Hanging Out at Wiess

We had a bit of a hubbub in the comments both here and on Facebook over the misspelling of “Wiess” in the street sign that I posted last night. It made me smile and brought back to mind the days when my book was being edited. My thorough and competent editor painstakingly changed every instance of “Wiess” to “Weiss.” Then I had to go back and fix them all. I was so happy the book was being published that I didn’t care.

So I went and poked around in my laptop to see if I could find a followup and this was the first thing that popped up. Doesn’t it look like fun? It’s undated but just eyeballing it I’d guess it’s circa 1960.

Wiess exterior hanging out r nd 050

Love those benches!

As I’m sure you expected, something did catch my eye. What is that behind the guy at bottom left? Is it a vending machine?

Bonus: I am unilaterally declaring that Memorial Day weekend has begun. I’ll be posting as usual until Friday but don’t even think about calling me until next Tuesday.

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14 Responses to Hanging Out at Wiess

  1. George Webb says:

    Great picture of the (original) Acabowl — the heart of the college!
    That thing in the background looks like it could be a cigarette machine.

    • marmer01 says:

      Looks like there’s a piece of paper taped to the machine. At first glance it looks like some kind of display, but I think it’s just a sign.

  2. George Webb says:

    Note how the guys on the second floor balcony are sitting on the balcony rail. The rails in the middle wing (which is pictured) were just wide enough and at just the right height that one could sit comfortably on them, either facing in, facing out. or straddling. That changed in the early 1990s (I think) when metal handrails were added on top of the existing brick rails.

  3. Rick Gerlach says:

    I would place the photo more toward the late 1960’s or even early 1970’s time frame, looking at the hair and clothes, but I’m no expert either.

  4. Jeff Ross says:

    My era of the early 70s would have many more tee shirts and longer hair than this crew.

    • Bryan says:

      Yes. MUCH longer! As for the cool Pawley’s Island hammock and stand – I recognize that spot in front of the old section of Hanszen nearby what used to be the student health center adjacent to the section 3 stairway.

      • Richard Miller (Hanszen '75 & '76) says:

        Not so sure. I do not recall ironwork on the 2nd floor and the window configuration is wrong as I recall. I do not think there was a large room going w->e which the window configuration implies.

  5. Melissa Kean says:

    Should we call it “circa 1965”?

  6. Steve Lukingbeal says:

    Maybe I’m a snobby Hanszenite, but that picture of Wiess College just reinforces my memories of it being a scene of untold decadence and debauchery in a temporary facility that was remiscent of a Motel 6. However, I did enjoy being part of the inaugural Night of Decadence in 1972 and joining in on their Streak of the nearby UT baseball game in the spring of 1974.

  7. Steve Lukingbeal says:

    More observations. I agree with Rick Miller that the photo was not taken at Hanszen. I don’t ever remember any grill work on the windows and never have seen that pattern of pea gravel and grass at that corner in Hanszen. May be Will Rice. I guesstimate the Wiess photo at 1969 to 1971, based on dress and hair styles and the age of the small birch trees. Very few Rice students had long hair until several years later. The machine to left is definately a vending machine. For 15 cents you could buy some of the most awlful off brands of potato chips, nuts, cheese crackers, pretzels, corn products available. I don’t think there is a cigarette machine in the photo. Since 1972, I’ve never seen a cigarette machine on campus.

  8. JD Miner says:

    Melissa, being a true Sid Man, I never really knew or cared how Weiss was pronounced. I spent a large part of my undergrad days trying to tear it down, both psychologically and physically. One of my greatest achievements in my professional career as a builder was the complete and utter destruction of Weiss itself (sorry, George!). Photos of the “de-groundbreaking celebration” that evening of my fellow Sid brethren and I are available by appointment.

    J Miner
    Sid Rich ’88

  9. Buddy Chuoke '75 says:

    Can someone tell me the reason the original Weiss building was torn down? It was not nearly as old as some other men’s dorms, and as a Weiss man myself, thought is was functional and practical. Kinda Motel Sexy.

  10. Krammit says:

    Yes, there was a vending machine there and I think another directly above on the second floor. We got rid of the candy and ice cream ones about 1975. They didn’t sell much and they were an eyesore and a nuisance and a target for abuse.
    Like George says those balcony rails were used a lot. It surprises me that we didn’t have any serious accidents with guys falling off.
    I always thought of the Wiess dorm as a comfortable, lovable dump. It did my heart good to see how they honored and maintained certain themes in the new building. All rooms still open to the outside, and there is a large quad in the center for outdoor activities. I believe they even call it the Acabowl.

  11. Barney L. McCoy says:

    That looks like Wiess circa mid 60s. I remember the candy and ice cream vending machines, because I could stop by Wiess on the way back to Hanszen and get an ice cream sandwich without going all the way across the Hanszen quadrangle to the TV/pool table room, the location of Hanszen’s machine. I also remember carefully avoiding them when Jerry Hafter and I would shell Wiess with the Hanszen College Artillery–i.e. doubled-up surgical tubing water balloon slingshot. Those were the days.
    Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67

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