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From American Football to ZZ Top: A History of Robertson Stadium

Between its opening in 1942 as Public School Stadium and scheduled demolition in fall of 2012, Robertson Stadium (also known as Jeppesen Stadium) has been home to high school football, UH football, and the Houston Oilers as well as the Houston Dynamo soccer club. Additionally, some of the biggest names in rock played Robertson during the 1970s and 1980s.

UH Libraries' Special Collections would like to thank the UH Facilities Planning & Construction, the UH Athletics Department, and Bruce Kessler of RockinHouston.com. Without their contributions, this exhibit would not have been possible.

  • Designed by architect Harry D. Payne, Robertson Stadium features a classic Art Deco style with its towers, reliefs, and façade.  <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • In 1940, HISD purchased sixty acres of land for $75,500 for the site of the stadium; construction costs totaled $650,000. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • Robertson Stadium was built by the Fretz Construction Company between 1941-1942 as a joint project between HISD and the Works Progress Administration. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • Construction site in October 1941. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • Built with Robertson Stadium, Jeppesen Fieldhouse (located behind the end zone) was the home of the Cougars basketball team between 1946 and 1966. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • Originally constructed with a capacity of 14,500, Robertson reached a maximum of 35,000 seats during the 1960s. It currently seats 32,000. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • The completed stadium and fieldhouse with the university campus, 1950. <em>Courtesy of UH Special Collections.</em>
  • With the Cougars returning to Robertson full time in 1998, the university undertook a massive renovation, which increased capacity by 10,000. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • The field was lowered nine feet, the track removed, and twenty luxury boxes were added during the renovation. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • Despite the extensive renovations, Robertson Stadium maintained its distinctive towers and Art Deco architecture. <em>Courtesy of UH Athletics Department.</em>
  • Conceptual designs of the new stadium, anticipated to be completed by the 2014 football season. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • Conceptual design of stadium interior. <em>Courtesy of UH Facilities Planning & Construction.</em>
  • The Cougars played their first game at Robertson on September 21, 1946, falling to Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) 13-7. They notched their first victory on October 12, defeating Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) 34-0. <em>Courtesy of UH Special Collections.</em>
  • Robertson Stadium hosted the 1983 NCAA Track and Field Championships, won by Southern Methodist University (men’s) and UCLA (women’s). <em>Courtesy of UH Special Collections.</em>
  • Three-time Olympian and winner of nine gold medals, UH alum Carl Lewis ran his last race during halftime of a Cougar football game in 1997. <em>Courtesy of UH Special Collections.</em>
  • UH football returned to Robertson full-time in 1998 after the stadium received massive renovations. The field was named in honor of major donor John O’Quinn. <em>Courtesy of the UH Athletics Department.</em>
  • The first scrimmage in Houston Texans’ history was held at Robertson in 2002 against the Dallas Cowboys. <em>Courtesy of the UH Athletics Department.</em>
  • Since returning to Robertson, the Cougars have defeated Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, in addition to winning the 2006 Conference USA championship game. <em>Courtesy of the UH Athletics Department.</em>
  • The Allman Brothers headlined at Robertson Stadium on June 30, 1974, with Commander Cody and The Eagles providing the opening acts. <em>Courtesy of UH Special Collections.</em>
  • Crowd for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young concert, July 1974. <em>Courtesy of Bruce Kessler/RockinHouston.com</em>
  • Pink Floyd performed at Robertson Stadium on April 30, 1977, as part of their “In the Flesh” tour. <em>Courtesy of Bruce Kessler/RockinHouston.com</em>
  • Ticket stubs from concerts held at Robertson Stadium, including one from ZZ Top’s appearance at Robertson in 1973. <em>Courtesy of Bruce Kessler/RockinHouston.com</em>
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