Sunday, January 22, 2012

Special Services Building

Besides the rare snow, I couldn't find a picture of this building that wasn't decades old.

Does anyone remember the Special Services Building? It was just north of Haas Residence Hall in the northwest part of campus, and from data on the Internet, razed in fall 2001. (It sits about where the basketball courts of the Hullabaloo Residence Hall now stand).

Unfortunately, we have little information of this building. It was at least three stories tall and references on the Internet mention offices being located there. But what was it? "Special Services" is a rather vague term: I've heard it had laundry facilities (actually a branded operation of FabricCare Cleaners that appeared to stay up until around 2001) in the past, but that's about it.

The main reason for demolition I remember it had creaking floors: so bad that it was deemed structurally unstable, with the furniture being abandoned.

However, the "Special Services Building" reportedly dates back to 1914 according to this TAMU chronology. Is that right? I mean, most of the buildings back then were made primarily of wood and would've been demolished by the 1960s or 1970s, and it would be a miracle that the SSB survived for that long.

According to "Truthfinder" (a commenter), I received this information.

It was home to the Department of Rural Sociology and the Texas State Data Center when it was torn down. Rural Sociology then moved off campus to the buildings left of Barnes and Noble.

The building was deemed unsafe because of large cracks in the structure. The walls in the basement had cracks at least 8 inches wide. Everything was packed up and moved out within a few days.

It was a very unique building because it once was a hospital. Grad student offices were in a the old tiled operating room. The floors were sloped with a large drain in the center. The departmental supply closet was lined with lead. There was an old fashioned gated elevator in the back of the building. The facade had several Corinthian columns.

The building was also home of one of the more famous campus ghost stories. An elderly professor who passed away at the hospital was supposed to haunt the hall of the main floor. He wore a bathrobe and slippers and could be heard shuffling up and down the hallway.

More photos:

Updated July 2020 to incorporate 2012 comment