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sevfiv

The facade and what's beneath

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I have been meaning to start a thread on this for a while, and Lisa Gray's article and the talk we've had about the Ivy Russell Ford building reminded me about wanting to get a listing of buildings around town that have been covered up, and try to post pictures of what they used to look like...

I know there are many, but i'll just start with with a couple obvious ones:

The worst, imo, Sears on Main:

(Bob Bailey photo):

2j3fwwz.jpg

sears47sm.jpg

Rettigs/ABC/Ivy Russell/Eckerd:

2irublz.jpg

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I don't have many pictures at the moment, but there's the Chronicle building.

806 Main (from another topic):

806MAIN.jpg

gallery_1_65_99365.jpg

For a long time the West Building had a gold anodized aluminum screen facade. During a fire in the 1990s the facade was damaged and had to be removed.

Some of the most frequently re-facaded buildings are strip centers. The one at the SW corner of Richmond and Kirby is undergoing a major redo, and a smaller old art deco one at Shepherd and Richmond recently had a more modest fake stucco-ization.

The old Savoy hotel also comes to mind.

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Good point about the strip centers - another one sits at the NE corner of Montrose & West Gray. I only found out when I visited Bobbitt Glass and they had a missing ceiling tile in their showroom. You could look up and see an old tin ceiling, as well as places where windows had been bricked in. It would be neat to see some pictures of the building's original appearance.

Also, don't forget the old Everitt-Buelow store Downtown.

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Methodist Hospital Main Building is getting a facade, although this one might be an impovement. Drive down Fannin St. and get a good look before it's covered up.

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Also downtown is the building at Main and Walker that used to have the San Jacinto mosaic, and I suspect a number of the structures further north on Main. They are no longer there, but during the great modernization binge of the 1960s the Lamar Hotel was completely refaced, and the C&I building received a new facade on the lower floors. I don't know the name of the building, but it is right across the street from the Gulf Building at Main and Rusk. That is another (unfortunate) refacing.

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The formerly-distinctive Hermann Professional Building, now almost unrecognizable beneath a layer of glass. The first time I drove down Main after its "renovation" was completed, I did a double-take and wondered where the building had gone.

Another one, more recently: not sure of the name, but the building off of 610 near the 290 interchange that was completely covered in gold-anodized windows. It's been there at least 30 years, but a recent makeover has removed the gold windows and now it looks just like any other nondescript office building.

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There are soooooo many smaller companies all over the city to list that are "masked" in very bad taste I might add.

Color Tile on 45/Telephone. You can still see the tilted blocked letters underneath a cheesy plywood sign and bad paint job..orange?

Old Stephen's Drive In Restuarant on far N Wayside had all the huge metal hamburgers yanked out and ugly plywood acts as a mask for a cruddy Used Car Lot. The building seems intact just surrounded by ugly crass junkers for sale. Terrible.

Former Levitz Furniture on 610 is now a crappy flea market. Paint covered the Levitz sign and the high post sign either removed or painted over. All cheesy of course.

Just too many to name I tell yuzz. :blink:

Edited by Vertigo58

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Here are two pics I have of Krupp & Tuffly - located on Main @ Walker. My grandfather worked here for over 40 years as a salesman and buyer. I probably got these from this forum or from the Bob Bailey collection. I'm not sure of the years, but you can probably tell by the cars.

Krupps1.jpg

Krupps2.jpg

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Here's the Houston Deco page for Krupp and Tuffly:

http://www.houstondeco.org/1920s/krupp.html

That's the website where I found the pictures. I guess I didn't save the more current ones.

My grandparents lived in West University and only had one car. So every morning my grandmother would ride to town with my grandfather and bring the car back home. In the afternoon, she would go back to town and pick him up. Since I often spent the night at their house, I made the trip many times. I hardly ever went in the store though, we would park on Walker and he would come out to the car.

I find it too depressing to drive downtown now and look at the state of some of the buildings.

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I find it too depressing to drive downtown now and look at the state of some of the buildings.

True, so true. In fact that very corner is one of the worse sites in that immediate area. Good thing this site doesnt have "Odorama", they dont even spray down the sidewalks like they used to. This is homeless heaven. Best to remember as it once was. :(

Edited by Vertigo58

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Here are two pics I have of Krupp & Tuffly - located on Main @ Walker. My grandfather worked here for over 40 years as a salesman and buyer. I probably got these from this forum or from the Bob Bailey collection. I'm not sure of the years, but you can probably tell by the cars.

Thanks for posting these. I hadn't seen pictures before of the underlying building. Notice that in the second photo, which I'm guessing is mid-1950s, there is already a new facade on the ground floor. Holy schlamoley, what do you think ever possessed them to turn such a nice building into a featureless box?

