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Campus mystery

Okay, friends, when we started this blog, we said we would ask for help from time to time. Well, here we are!

Our Photographs Curator has been stumped by this for some time. Can you help put his mind to rest and help us identify the pyramid-like structure in this image?

This detail comes from a large panoramic shot of the “new” 10th Street Stadium in 1924 (now home to the Arboretum). On the far left you can see the south bleachers and the pyramid-like structure would be about where the present-day Radio & TV Building is located.

Brad has contacted several people over the years in hopes of receiving some help in identifying the structure but thus far has had no luck. It doesn’t show up in campus maps and he has not uncovered any other documentation about it. Anybody have any thoughts?


  • iubarchives says:

    Thanks to everyone who responded on the blog & on Twitter about our mystery photo! All the suggestions have given us some good ideas!!

  • Landon Turner Overdrive says:

    Tweeted this earlier, but I suspect the tower/pylon is some part of the construction process for the new stadium – most likely for the mixing of the cement used in the aggregate concrete which was a major material used. Another possibility could be that it’s part of a brick manufacturing site for the stadium as well, but the wooden or canvas construction of the tower makes that unlikely.

  • D says:

    Looks like somthing temporary when I zoom in on the image. I think it could be canvas, actually. Look at the bend in the front corner on the bottom right. Leads me to believe it isn’t stone, either piled or in a structure, but some temporary tented structure.

  • Brendan says:

    It has the appearance of being a very tall pyramid. This could just be perspective. Could this just be a large load of cut stone, piled up to save space on the job site? If the stone was unloaded from a truck or rail car by crane then it would most likely be piled on top of itself.

  • Lisa Simmons says:

    Could it be the pre-assembled top portion of a larger structure? Also, have the Greek organizations been checked with? The Pyramid is a common motif used in fraternal organization dogma – especially ACACIA as it is associated with the Masons who have a close connection to Egyptian symbols (for example, the stepped pyramid on top of the former Masonic lodge at 7th and College).

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