A Walk Around Campus, Christmas Break 2016



Although I’ve managed to stay on good terms with my relatives over this long break, I have been getting a bit antsy. So just for fun I took Mr. Rice History Corner over for a walk around Rice the other day. For a university that is technically closed it was pretty busy. There were the usual suspects, of course–the joggers and dog walkers, the grad students and post-docs who can’t leave their labs, the facilities crews, the Rice police. There were also quite a few contractors, unhindered in their work by the need to accommodate students and faculty. We saw a lot of interesting things.

First, a befuddling sight in the stadium:


It turned out to be the Kansas State marching band, in town for the Texas Bowl. They sounded terrific, by the way.

Then the new band hall. As far as I know this is the first time the Rice band has ever had a dedicated practice facility of their own. It very nearly brought a tear to my eye. I was jolted back to reality, though, when MOB Director Chuck Throckmorton pressed us into service setting up tables to serve pizza to the K State band.


Here’s some elegant synchronized spraying as the Brochstein Pavilion got some maintenance:


I was especially keen to have another look at the garden over by the South Servery. I wondered whether the broccoli had yet developed heads:


I didn’t see any but patience is key with broccoli. I also noticed this, although I don’t know what it is:


And finally, the Moody Center for the Arts looks to be nearing completion:


Like the RMC, I’ll be open for business again next Tuesday. Happy New Year!


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15 Responses to A Walk Around Campus, Christmas Break 2016

  1. Brian Cole (Wiess '78) says:

    I believe your mystery plants are papayas.

  2. grungy1973 says:

    Yes, papayas.
    The MOB has had two other “dedicated” practice facilities, and we will try to ignore the East Practice Gym.
    The first band hall was in the basement of the RMC, and I’m pretty sure I’ve shown you the ghost of the walls where they still show on the floor of Willy’s Pub.
    It was included as a cost-effective alternate floor plan for the basement by the principal architect of the RMC – Harvin C. Moore (Drum Major ’28). (1957 – 1995)
    The second band hall was in the basement of what was still Central Kitchen.
    That was space was first occupied by Army ROTC, then The MOB, then the OEDK.

  3. grungy1973 says:

    …and seeing the papaya like this made me wonder “is it related to the Brussels sprout?”
    The answer is “yes”.

  4. I remember the RMC basement space. The new band hall looks lovely.

    And why on earth doesn’t the OEDK ever, ever say that they are beneath an actual kitchen? The “design kitchen” part of the name just sounded precious. Now it makes sense. Rice marketing is like HP marketing. They would sell sushi as cold, dead fish.

  5. George Webb '88, '91 says:

    The fact that the OEDK is, in part, a play on the building’s history as Central Kitchen is pretty well known in the School of Engineering.

    • Of course it is well-known on campus, but they never even mentioned that to people off campus, so the “kitchen” part of the name made no sense.

      I did a Google search for it and got one hit from Rice, a press release about LEED certification. Here is the query:

      oedk rice “central kitchen”

  6. Where is the new band hall located?

    • grungy1973 says:

      The south end of Rice Stadium, occupying what was built as the John Cox Fitness Center (the weight room). The exercise duties have moved to the north end of the stadium, to the Patterson Fitness Center.

  7. marmer01 says:

    Yes, to lifers like me the Serveries are a very recent development. Everyone who lived on campus prior to the mid-2000s knew very well about Central Kitchen and the parade of blue Food Service trucks at dinnertime.

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