Friday, August 28, 2009

USC Law School Wasn’t First "in the Southwest"

Roger Grace writes in the Los Angeles Metropolitan News Enterprise that the University of Southern California’s website lays claim to be being home to “the first law school in the Southwest.” Grace counters that this isn’t so.
On March 17, 1855, the website of the Texas Historical Assn. says, “the first law school in Texas was established at Austin College” in Huntsville. It continues:

“Previously, all legal training in Texas had taken place by apprenticeship. The innovation was discontinued at Austin College after four students had completed the one-year course….”

Austin College still exists. Its March, 2009 magazine muses:

“Had the law school survived the money problems that doomed it, today it would be among the oldest dozen law schools in the U.S.”

The college is now in Sherman, Texas — but the Huntsville building in which its law school was housed is extant (on the campus of the Sam Houston State University) and a plaque on it commemorates the “First Law School in Texas.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

Writing on the Wall #4

SHSU is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. Sort of.

Forty years ago...back in the summer of ’69...students and faculty had a new abbreviation to recite when they arrived for the fall semester and we’re assuming campus signage got a bit of a face lift, too, what with a sudden excess of the letter C. After four short years as Sam Houston State College, the Huntsville campus would now be known as Sam University State University.

To celebrate, can you identify the building or location where we took the below photo? Think of it as a scavenger hunt.

Just for U, here’s another haiklu:

laughing, talking, here
fine art of gracious living
all in unison

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Update: Residences Razed

As the Performing Arts Center rises on the other side of campus, two residential buildings were demolished over the summer months. Lawrence and Mitchell houses were recently razed from the northwest corner of campus after fifty years. The new campus dining facility is planned for this location.

That, and more from this August update from the Physical Plant:

Updated items

Energetic Material Research Facility
Status: Addressing Punch List Items

Ongoing items

Performing Arts Center
Start Date: November 19, 2008
Substantial Completion Date: June 2010

New items

University Camp improvements
Status: Under Construction
Programmed Amount: unknown
Start Date: Summer 2009
Substantial Completion Date: unknown

University Hotel renovations
Status: In Progress
Start Date: July 2009
Substantial Completion Date: unknown

Completed items

Applied Forensic Science Research Building
Status: Completed July 2009
(Part of the Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility)

University Camp Caretaker’s Cabin
Status: Completed June 2009
(Part of the University Camp)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

W.S. Gibbs Home impressive structure

The August 7 edition of the Item discusses the recent removal of the W.S. Gibbs house and the city's other structures designed by the Harry Payne:
Despite adjoining one of the city’s busiest streets, the home has long been receding into obscurity, shrouded by trees and ivy. Its obscurity is now complete: in the past month, it was dismantled.

Designed by renowned Houston architect Harry Payne, the home typified the Colonial Revival style: a symmetrical structure, a tall, slender design with side chimney, paired windows on either side of the door, and a side porch on the second story.

As it fades to complete obscurity, perhaps passersby will pause for a minute on 11th Street and reflect on the old Gibbs Home and hope that Harry Payne’s other homes meet a better fate.

Note: Five other structures designed by Harry Payne still survive in Huntsville, each of which, like the Gibbs Home, has contributed to the city’s landscape.

[In 1931] SHSU President Harry Estill employed Payne to design his retirement home. This revival-style bungalow still stands at 1614 University and now houses the Episcopal Student Union.

Payne’s crowning achievement was the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, built in 1936, the 100th anniversary of the Texas Revolution. The museum, modeled after Jefferson’s Monticello, maintains an imposing presence in the center of town, amidst Sam Houston Park between the historic avenues and Sam Houston State University, not far off the downtown square.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

On the Road to the SHSU Observatory

Did you know you can get to the SHSU Observatory (where the planets were hung and the stars swung around the second story) in less than 90 seconds?

Well it would be nice if you could.