Alumni Campus News

In Quads’ final months, alumni reminisce at reunion


“It’s bittersweet to know something that meant so much to me in a short period of time will be gone, but it will never be gone from my heart,” said Karen Whitney, a former Quads resident. | Michael Slaten/The Cougar

Quadrangle alumni and UH students came together for a reunion and tailgate Saturday afternoon to discuss memories, visit old friends and tour the halls before the residence hall complex is replaced in coming months. 

The Quadrangle, also known as the Quads, will be demolished in January to make room for a new residence hall that is expected to open in 2020, said Don Yackley, executive director of Student Housing and Residential Life.

“I just wanted to give it one last look before it goes away,” said Andrew Hamilton, who lived in Taub Residence Hall from 2007 to 2010. “I can’t believe it’s going to be gone. I’m really glad that the University is doing this, but I wish they could find a reason to keep it.”

Karen Whitney said she lived in the Quads from 1978 to 1987. Whitney said her first job in higher education was working the security desk at Edison E. Oberholtzer Residence Hall.

“I know there’s a time for all facilities to kind of see their end, and make way for the next generation of buildings and needs for the University,” Whitney said. “It’s bittersweet to know something that meant so much to me in a short period of time will be gone, but it will never be gone from my heart.”

Previous resident of the Quads and Moody Towers, Bobby Brownstein, said he acknowledged the inevitable ending for the buildings. 

“You have to keep up with it. It’s really hard to keep throwing money into these old residence halls,” he said. “It will be sad, but as long as it keeps the spirit of the Quadrangle, I think people will still keep coming back here for years and years.”

The Quads’ replacement will be built similar to Cougar Place, with four private bedrooms, a kitchenette and living room in each unit, Yackley said. Residents there will not be required to purchase a meal plan. 

“The concept is to put a bigger building — it’s four stories,” he said. “We are going to create these unique courtyard areas similar to what exists now. We are going to save as many of the trees as we can.”

Yackley said the new buildings will hold between 1,000 to 1,200 beds in the new building, whereas the Quads now hold a maximum of 800 beds. 

There will be two smaller residence halls closer to the A.D. Bruce Religion Center, grouping students together with similar focuses in studies, Yackley said.

“So the concept is we build smaller communities with focuses, like global village, engineering or Honors more tightly connected with something in common,” Yackley said.

Not all former residents understand or agree with the demolition of the Quadrangle, such as Mary Hollis, who resided at the Quads from 1973-78. 

“It’s sucks,” Hollis said. “I get it that it costs more to renovate than to tear down and build new, but I don’t understand why.”

Hollis said she hopes they incorporate some of the building materials from the Quads, such as limestone, into the new residence halls.

“It’s very sad,” Hollis said. ” It’s a lot of our history and where we lived for many years.”

Doug Miller, a previous resident of the Quads and former reporter for KHOU, said he lived downstairs from professional golfer Fred Couples and American sportscaster Jim Nantz.

“They used to drive golf balls up and down the hall,” Miller said. “I almost got knocked in the head by a golf ball one day. That’s my biggest memory of this place.”

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  • One of the few buildings on campus that I have never been in (and I had no idea they had that many beds). Seems like a great location. I, too, hope they incorporate some of the old brick into something in the new building, for nostalgic purposes. I understand the MFAH is doing this with some glass tiles from the old Glassel (sp.) School of Art into the new facility. Hope UH follows suit.

  • Lived there for a year in 64-65. Got to meet Judge Bates and serve in the Residence Council. Good memories. I, too, wish some of the original building materials could be preserved!

  • IT IS THE “QUAD” —- NOT, I REPEAT, NOT THE “QUADS” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Former resident (1984-1996), member of the Security Staff, active member of the Residence Hall Association (RHA), and both Law and Settegast Hall Presidents.

  • I went inside Taub with my daughter , and it didnt look any different than when I was there in 1976. These old stone buildings can withstand a lot of punishment.

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