“Dear George,” 1967

This is a congratulatory letter that Edgar Altenburg, long of the Biology Department, sent to English Professor George Williams, praising him effusively (it’s a bit much, surely) for a piece that appeared in the Rice University Review:


I never got as far as the article he’s talking about because I was stopped in my tracks by the address on the stationery:

Genetics Laboratory

2480 Times Boulevard

Uh . . .  what?

I’ve never heard a whisper of this before. I don’t even know enough to know what to ask, but if anyone can tell me about this genetics lab in the middle Rice Village please do.

Bonus: Winter berries.



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12 Responses to “Dear George,” 1967

  1. claren56 says:

    The stationery has zip codes printed on it, so it was printed between mid-1963 & June 1967. Interesting mystery: genetics research on Rice Village shoppers?

  2. grungy1973 says:

    Was there an “LS Browning” associated with Rice?
    There appears to be a reference to that name and this address here:

    Trypanosome Transmitted by Phlebotomus: First Report from the Americas
    John R. Anderson1, Stephen C. Ayala1
    + Author Affiliations
    Science 06 Sep 1968:
    Vol. 161, Issue 3845, pp. 1023-1025
    DOI: 10.1126/science.161.3845.1023

  3. loki_the_bubba says:

    Why does the top address have a 77001 zip code? That’s always been downtown hasn’t it?

    • Rick Gerlach says:

      Rice’s P.O. Box (941? 1892? multiple boxes?) were at the downtown post office in the late 1970’s, hence 77001.

      I suspect the general delivery address in the 1960’s was simply:

      Rice University
      Houston, Texas 77001

      simpler times

      • grungy1973 says:

        Not sure when, but the format of the Zip for PO boxes changed, so that mail to Rice, even if you left off the box number, was included, if you used the 9-digit zip: 77251-1892

  4. Frank G. Jones says:

    Winter berries? What winter

  5. marmer01 says:

    Professor Altenburg’s wife was apparently a former student of his who was also a genetics researcher. 2480 Times Boulevard first shows up in 1951; it’s a generic commercial office building with a variety of sizes of space available. Knowing as I do that Rice has quietly owned chunks of the Village for a long time, it wouldn’t surprise me if Rice owned it, at least at the time. And there is a longstanding practice of using nearby spaces: Greenbriar building, University State Bank, Milford and Chaucer houses for the Shepherd School, Banks apartments for women, etc.

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