A Photo of Abercrombie Sends Me Off in a Totally Different Direction

I was flipping through a file of exterior shots of Abercrombie Lab when this one just jumped out at me:

abercrombie-from-chem-c1950-045

Do you see where it was taken from? The roof of the Chemistry Building! It’s dated 1950 and I’m basically prepared to buy that. It could be a bit earlier or a bit later but the building still looks new and there’s not much landscaping around it.

In any event, it made me instantly think of something else. I’m sure everyone remembers the debate about where this picture was taken from:

View over dorms towards Hermann Hosp and Professional Building 1950

I’ve examined this problem from the roof of Fondren and the roof of Anderson Architecture and I’ve never been able to get the dorms to line up exactly with Hermann Hospital. I once considered the proposition that the photographer could have been standing on the second floor balcony on the side of Chemistry but concluded that Anderson would have been in the way. It had not occurred to me that someone might take pictures from the roof, though.

I wonder how you get up there.

Bonus: Loyal reader Gerald Mixon sends these great shots of new turf being installed on the football practice field. Many thanks, Gerald!

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8 Responses to A Photo of Abercrombie Sends Me Off in a Totally Different Direction

  1. marmer01 says:

    The 1952 Chevrolet in the bottom left corner argues for a date no earlier than fall 1951.

  2. That looks like Congregation Emanu El in the background. That would put it later than 1949.

    “The property at 1500 Sunset was purchased in 1945, and the building was dedicated September 9, 1949.”

    https://emanuelhouston.org/history

    I don’t see First Christian Church in the background. I think it should be on the vacant lot left of Emanu El. If so, the photo is before 1959.

    “The congregation again outgrew this location at Main and Bell, and began construction of its present location at Sunset and Rice in 1959.”

    http://www.fcchou.org/history.html

  3. Keith Cooper says:

    Love the hedges in the Engineering Quad

  4. marmer01 says:

    Google Earth shows a flat roof behind the Lecture Hall and also on the top of the tower to the east of the Lecture Hall.

  5. There must be maintenance access to the central tower, if only to clean out the bird crap.

    • Mark Williamson says:

      There must have been at one time. Students used to hang banners from the Chem tower on occasion. I seem to recall “Ho Ho Ho, Santa Claus is dead!” I think the access may have been sealed to prevent that sort of thing.

  6. Michael Ross says:

    Looking at Google Maps (https://goo.gl/maps/7HRM2H3LeNp), a line that connects the Baker and Will Rice towers appear to line up with the SW corner of Fondren Library … and not any part of the Chemistry Building.

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