    That would have been important in non-AC days, including my time at Rice Institute.

    Regarding the potted plant with the digging tool:
    What do y’all call that?
    In Texas, I’ve heard it called a “sharp-shooter”. In Tenn. (yes, that’s the way we abbreviated it in the “old” days), it was called a “spade”. I’ve been told it was called something else in La.

  3. Pingback: The Ivy on the Chem Lecture Hall | Rice History Corner

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