An Odd Corner of Campus, Looking Across Main Street, 1918

The other day I was looking at the scrapbook of George Wheeler ’19. I’ve written about him before (here and here way back in 2011), in connection with the early history of the biology department. It’s been years since I last needed these materials but as often happens, when I opened the scrapbook a second time it showed me things I wasn’t prepared to see the first go-round.

Take a look at this beauty, shot from a completely unexpected angle. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen another like it:

This is really quite an image. It wasn’t dated but I’d put it at 1918. That’s gate 3 at the right so we’re looking directly at the spot where Palmer Church is today. The little whitish-colored shack across Main Street at left is The Owl snack shop, the only place aside from the Sallyport for students to hang out. Here are some doing just that:

To the right and further back from The Owl you can see a small, low-slung rectangular structure. That was the Institute trolley stop. It’s pretty easy to see why those diagonal walkways made sense.

I was especially interested in the triangle of trees and shrubbery and started looking for other pictures that might show it but it turns out that this little corner of campus is hard to get a good look at. This 1920 aerial is one of the few images that capture even part of the area but you can’t see the vegetation at all:

This ground level shot, which I was interested in because of the scaffolding on the campanile, clearly shows the gap in the hedges but I can’t be sure if the shrubs off to the left are the same:

I’d nearly given up when I remembered this image from the scrapbook of Jack Henderson ’27:

I see that I’ve never talked about Henderson’s scrapbook and it’s a good one so I’ll try to get to that directly.


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6 Responses to An Odd Corner of Campus, Looking Across Main Street, 1918

  1. G Kunz says:

    In the first picture, the wooded area behind where you say Palmer is today, is that what became Hermann Park?

  2. Bryan Domning says:

    Do you think the photo taken from the residence hall? It seems to have been taken from some height. The outfits on the students at the bowl are priceless!

  3. Pingback: R Formation, 1927 | Rice History Corner

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