A Bullet Narrowly Dodged, 1968

Ye gods.

Someone called my attention to this earlier this week and I’m still not over the shock. I’d never heard even a whisper of it before. I’ve been on the edge of tears three or four times over the last couple of days (mostly from happiness) but this was the only thing that made me want to weep from relief. Here’s what it was supposed to look like:

I mean, really? Really? I like nothing about this. Did you catch the fact that there are two basements? If you’ve ever been in the second basement of Sewall Hall you will understand why “dank” is the word that springs to mind.

Here’s the site plan. “Depressed Court” indeed:

So why didn’t they build it? Look at the date on this introductory page:

May 22, 1968 was ten days after George R. Brown’s 70th birthday, the moment when the age limitations he himself had advocated for kicked in and he resigned from the Rice Board of Trustees. When he went, the era of Rice’s rapid growth went with him. It’s hard to find much good that came from the events that followed, but at least we didn’t mess up our beautiful Chemistry Building.


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4 Responses to A Bullet Narrowly Dodged, 1968

  1. Leoguy says:

    This is a most interesting “find!” I’m of two minds: the design isn’t bad for 1968, but it should never have been constructed in close proximity to the original Chemistry Building. And, of course, a depressed courtyard is just another way of saying “water filled basement.” LOL!

  2. grungy1973 says:

    Oooooo !
    Inside the spire on the south power plant.
    Very nice…

  3. Charles says:

    HEY! I spent a lot of fun times in the second basement of Sewell Hall. That’s where the archaeology lab is.

  4. marmer01 says:

    And where the Shepherd School offices were during my student days and the first few years I was an employee. The proximity to Cohen House did much damage to my waistline and bank balance.

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