I recently came across a beautiful postcard I’d never seen before, this one showing the old football stadium and the west end of campus. This is actually what I think of as the New Old Stadium, built in 1938 to handle the growing crowds at Owl football games. (A really good view of the Old Old Stadium, which was a significant expansion of the original stands, is here.)
Have a look:
(Note that the photo from which it was made was taken by Bob Bailey, whose archives it pains me to say are held at the Briscoe Center at the University of Texas.)
There’s a lot to look at here–the other side of Main Street is especially interesting–but what I feel like thinking about today is the long hedge that leads from the dorms, across the footbridge over Harris Gully, and to the stadium. It was a double privet hedge and as you can see it grew over to form a tunnel. It was there for a really long time, surviving the 1950 covering of the gully for at least six years. You can still see it clearly in this aerial shot taken on July 3, 1956, although it was beginning to look a bit bedraggled:
So when was it planted? It looks like just a bare path in this 1921 photo from the Flying Owls collection, but it’s not clear enough to tell for sure if there are little plants there:
The earliest image I’ve found is from just a bit later, early 1923, and they’re already thriving, as is the little kid, who would grow up to be Rice’s Dean of Undergraduates, Katherine Tsanoff Brown:
Bonus: A somewhat less interesting view, roughly contemporaneous, facing the other side.
Extra Bonus: One more postcard, this time the current stadium, undated. That’s pretty full house. Anybody have a guess?