Gotta light?

Back in the day, it seemed that nearly everyone on campus smoked. In dozens of photographs there are ashtrays on tables and credenzas. These, ironically, sit next to the experimental artificial heart pieces that David Hellums was showing King Baudouin in 1969:

In buildings where smoking might be dangerous special rooms were set up where one could relax without fear of blowing something up. This, for example, was the smoking lounge in the Chemistry Building (now Valhalla):

You could even smoke inside the library for a long time, although when I first arrived it had been banned. One of the most characteristic sights of my early years here was people pacing around in front of the building smoking cigarettes. (They still pace, but now they’re holding cell phones.)

But nobody could smoke like those architects! They didn’t just smoke; they smoked with verve. Several of the images from the lecturer scrapbook show people smoking or even better, gesturing stylishly with their cigarettes. This one is the best–and he was a shopping center expert on top of it! This just could not be any better:



Bonus: This is not a door. I know it looks like one, but it isn’t.

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3 Responses to Gotta light?

  1. Joni says:

    Hahahaha! I saw that door when wandering around the campus a couple of weeks ago before a basketball game – had the same reaction!

  2. I seem to remember big ashtrays in the Kyle Morrow Room in the early 80s. Maybe in the library lounges at the front of the building, too. Although among my undergrad colleagues, smoking was less and less common by that time. Maybe 10-15% of American students smoked. Among foreign students and grad students, the number was higher.

  3. James Medford says:

    I remember people smoking in the library lounges in the early 80s. In particular, longtime Valhalla denizen (and Rice alum) Jerry Baker would always spend the day reading and smoking in the 2nd (or 3rd) floor lounge until Valhalla opened.

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