“260 Meetings in Autry House”

While I was looking through all that band stuff a few weeks ago I came across a photo of a rehearsal in 1927 that puzzled me for a bit:

band-autry-house-c1927-113

Everything about the room said Rice to me but I couldn’t place it until about 3:00 in the morning when I abruptly knew that it was Autry House, designed by Rice architecture professor William Ward Watkin. Here’s the same room a couple of years ago:

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I thought about it again today because I accidentally found another image of the room in a scrapbook that belonged to a student in the late 1940s:

autry-house-dance-c1948-tempe-howze-185

You can get something of a sense from all this of how much use Rice students got from Autry House, which really was in all but official name the Student Center until the RMC was built. Sadly, almost all of the Autry House records were discarded in a cleanup some years ago but there still exist a handful of documents that shed light on its central role. Here, for example, is a usage report for eight months in the early 1920s, not all that long after the facility opened:

autry-house-stats-1922-155

I do wonder about the difference between a church club and a church guild . . .

Bonus: Drat!

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2 Responses to “260 Meetings in Autry House”

  1. Hmm, club vs guild. In my experience in the Episcopal Church, “guild” is used for “Altar Guild” and “Flower Guild”, that is, groups that support the church services. A “club” could be any group, book club, hiking club, whatever.

    I guess the use of “guild” in Altar Guild is a metaphorical extension of the medieval craft guilds. These are people contributing specific skills in service to the church.

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