Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful.It’s the transition that’s troublesome.– Isaac Asimov
At what point does a building pass from eyesore to fond remembrance, from something we tolerate to something we reminisce over, long for, mourn? Is there a hard and fast shift, or does it happen over time, after the glow of the new has faded and the first subtle grumblings of regret start to surface? And does a building’s loss even register for the majority of the populace beyond the occasional, “Oh, that? That’s where the old stadium/bank/boarding house/school was. I hadn’t thought about it in years.”
Over the final season of its use as the home of Baylor Football, many words were written and memories recalled about the life of Floyd Casey Stadium. From its early days as a sparkling new venue for gridiron action to recent seasons that saw a resurgence of Baylor’s program on the field – and increasing woes arising from the concrete shell surrounding it – FCS has seen triumph and tragedy, victory and loss. It’s a foregone conclusion that whatever its ultimate fate, there will be a number of people who will take time to photograph its exit from the Waco stage, but what happens in the interim? The time between its final home game and the wrecking ball … or the demolition charge, the renovation, the conversion to a minor league soccer stadium, who knows?
As part of our ongoing project to document the history of Baylor Athletics, two members of the Digital Projects Group – assistant director Darryl Stuhr and curator Eric Ames – teamed up with Baylor Photography’s Robbie Rogers for a top-to-bottom tour of Floyd Casey to document its current state in photographs. In a four-hour session that covered areas rarely seen by the public – like the sepulchral extra storage closet just off the equipment room – to panoramic views of the field from numerous vantage points, we tried to capture “the Case” as it stands today, a noble if waning symbol of a university boldly raising its future on the banks of the Brazos River.
In the coming weeks we’ll take the hundreds of photos we took this week and create an exhibit on Floyd Casey in Transition. Later, we’ll add information and photos from its earliest days, its greatest triumphs, and, ultimately, its final bow. But today we wanted to share a few of our early favorites from this week’s tour as a glimpse of what happens in the gap between “then” and “now.” We hope you enjoy seeing them as much as we enjoyed taking them.
Many thanks to Nick Joos, Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs; Will Lattimore, Assistant Director of Facility Operations; and Robbie Rogers, Director of Baylor Photography, for their assistance with this project.
Visit the Baylor University Libraries Athletics Archive at www.baylor.edu/lib/athleticsarchive or email email@example.com if you’d like to support the Archive with the loan of materials for inclusion in our digital collection. Contact the Texas Collection at (254) 710-1268 if you’d like to discuss donating materials items to the university for inclusion in the Archive.