THE PLAN TO MOVE RICE UNIVERSITY CLOSER TO THE WOODLANDS — OR TRADE IT FOR THE GALLERIA It’s true, and was apparently taken reasonably seriously at the time. From the Rice Thresher in February 1973. [marmer, commenting on Headlines: Calculating Lower Westheimer’s Hip Factor; Westbury Gardens’ Walkable Kitsch]
I do hope the professor in question was discussing the possibility of moving Rice into (key word there) the galleria was just suggesting so in humor. I can’t think of a more unreasonable place for a University to be located. Possibly a remote desert island, perhaps.
However, if Rice had been moved into, and developed with, the Woodlands it could have fit relatively well, hypothetically.
Remember that land was pretty cheap out there by the Galleria back in 1973. It’s also important to note that a big part of the plan was concern about the costs of maintaining and updating Rice’s pre-war buildings vs. building from scratch.
And this was the time in Houston’s cultural history when almost anything that was not related to the Texas War for Independence (or the Battleship Texas) was not thought to be worth saving if it could be replaced with something shiny and new. ;-)