Over the last few days of December 1961 someone with the initials T.W.G. made detailed drawings of all the parking lots at Rice, then put them together in a packet on New Year’s Day. I just found them this week. My mind is still reeling.
Everywhere on this map there’s a number, there are parking spaces:
It’s going to take me a while to process all this information but here are a couple of random things I noticed right off. First, senior faculty had reserved spaces! Right by the door! (Also, by the way, you can see that zigzag line in the chemistry lot that I talked about here a couple of years ago.)
Second, look at this beautiful lot right behind Fondren where the late 1960s addition and the Brochstein Pavilion are now. Reserved for Faculty and Library Staff! This is truly the stuff of dreams.
And finally, this one shows the front of Lovett Hall, where what used to be the main parking lot on campus is now grassed over, with only a few parking spaces left for the big dogs:
Work for a surveying class? I’d look for someone who graduated in civil engineering with those initials.
Fifty years from now, people are going to marvel at how much prime green space was previously devoted to the parking of automobiles. By that time, the heart of the Rice campus will probably have as many parking spaces as the inner perimeter of the Houston Zoo.
I seem to recall that there were still reserved spaces in the 80s. Parking won’t ever go away at Rice but it will increasingly move to garages, both underground and above ground. There are way too many public events, sporting events, and alumni functions to think that parking is mostly limited to students, faculty, and staff.