Houstonians favor long-distance grand openings. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson pushed a button at the White House that set off the signal to open Houston’s Ship Chanel as a deepwater port. Some 50 years later a satellite passing over campus pulsed a message to the site of Rice University’s new Space Science and Technology Building. A specially rigged antenna conveyed the bleeps to a buried explosive device, which exploded and turned the earth to break ground.
Architects George Pierce and Abel B. Pierce design the building, which is partially funded by NASA and which houses the 1st university-based space science program.