The Ivy on the Chem Lecture Hall

I noted it the other day here and got quite a few emails about it. So here are several images of the rise and fall and rise of those vines. These do not constitute the whole story, by the way, only the portion that I could manage to pull together this evening. I feel like it might take as much as a week to really get it all sorted out.

Let’s start with this one of the clean slate, circa early ’30s, with no vines on the walls. I do, of course, have pictures from this era that are not cockeyed but my secondary hope here is that someone can tell me something about the weird looking car parked at the right:

Chemistry building c30s crooked

By the late 1930s a moderate, healthy growth of ivy is clearly visible. So far, so good.

Chem lecture hall side view c1930s

But by 1943, things have gotten totally out of hand ivywise. The front window is in danger of vanishing completely and even the door has vines snaking around it:

Chem Lecture hall entrance sailors October 43 for navy brochure

Take a look at this detail:

Chem lecture hall door detail 2

By 1948 cooler heads had prevailed and the vines, while still pretty vigorous, had been given a significant trimming:

Chem lecture hall door ca48 per pender turnbull

Two years later–abruptly–they were gone:

Chem lecture hall door c1950 per pender turnbull

At first I thought that was the end of it, as there are currently no vines on this building but then I came across this, from 1966:

Chem lecture hall front october 17 1966

More to come, I guess . . .

Bonus: L1030455

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6 Responses to The Ivy on the Chem Lecture Hall

  1. marmer01 says:

    I know it will be quite a climb. Let me be the first to say you are doing a vine job. Ivy always wondered about that.

  2. marmer01 says:

    I’m sure you will leaf no stone unturned. (or no stern untoned, as they say at the nude beach.) I’ll get to the odd little car in a bit. I doubt it’s what I first thought it was.

  3. marmer01 says:

    It’s some kind of little coupe. A lot of them of the 1920s looked like carriages. Here’s a mid-20s Ford Model T, which is probably what it is.
    Also, there was a Detroit Electric that was popular with city drivers and especially women. I think Mrs. Lovett had one.

  4. James Medford says:

    The first photo would be no later than 1930, as that’s the year the little hood near the top of the Campanile was removed, per Stephen Fox.

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