The Birth of Abercrombie

Construction started sixty-nine years ago. This building has seen some very hard use. It might be nearing time to put it out of its misery.

July 1, 1947:

Birth of Abercrombie 1947 049

July 1, 1948:

Birth of Abercrombie 1948 051

And here’s one that’s interesting for another reason: I’m not surprised to see construction scaffolding over at Anderson Hall, which wasn’t quite finished yet. But what’s that over the corner of Physics? It must be across the street. Also, if you zoom in you can see the shed behind Physics peeking out through the oaks.

Birth of Abercrombie extra scaffold 1948 052

A couple of odds and ends as I try to get back to normal:

Go check out this week’s KTRU Tuesday at the What’s in the Woodson blog. It features art professor David Parsons and the world’s tallest woman. Really.

I got an interesting email the other day from a Rice student who tried his hand at a redesign of the Rice shield. Here’s a link to his post–check it out and give him your thoughts if you’re so inclined. For my part, I like it. I think it manages to be both fresh and faithful to tradition, which is quite a trick.

And finally, a request from a very nice woman came in over the transom:

My name is Ayelet and I’m working on a new series for Audible, the world’s largest producer of downloadable audio content. I hope this finds you well!

I’m contacting you as we’re currently producing a series regarding the greatest speeches of our time and are looking to get in touch with someone who was present at the 1962 “We Choose To Go To The Moon” speech, delivered by J.F Kennedy at Rice Stadium.

It will be great to hear about the atmosphere in the stadium, the emotions it evoked and about life in the 60’s from one of the students/staff members who were there. I was wondering if you happen to know of anyone who was there and might be keen to tell their story or perhaps might be able to help me to get in touch with someone who was there? It will be great as some of them might like to share their memories of the day.

If anyone out there fits the bill and would like to speak with her, she’s at

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5 Responses to The Birth of Abercrombie

  1. marmer01 says:

    The structure behind Physics is the framing of the 1949 Hermann Professional Building on Main Street by Kenneth Franzheim and Wyatt C. Hedrick.

  2. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    I was there at Rice Stadium for the speech. The Houston Independent School District bussed in a lot of kids to help fill the stadium and I was one of those. In ’62 I was in the 9th grade at Pershing Junior High School. A strong memory is that I was surprised that President Kennedy’s hair appeared to be light brown.

  3. Kermit Lancaster says:

    Perhaps the best thing you can say about the exterior of AbLab is that it is prettier than the interior. At least that was true in the 1970s. Spent a lot of time in the building for classes and labs, and recall it being remarkably unattractive.

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