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Thanks for posting these. I hadn't seen pictures before of the underlying building. Notice that in the second photo, which I'm guessing is mid-1950s, there is already a new facade on the ground floor. Holy schlamoley, what do you think ever possessed them to turn such a nice building into a featureless box?

The same force that drives the appearance of all structures: fashion.

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Just think of all the swimming pools that were later filled in with cement, pathetic.

Worse example I heard of was The Shamrock Hilton being filled in with cement. This really did happen right? Any Shamrock Hotel historian's to confirm?

It was once said that there was a publicity event where a water skier was actually skiing around that very pool. It was that large! :o:)

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Here's the Houston Deco page for Krupp and Tuffly:

http://www.houstondeco.org/1920s/krupp.html

It's the "Just a Dollar" store now...err, "Just a Dollar .19" :rolleyes:

2w34c4y.jpg

Oh, now that just plain hurts, looking at that! After the spectacular "before" picture. just sickening! Please tell me it's intact, still, underneath this mess. :o:angry:

Just think of all the swimming pools that were later filled in with cement, pathetic.
quote/Vertigo58

to properly fill & cover a swimming pool, you have to at least break it up, first, to allow flow through, into the ground. With all the rain water in this city, I would think so. Wonder how many didn't do this.

Edited by NenaE

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Wow - never had a clue that this depressing building was once so much more

What on earth is going on in those upper floors? Nothing? Storage? Or is Just a Dollar the only thing there?

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The same force that drives the appearance of all structures: fashion.

Speaking of fashion:

2301 Main St. (southeast corner of Main and Hadley, currently Houston Can! Academy) was given its red grid facade about 25 years ago, at the height of Post-Modernism. It was written up in one of the national architectural magazines as being an excellent example of adaptive re-use. If I recall correctly, the article also stated that the building had been constructed in the 1920's as a auto dealership.

Can anyone verify that? Pictures would be great.

Do you think its current appearance is hopelessly dated, or has it weathered the fashion trends?

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Here's the Houston Deco page for Krupp and Tuffly:

http://www.houstondeco.org/1920s/krupp.html

It's the "Just a Dollar" store now...err, "Just a Dollar .19" :rolleyes:

2w34c4y.jpg

I'll spare you all of the detail's of why I know this, but go inside the store. Walk straight to the back, and try to sneak a peak at the storage room. It's at least slightly intact, and looks to have been a lobby of some sort at one time.

What I remember most, was the very large chandelier still being used to light the backroom. Hold your nose though!

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Speaking of fashion:

2301 Main St. (southeast corner of Main and Hadley, currently Houston Can! Academy) was given its red grid facade about 25 years ago, at the height of Post-Modernism. It was written up in one of the national architectural magazines as being an excellent example of adaptive re-use. If I recall correctly, the article also stated that the building had been constructed in the 1920's as a auto dealership.

Can anyone verify that? Pictures would be great.

Do you think its current appearance is hopelessly dated, or has it weathered the fashion trends?

Sure it looks dated, but at the same time the post-moderns have been around for 20 years now, the ranks have thinned, and the good remaining ones have had time to graduate into period piece status. In other words they have aged enough to start acquiring some charm. I said pretty much the same thing about the GRB.

I suppose in another 20 years we'll look at the remaining beige fake stucco buildings and say "Hey, nice surviving example of early 2000s architecture!" ^_^

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Another great example is another open thread - the Kirby building on Main. The disco-mirror facade is the second refacing. It was also heavily remodeled in the late 1940s I believe.

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Another great example is another open thread - the Kirby building on Main. The disco-mirror facade is the second refacing. It was also heavily remodeled in the late 1940s I believe.

Forgot about that one...time to find some pictures

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I wonder if adding stories to a building qualifies? The former Tenneco Building had that new modern spaceship landing pad placed on top for example? :mellow:

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I wonder if adding stories to a building qualifies? The former Tenneco Building had that new modern spaceship landing pad placed on top for example? :mellow:

That was actually the 1100 Milam Building, which Tenneco was a major tenant in, that had the landing pad thing built on top of it. The Tenneco Building, across the street is relatively intact, functioning as the headquarters for El Paso. The white "TENNECO" block letters have been removed from the upper facade and the red railing has been repainted grey. Other than that it still looks great. Hope it stands unaltered for another 50 years. It was built to last.

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Tks Plumber,

and wasn't the original Astroworld Hotel completly remuddled and renamed?

Most Red Lobster restaurants have had exteriors remodeled over and over as is with most eateries. Wouldnt exactly call a covering though. Denny's did the same and with terrible results. :blink:

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Good call on the Astroworld Hotel (Grand Plaza, Crown Plaza)...

now:

aui8wh.jpg

then:

astro.jpg

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