Through the Foyer

Regular readers will surely recall that from time to time I will whine about how people take the same pictures over and over again. Through ten decades there’s been an uninterrupted stream of images of students and their relatives posing in front of Lovett Hall, etc. Only rarely does someone do something interesting like turn around and take a picture of the loading dock, which is exactly what I’d like to see. When that does happen (see for example David Davidson ’57, Maxwell Reade ’40, and Neil Brennan)  I use every bit of it, like a hunter who uses every piece of the buffalo.

Another example is the entry to Fondren. There are a few pictures in the Woodson of the outside of the front door and multiple images of the main circulation area taken at pretty regular intervals over the years. I believe a while back we decided that this one must have been taken in the mid-70s:

What’s been completely missing, though, is the piece in between, what I guess you’d call the foyer, where the front desk is today. The only pictures of it I’ve ever seen were the ones I took myself. Then last week I was trying to find some construction shots of the back wing of the library and this slipped out from between two larger prints:

It’s undated but based on the material it was with I believe it was early in the building’s life, maybe let’s call it circa 1950. It looks rather barren, no?

Bonus: In a real upset it wasn’t an Italian cypress that fell over today.

Extra Bonus: Willy got re-laquered and I had a chance to renew my acquaintance with the guys who did the work, the same lovely guys who did it seven years ago. As I’ve said before, if you stay around here long enough you’ll see everything twice.

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8 Responses to Through the Foyer

  1. marmer01 says:

    Yep. Before the desk. Looks like terrazzo on the floor, too, pre-carpet, inside the glass doors.

  2. marmer01 says:

    Also, there are locks on those interior doors. Wonder if that was so downstairs service areas (snack bar? student store?) could be accessible when the circulation desk was closed? That would actually be a good reason to have that foyer.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      Huh. Interesting question. I may be able to answer that–there are really thorough library administration records. Or some old timer who reads this might just tell us. That would be even better.

  3. Galloway Hudson - Wiess '60 says:

    I may be wrong, but my recollection is that we accessed the bookstore. etc., from an outside entrance on the side of the building, ca. 1956-57. It went down from ground level, of course. I do vividly remember a sign that frightened us poor freshpersons: “Flunk now and avoid the rush”.

  4. William Johnson, Jr '57 says:

    Since Fondren was the only building that was airconditioned, the grad students were given a key. I don’t remember which door, but as a class B Grad (5th year) we could go in on a real hot night and sleep on either a table or on one of the large sofa’s.

  5. Carolyn Brewer says:

    Fifth Year Architecture Students had their Lab in the basement of Fondren, entered on NE corner of building from outside, mid-late Fifties.

  6. mattnoall says:

    In the mid 70’s there was no food (for sale ) in Fondren. There was a “ security “ desk if memory serves trying to keep you from walking out with a book without checking it out. That was I think in the foyer.

  7. Julie Itz - Jones '72 says:

    Several of us have discussed the date of the main circulation area photo and agree that this most likely dates from the early 1960s or earlier. By the late 1960s we were wearing our skirts just below the knee, and I know of only one person who wore heels to class and they didn’t look like the ones in this photo. What is visible of the hairdo looks more like the style from the early 1960s rather than later.

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