HMRC Thursday: The Navy Building, 1948

The thrill of the month (so far)–a picture of a building we have no pictures of! This is the first good look I’ve ever had at the Naval ROTC building. I found it in the Wood Allen Collection, MSS 1459 CM 74. The HMRC is a magnificent thing.

This is just a quick and dirty scan but we’ll make a better one later.

Bonus: I came across this one from 1942 a long time ago and hung on to it because it’s interesting. Now I wonder if this is the same gun that’s in front of the NROTC building above.

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14 Responses to HMRC Thursday: The Navy Building, 1948

  1. almadenmike says:

    Is this NROTC building the same one Rice built when the program started in 1941? Or was a newer one erected post-WWII?

    (From the Rice Historical Society’s “Cornerstone” newsletter, Winter 2003/p7_

    “The first NROTC class entered Rice in September, 1941. … The government furnished uniforms … and books. Rice, for its part, built a new NROTC building in the engineering group at a cost of $18,000, consisting of space for new classrooms, staff offices, and a social area (wardroom) for the midshipmen. Later, the Institute constructed a rifle range behind the stadium for NROTC use.”

  2. grungy1973 says:

    My research shows that it was built/opened in ’41, the last building during Edgar Odell Lovett’s time as president. Still no idea when it was demolished.

    • almadenmike says:

      Grungy — The answer is in Note 365 on page 91 of the 1980 Architecture at Rice Monograph 29 — “The General Plan of the William M. Rice Institute and Its Architectural Development” by Stephen Fox (

      “365. Watkin’s last constructed design on the Rice campus was a classroom building for the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit, intended as a temporary structure. A flat-roofed, wood-framed structure sheathed with “prestwood,” its exterior elevations were detailed in a streamlined moderne manner. Horizontal metal speed lines linked a range of windows in one wing along the front facade. Corner glazing in the reading room and a galvanized iron canopy above the front doors gave the NROTC building an up-to-date-image. Drawings for the building were prepared in May and June 1941 and it was ready for use by the fall semester. Information taken from Watkin’s construction drawings in the Woodson Research Center. The building was demolished in 1973.”

  3. I spent many hours in that NROTC building in the period 1962-1966, where I took all the courses required for commissioning as an officer. I don’t remember the gun. If the gun in the second picture is in the same position as the gun in the first picture, and one were standing between it and the NROTC building, that is the view one would have, with the Chemistry Building in the background (unless my memory is fogged).

  4. Ron Ladd says:

    I took NROTC classes there from 1968 to 1972. I was on the 5 year MEE program, so I was also in NROTC in the 1972-1973 year. For that school year the NROTC spaces had been moved to the basement of the then newly opened Sewall Hall, with NROTC classes in that building’s general classrooms. That is consistent with the World War II “temporary” NROTC building being demolished in 1973.

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