I’ve got one more (for now) from the 1916 Campanile. As I was studying a page near the front of the book I was dimly aware that the facing page had something avian on it. When I turned to it I was surprised to find peacocks instead of owls. Here it is:
I recognized it right away as a version of the carved peacocks on the arcade between the Administration Building and the Physics Building, which would have been new when the first Campanile was being put together:
In 1916 the students spent a lot of time outside and there wasn’t all that much to look at so they paid fairly close attention to things that we just walk past today.
These aren’t the only peacocks on campus, of course. Aside from the ones that match these on the arcade that connects Lovett Hall to Sewall there are also the handle plates on the inside of the doors to Lovett:
We have the Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson sketches of these in the Woodson:
They really didn’t do anything by accident in these buildings but I confess that I don’t know the reason for the peacocks. Speculation is welcome. It would be even cooler if you actually know why they were used.
Bonus: It’s probably just happenstance but Lenard Gabert ’16, ’17, one of the first graduating class of Rice architects, put this astonishing peacock on one of his early designs, an apartment building downtown on Austin Street.