Life off Campus – Sam Houston Avenue & 16th Street just off Campus, 1976.

sam houston ave Alcalde 1976

Hello 1976! This is Sam Houston Avenue & 16th Street just off the main campus which was captured in this photograph from The Alcalde, 1976.

A lot has changed in this area since 1976. Some of the building you see in this photograph are gone. Gone are the Center Hotel, restaurant, and bowling lanes, Gulf Station, Sam Houston Hotel (which had two restaurants in it), bus station, Ward Furniture Building, and City Lumber. Tasty Freeze Big Tee Burger is now a storage building for Heartfield Floral across the street. The Center Motel block is now Sam Houston State University’s dorm called Sam Houston Village.

You can find more photographs of life off campus in The Alcalde. In University Archives there are copies of the Alcaldes from 1910 to 2007, excluding 1932-1935 (Depression years), 1944 (World War II), 1999-2001 (ceased printing in 1998 and started printing again in 2002 for the 125th anniversary of the University).

Happy 40th! Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum

Johnson Colisieum 75 76 jpg
 

 

The University Coliseum was completed and opened in December of 1976. Designed as a spectator facility where various sports and special events could be scheduled the coliseum is basically an open arena with a playing/performing court with 5,000 fixed seat and 3,200 other sides with folding bleachers or temporary seating. A circular concourse level surrounds the arena.

Designed by Fort Worth Architect Preston M. Garen and constructed by Waco Construction the new Health and Physical Education Building contract was let for $3,589,000 dollars. The new University Coliseum received awards for design excellence and was published in many professional journals.

Here are a few facts about the building when it opened:

1. There are 19 sections of seats labeled A through S with 18 entry ways.
2. There are 56 doorways.
3. 12 water fountains
4. 4 trophy cases
5. Four ticket offices
6. 36 cigarette urns
7. 24 trash cans that weigh 44 pounds apiece.
8. The press room was in the concourse.
9. The Coliseum contain 11, 752 square feet in the concourse area, 44, 666 square feet outside the concourse area, and about 78, 000 square feet in total.
10. The plastic seats alone are worth $178,000.
11. The building houses a 16,000 square foot playing floor made of a synthetic material called “sportstred.”
12. The glass, called “windowwall” decorates 6, 384 square feet of the Coliseum’s outside walls. It is bronze tinted with the aluminum around the glass having a bronze finish.

It remained the University Coliseum until the Texas State University System at its meeting of August 21, 1987, voted to name the coliseum in honor of former regent of the TSUS, Bernard G. Johnson of Houston, Texas. At the December 12, 1987 commencement program Bernard G. Johnson was the commencement speaker. During this commencement Johnson was also awarded an honorary Ph. D, as a Doctor of Philosophy and the University Coliseum was dedicated as the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

This year the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum will celebrate their 40th year of service. In that time changes in the building and the events that are held there have been varied from musical groups, commencements for the University and area high schools, basketball games, volleyball games, hurricane storm shelter, to a new sparkling cooper roof and a brand new floor.

The featured photograph is from, “The Presidents Report of 1975-76,” The completed building photograph shows the new building with a grassy area across the street from the building. Today that grassy area is across the street on Bobby K. Marks Drive and Bowers Boulevard and is a parking lot in front with intramural fields in the back.

Please come visit the University Archives in room 400 of the NGL to see more about the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Also be sure to visit the Johnson Coliseum for a special exhibit on the history of the building.

Welcome Back BearKats! Throwback Thursday of ’76

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1976 Wecome Back BearKats

Welcome back to a new semester, BearKats! This fierce looking BearKat graces the cover of The Huntsville Item’s, “Wecome Back BearKats,” special edition from August 22, 1976. For many years The Huntsville Item has published these special, “Welcome Back BearKats,” editions, with information and fun articles about Sam Houston State University for both new and returning students. You can see this entire 1976 special edition in the University Archives.

Quick fun fact: Founded in 1850, The Huntsville Item, is the second oldest publishing newspaper in the State of Texas. You can find the most recent editions in print in the second floor reference newspapers area of the Newton Gresham Library, on-line at http://www.itemonline.com, or on Facebook and Twitter.