This Downtown Foursquare Was Rice’s First Building

No photos of it, but there is this sketch from 1898, showing a 24-ft.-by-24 ft. pier-and-beam structure intended to house the fledgling Rice Institute vocational school. Rice University historian Melissa Kean says it was on 6 1/2 acres of property on Louisiana St. downtown — apparently somewhere near the YMCA building torn down last year. (A construction invoice, detailing the completed price of $498.71, references a fence facing a now-vanished Frederick St.) 14 years later, the Institute got a restart on a swampy 295-acre campus southwest of town.


Drawing and video: Rice University

4 Comment

  • Corridors? We don’t need no stinkin’ corridors!

  • Did they actually hold classes in the building ever?

    Someone, somewhere, has a picture. Would love to see it.

  • It sucks that Hosutonians didn’t used to care about preserving their history.

  • Many universities started out as State Land Grant vocational schools. Texas A&M and Cornell to name two. They produced a work-force that could keep up with the day’s technology – in sciences, engineering, agriculture, industry, animal husbandry, etc. Something we could use more of today, I believe.