SEMO Through a Long Lens

SEMO Academic Hall

Cape was a Honeywell Pentax town. I’m not sure if Nowell’s Camera Shop even sold Nikon. When I left town, I had two or three camera bodies and at least three lenses: a 35mm wideangle, a 50mm normal lens, a 105mm telephoto and (I think) a 200 mm telephoto.

The 105mm magnified about two times and the 200, about four times.

This shot of Academic Hall taken from in front of Kent Library in 1966 or 1967 was probably done with the 200mm. Click on the photos to make them larger.

Closeup of dome

SEMO Academic HallIf you couldn’t afford a long lens, you could buy extenders that would effectively increase the length of the lens by two to three times. The tradeoff was that it made the lens a lot slower and there was some degradation in quality. I’m guessing I must have just gotten a 2X extender to make this shot of the dome. It would have converted my 200 into a 400mm lens, which would have magnified about eight times.

This caused some head scratching

SEMO Academic HallThis one had me calling in Wife Lila and Neighbor Jacqie for second and third opinions. This is south and west of SEMO. As best as I can figure it out, I must have shot it from one of the hills around Gordonville Road with the extender reaching out into the distance.

Academic Hall is easy to pick out in the middle. The water tower and smokestack to its left are at the university’s power plant north of Academic Hall. The white building at the top left is the Foreign Languages Building. The large building below and to the left of Academic hall is Southeast Hospital.

Jacqie and I thought the building on the left above the Riverside West sign was Central High School, but after looking at the photo more closely, I determined that Central is the dark, multistory building on the far right. That makes the building on the left a mystery. Anybody want to make a guess? Did Notre Dame have that shape?

Academic Hall links

Here are links to earlier stories about Academic Hall.


16 Replies to “SEMO Through a Long Lens”

  1. Last nigbt at three am it occurred to me that the construction crane on the rigbt might be the Hirsh tower project (Oscar’s last erection as it was known as in those days)

  2. I agree that the building in question is the Jr. High. I’m going to venture a guess that the photo was taken from the hillside where Applebees now sits…judging the angle and distance of objects.

  3. The perspectives in this photo are really distorted by the long lens and the angle. It took me some time to rationalize the relationship of the water tower, which was just to the left and behind Academic Hall when viewed from the front. In the photo it appears a good distance from Academic Hall and to the left and SE Hospital really throws it off. This photo must have been taken at quite an angle, nearly at the side of Academic to produce this perspective. The large building at the bottom left has to be Central, although it doesn’t look that familiar. I don’t believe it could be Notre Dame since it should be on the other side of Broadway from the hospital. I agree with Jim that the building on the bottom right could be the old Junior High but I don’t remember the wing on the left of the building – but I find there are many things I don’t remember as well these days. I must say that this photo has me a bit befuddled. I am going back to Cape in about 10 days and I know I am going to have to get to the bottom of this.

  4. Plus one for the Jr. High. I was part of the first class that went there.

    The white building at top left was the fine arts building back in the day I was there (68-72) and foreign languages were taught in the English building where Rose Theater is located (and where I failed miserably at Spanish).

    Nowell’s did sell Nikon gear as I bought my first one, a Nikkormat plus lenses from Bill in 1973. Before that it was all Canons for me and again, all purchased from Bill. I don’t think there has ever been a better or more giving mentor than he was.

  5. I’ll try this again as the previous post seems to have disappeared.

    Plus one for the Jr. High. I was part of the first class to move in there. The band and choir rooms were under the gym that is pictured here.

    The white building at top left was the art department building when I was at Semo from 68-72. At that time, foreign languages were down at the English building where Rose theater is located. I can’t forget that as I failed miserably at Spanish in that building’s basement.

    Nowell’s did sell Nikon gear, but I don’t remember if he actually stocked it at the store. I bought my first one, a Nikkormat with lenses from Bill in 1973. Before that, I was a total Canon shooter. I don’t think there was ever a better or more giving mentor than Bill.

  6. Hey Tim, why did you go over to the dark side? (LOL!) I was a Cannon wannabe in high school (I had a Minolta A-5 rangefinder that I bought from Jerry Snell in High School). I now have a Cannon – though I see you must be shooting Nikon – as I know Ken does as well. But I’m enjoying my cameras and will actually be in Cape for a few days later this week. I even plan to take some photos of my mom around town at places that were important to her. She’ll be 90 this year. I agree: Mr. Nowell was a prince of a fellow as was Mr. Lueders. What great mentors and encouragers they were! Hope you are well. I might try to see how colse I can come to this photo while I’m in Cape.

  7. Ken, the builing in question is, in fact, the gynasium at Central Junior High. There was/is a door on the south side of the building with a concrete stairway.

    Take a look at,+mo&hl=en&ll=37.309833,-89.545323&spn=0.00197,0.002401&sll=37.6,-95.665&sspn=44.665185,78.662109&t=h&hnear=Cape+Girardeau,+Missouri&z=19
    On the pull down menu at the right, check the 45 degree option and it will be obvious.

    The building top in the foreground between you and the Riverside West Sign is the northwest corner of the Kmart building. Your location was pretty close to the Denny’s at the corner of William St and West Drive but most likely a little more to the north; there is a crest of a high hill on what is now West Drive that would best line up all the landmarks.

  8. Keith, could that building you referred to as K-Mart be Riverside Building Supply? I was working at Sears in the plaza when K-Mart had their grand opening in 1973 or maybe early 1974.It was a new building. Man were we dead that night! I don’t recall what was on the property before K-Mart although I should as my girlfriend at the time lived just west of it on Independence St.!

    1. Dave, I stand corrected. The building that I referred to as K-mart is a different building, one that backs up to Leming Lane, about a half block north of Independence. I just don’t remember what business was located there. The building is still there, but the rooftop no longer has the skylights or roof vents seen in Ken’s picture.

    2. Dave, I was incorrect, the rooftop that we see is the top of a building that backs up to Leming Lane, about a half block north of Indepence St on the west side of Kingshighway. Looking at Google Earth currently, the rooftop no longer has the skylights seen in Ken’s photo.

  9. This is way late in the game, but I think you were standing in the lot that was the old Pollack Hide & Fur (now the Arby’s) at the corner of Kingshighway and Independence, overlooking the old Riverside Lumber (later Wolohan) building. You can’t really tell, but it is a bit elevated there. Was more so before they leveled it.

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