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Mysterious Balconies Bring Back Memories
The repainting of two balconies on the Main Building have stirred curiosity and speculation among students.

The identical balconies, surrounded by ornate grillwork, are located on the east and west sides of the building’s second story.

Included in the original plans, the balconies were attached when the building was constructed in 1936. Their purpose, however, is unknown.

JOHN McCREA, part time draftsman for construction and maintenance, said that the balconies could have been used for decoration. The style, a conglomeration of architecture of past eras, was in vogue at the time the Tower was constructed.

However, McCrae added, the balconies might have been saved from the destruction of Old Main, the building replaced by the Main Building in 1936.

THIS SPECULATION is supported by considerable evidence. The destruction of Old Main, the gothic structure that once stood on the present site of the Tower, caused a cry of regret from students and ex-students. Their only appeasement was that Old Main’s name and some of its parts were added to the "skyscraper" which took its place.

The files at the Barker Texas History Center contain blurred photographs of Old Main showing two balconies which resemble those on the Main Building. Balconies in the photography are on the same level as those on the Main Building. They also are the only detachable balconies on the Tower.

Possibly, they were removed from Old Main and installed on the Tower in memory of a past era.

THE TWO MEN who could solve the mystery of the balconies, R. L. White, supervising architect at the University when the Tower was built, and Dr. W. J. Battle, chairman of the building committee at that time, are dead.

Both balconies are located under a window which splits a row of inscriptions including Shakespeare, Milton, Moliere, Scott, and Aristotle.

Daily Texan. April 4, 1965.
Article by: Unknown.

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3 May 1999
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