Renovations of Dudley Hughes '51 Lecture Hall

Aug 23, 2017

This summer the Department of Geology and Geophysics has been overseeing the renovation of the Dudley Hughes ’51 Lecture Hall, also known as Room 101, within the Halbouty Geosciences Building.

Texas A&M University and the Department of Geology and Geophysics invested a million dollars into the renovation that will include making the room look nearly as it did when the building underwent original construction, including a decorative stenciled ceiling. The media in the lecture hall will also undergo an update during the renovation.

The Halbouty building, originally named the Petroleum Engineering and Geology building, was constructed in 1932. The building’s intricate and highly ornate architectural details include tile mosaics and cast stone sculptural details, typical of designs by Samuel C. P. Vosper who designed 10 of the original Texas A&M campus buildings. The building features castings of seashells, pebble mosaics and recessed doors with iron grillwork. A heroic panel over the side entrance symbolizes petroleum exploration, while Mexican tile adorns the building’s front exterior. Other cast stone figures and mosaics in the building also reflect Mexican architecture. The original T-shaped building had a central tower with an octagonal art-deco dome that disguised a water tank used to maintain pressure in the campus heating system. The building underwent massive renovations in 1972 when the tower was removed for safety reasons and a 60,000-square-foot addition to the building was completed.

The building was renamed as the geosciences building in 1977 for Michel T. Halbouty, class of 1930, a successful geologist and petroleum engineer. In 1997, the Dudley Hughes ’51 Lecture Hall underwent renovations, which included the addition of modern educational technologies such as a smart lectern and surround sound. Now, twenty years after the most recent renovation to the lecture hall, every effort is being made to preserve the historical characteristic of the room, including the beautiful stained glass windows that depict mineral classes, and other characteristics that were hidden during the last renovation.

This renovation will end before classes begin this Fall 2017 semester. The Department of Geology and Geophysics will host a Re-Dedication Ceremony of the Dudley Hughes ’51 Lecture Hall on September 29, 2017 at 4 p.m. during the department open house.

To RSVP for the Re-Dedication Ceremony please click here.  

Please click here to view pictures of the Halbouty Building and how it has changed over time (Photos courtesy of the Texas A&M Cushing Library and Spirit Magazine).