Someone posted on Facebook this morning that Southeast Missouri State University’s iconic Houck Stadium was being demolished. I decided it was worth putting on my pants and donning a light jacket to take a look at it.
By midafternoon, about half of the south stands had been reduced to dust and twisted rebar. A worker I chatted with said he thought they’d be done in about a week.
The north stands and Houck Field House aren’t slated for demolition (yet).
Inside a locker room
I thought that I might be able to get a higher angle shot from an office window in Houck Field House, but the only good candidate was locked.
I wandered down a hallway until I saw an open door and walked toward the light until I ran into a friendly worker. We exchanged construction war stories until I thought we were at the point where I could gently suggest that he look the other way while I disappeared for a few minutes.
Unfortunately, another guy showed up about that time, so I abandoned the idea.
On my way out, though, I stopped long enough to shoot the lockers and peppy slogan above them. The light wasn’t great, and I couldn’t get it all in one shot, so I created this combo.
Chief Sagamore’s old perch
Gates leading to the bluff where Chief Sagamore used to appear were locked, so this is the best I could do.
The white cloud is a powerful spray of water to keep dust down. Cars parked on Bellevue Street still got a pretty heavy dusting. Reminded me of what happened in the old days when dust from the cement plant would coat Cape when the winds were out of the south.
Gallery of demolition photos
Here’s a gallery of photos I shot December 8, 2021. Click on any image to make it larger, then use the arrows to move around. I’ll go through my files to see how many vintage Houck Stadium photos I can find, along with any appropriate anecdotes for a post in the near future.
There are more questions than answers here. I’m pretty sure this is a SEMO football game, although it doesn’t look exactly like Houck Stadium to me. It must have been 1964 because there is one frame of a banner tow plane pulling a sign that says, “Vote Republican AU H20.” It was really scratched up, so you’ll just have to trust me on it.
Band and twirler action
That’s a pretty big crowd on the field at halftime.
Someone was hurt
Teammates carry a player off the field.
Most area football games were played at night, so I rarely had a chance to shoot from this vantage point. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. Feel free to tell us what we’re looking at.
When I asked readers to help me identify a building yesterday, it didn’t take long before Dennis Mize, Jim Feldmeier, Charlie Holt, Tim Ludwig, Keith Robinson and Dave let me know that it was Central Junior High School. This aerial isn’t from the same angle, but you can see the boxy shape and ramp that confirm what the guys were saying.
Here’s a new mystery
When Neighbor Bill and I looked at this picture, I said I thought the crane was probably working on the highrise dorms that would have been north and east of Academic Hall. He said he woke up at 3 a.m. with the revelation that the crane was working on the KFVS-TV tower across from The Missourian.
I’m not convinced. If that’s the case, then what is the building to its left that has a rounded rooftop? Click on it to make it larger, if that helps.
SEMO campus with dorms
Here’s a a 2010 aerial of the SEMO campus with the high rise dorms in it for comparison.
This aerial shows the KFVS-TV tower at the top left. The square is bounded by roughly Broadway – Themis – Sprigg and Main Street.
Common Pleas Courthouse 1964
This 1964 aerial centered on the Common Pleas Courthouse was taken before the KFVS-TV tower was built. There’s a parking lot across from The Missourian where it will be built.
I hope one of these will help you figure out the mystery building.