Hermann Hospital from Physics, c1940

I got several comments and emails about this nifty Neil Brennan shot of Hermann Hospital from a balcony on the Administration Building that I posted a couple of weeks ago:

New  hermann hospital from Admin Building balcony Neil Brennan 1941057

Brennan actually took another picture of Hermann Hospital but I couldn’t post it until just now because I couldn’t figure out where he took it from. Have a look:

New hermann hospital from physics Neil Brennan 1941060

At first glance it seems obvious: this was taken from the Physics Building, somewhere towards the west side. But at second glance there’s something troubling here. If you look at the quad side of the building you’ll see that every single window is arched. There are none that have a horizontal edge like that at the top of this photo.  Furthermore, there exists no flat vertical edge like the one at the right side of this image anywhere on the building. It’s a puzzlement.


I looked at the outside of the building for a long time on several different occasions (I’m sure passing students take me for an imbecile) but could make no sense of it. Today I went inside and with the help of Erik Tanner from the Political Science office and Stan Dodds from Physics I found the answer. And the answer made me smile.

The photograph was taken from a lab, now labeled Room 218. The only way to account for what we see in it is if Brennan did exactly the kind of thing that we already know he liked to do: climb up on a stool, open the window, and lean out to get the shot. The horizontal edge at the top is the bottom rail of the open window and the vertical edge at the right is actually a curved column that looks straight from one angle.

Bonus: You can’t get the windows open anymore.


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1 Response to Hermann Hospital from Physics, c1940

  1. Richard Miller (Hanszen '75 & '76) says:

    All of the windows can be raised it appears so the flat surface is the flat bottom edge of the raised window, not the arch opening at the top

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