by Alethea Drexler
This set of photographs is P-2696, images of Baylor College of Medicine‘s Roy and Lillie Cullen Building when it was new in 1948.
The photographer seems to have had quite a flair for the dramatic.
We are familiar with the beautiful Art Deco design on the outside of the Cullen Building, and here we see that this was continued on the interior: Note the scroll pattern around the walls and above the stage.
So, where is everybody?
Apparently, they’re all in lab. I actually suspect this photograph may be slightly later than the others, since the rest imply that the building is not yet in full use, but it’s not much later. I would guess that any laboratory classrooms in the building now have been updated, but this looks just like the biology lab I used in college, fifty years later.
I see glass microscope slides and the book that the young woman in the second row is using has a picture in it of a man who appears to have either a skin condition or some sort of injury, such as a burn, so I wonder if this was a histopathology lab.
This is my artistic favorite of the bunch. Yes, the lighting really is that high-contrast, and I wonder how the photographer achieved it since it doesn’t seem like normal lighting for a reception desk, even one as beautifully modern and sleek as this.
It looks like a movie still, doesn’t it? All it needs is Humphrey Bogart.