Pictures from on Top of Something, c 1957

Someone sent me a fantastic batch of photographs yesterday and I’ve been poring over them this afternoon. They’re from the late 1950s (I feel comfortable calling them late 1957) and they are remarkably sharp images. This first one is a real beauty. We can see the back of Anderson Hall before the addition and the original front of Fondren. Note that the road through the Quad is gone but the piece of it to the north is still there. That road has been discussed here before–it curved around the Chemistry Building and provided access to some parking:

The next one too is full of information, starting with where all that smoke was coming from. Interestingly, that spot or quite near it seems to have been used as a dump or burn pile for a long time. I’ve seen a good number of pictures wherein the general area was smoldering.

Also, if you zoom in you can see the pine tree nestled next to Geology that seems to have been there from the beginning of time (and which remains still). It’s the state of construction on the new buildings, by the way, that leads me to believe these images were made in either late 1957 or early 1958:

And here’s a glorious view, the best I’ve ever seen, of the parking lot that used to be where Duncan Hall is today:

The burning question is this: where were these taken from? Too low to be an airplane, too high to be the roof of Abercrombie, and we didn’t have drones then. The answer according to my informant is that they were taken from here, atop an antenna tower behind Abercrombie:

These rascals are indeed pretty high up. They are Bill Sick (trustee emeritus!), Phil Deck, William (Rusty) Rolston, and Millard (Mac) McDonald, all class of 1957 EE majors. And who took their picture? C. Sidney Burrus, also EE ’57:

When asked why they were on top of tower in the first place he replied “Because we were not supposed to be.”

I heartily endorse this sentiment.


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17 Responses to Pictures from on Top of Something, c 1957

  1. marmer01 says:

    The cars confirm your ’57 or ’58 identification. No obvious ’59s or ’60s visible and lots of ’53-’55.

  2. Leoguy says:

    Fascinating views. I’m pleased to see a clear photo of that side of Anderson Hall, before the remodeling/additions. It’s as I thought I remembered it! I can’t believe there was a time when trash (construction debris?) was burned on campus. The so-called “good old days” weren’t so good in many ways, no? The photos also emphasize the complete separation of the stadium from the campus. A whole other world…

  3. effegee says:

    I think they are taken from the top of Bonner.

  4. Keith Cooper says:

    Nice shot of the side of the Chemistry Building before the OSHA mandated renovation that added the external fire stairs. I would bet that you have a shot of the sign that showed the cost and how it was split.

  5. Bill Harris says:

    Thanks for the picture of Mac! I knew him when I was about that age. He was a good guy.

    • Galloway Hudson '60 says:

      I looked those guys up in the online alumni directory. Sid Burrus tried to teach electronics to us MEs in about 1959, and of course was later Dean of Engineering. “McDonald” should apparently be “McDonnell”.

  6. degb00 says:

    That’s a great photo of the young Burrus, and I also endorse his sentiment. The other photos are fantastic. I’ve said before that the pine tree near Geology is one of my favorite Rice landmarks. I look for it on any photo you post where it might be present. I zoomed in on the photo which shows the path between Bio and Geo with the swoopy roof which echoed the front of Hamman Hall. Is that crazy numbered classroom (was it Bio 126 or Geo 126 or something like that) built in that photo? It was along that pathway, and confusing to freshlings because it was not inside the corresponding building. It was on the Freshman week scavenger hunt when I was a freshman in 1976. (So was Sewall 301, to teach you that the third floor of Sewall was the ground floor).

    I’m glad Marty weighed in about the cars. They all looked right to me, except for that one stray car that looks a lot like a tin Lizzie (Model T Ford). I wonder who owned that?

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