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Everything posted by FilioScotia

  1. ****If what you're talking is about is what I'm thinking of, Greenway Plaza was developed first with them buying out everyone all at once with what was considered a fair deal for a time (everyone had to agree, or no deal).**** That's how I remember it too, but I also remember there were several holdouts.
  2. I remember back in the 70s when Greenway Plaza was under development, and the owners were having a hard time with homeowners in the small residential area between Edloe and Weslayan. This area is now occupied by Lakewood Church, a huge apartment complex, a luxury car dealership and an office building at Weslayan and the SW Fwy. Some of the homeowners had lived there for decades, and were holding out for thousands of dollars more than their small houses were worth on the market. I heard that the last holdout on Norfolk Street got more than 500 thousand. Don't know if that's an urban legend or not, but it's a great story.
  3. Some street names do travel around. Take a drive through downtown Shreveport Louisiana and you'll think you're in downtown Houston. In the oldest area along the Red River they have streets named Texas, Fannin, Crockett, Milam, Travis, Austin, and some others. Shreveport was founded in 1836, the year Texas won independence from Mexico, and people there at that time thought they had more in common with Texas than with Louisiana, hence all the streets named for Texas heroes. Even today many people in that NW corner of Louisiana will tell you they would rather be part of Texas. Which makes me wonder why they don't move here. Louisiana has a state income tax and Texas doesn't. That alone would give me the incentive to move to Texas.
  4. Oh my goodness -- are you new to Houston? The Alley Theater has been a very big deal in Houston since the early 1950s. It's recognized nationally as one of the best regional theaters, with a resident company of full-time professional actors. Check out the website, and take the time to read up on the Alley's history. https://www.alleytheatre.org/about-us
  5. Oh yes. The reaction from the national print media was brutal. I guess they would have preferred race riots instead. KPRC TV News Director Ray Miller was on board with the news blackout, and helped persuade other broadcast media bosses to go along. He told me once that he got nasty letters, telegrams and phone calls for weeks, and many of them were from other media around the country. But he also got a lot of high praise for his leadership, especially from leaders in the black community. He said he never regretted being part of the blackout.
  6. That old news film was part of one of the more phenomenal success stories in Houston history. I'm talking about the story of how Houston managed to desegregate many public facilities with none of the racial violence that was common in other southern cities. The business community, local black organizations, and the news media worked together to make it happen peacefully without any violence. It was easy. The media agreed to not report it. I'm stealing this from a blogger known only as "MPowers", but I remember those times and even took part in a couple of the protest marches. MPowers writes that many people in Houston were afraid that the longer the protests took place, the more chance there would be for violence. Bob Dundas, vice president of Foley’s department store in downtown Houston, watched the events that the students participated in very closely. Dundas was an old-fashioned political fixer and lobbyist who worked faithfully with the city’s ruling elite. He was old enough to remember the Camp Logan Riot and killings of 1917 and he didn't want anything like that to ever happen again. The students' protests and the possibility of violence rekindled old memories for Dundas. So after much effort, he got downtown merchants to agree to desegregate their lunch counters simultaneously on the condition that there would be no press coverage of the event. Dundas got together with John T. Jones, publisher of the Houston Chronicle and president of Houston Endowment, and they worked to make sure that the event would not receive any news coverage. Oveta Culp Hobby, owner of the Houston Post, agreed to their plan, and under threats to pull Foley’s advertising from the Houston Press, Editor George Carmack also agreed to Dundas and Jones’ plan. They secured an agreement between local newspapers, radio stations and TV stations to remain silent on the event for ten days. On August 25, 1960, seventy Houston lunch counters quietly integrated and Dundas greeted the TSU students when they arrived at Foley’s lunch counter and asked for service. The growing fears of racial violence led the white power elite to voluntarily desegregate and the result was a peaceful, relatively unnoticed social change in Houston. The national press soon criticized the Houston media for censoring coverage of the event. On September 2, 1960, an article in the Texas Observer stated, “We are still blinking our eyes—we can’t believe it! The entire Houston press—newspapers, radio, and TV—entering into an overt conspiracy to suppress a major news development they had covered fully up to the time of its climax! … Inflammatory reporting is one thing, but truthful reporting is another. A scathing critique of the Houston media’s actions was also made in an article titled “Blackout in Houston” in the September 12th issue of Time magazine. The article reported the comment that one unnamed Houston media official gave on why the stores decided to go along with the secret plan. “The stores wanted to integrate the lunch counters at the least possible cost. They wanted to lose neither Negro nor white business. They felt that not publicizing the event was their safest course of action." Both economic and safety concerns were influences in the desegregation process and also motivated the Houston media blackout. The adult black leadership and the TSU students were all involved in this act of desegregation in Houston. Despite the criticisms of the national media, the voluntary and peaceful desegregation of seventy lunch counters in Houston went virtually unnoticed by the general public."
  7. So defending yourself against a pair of well known sports radio loons says you "have a screw loose?" I wish more sports figures would follow his example, and tell those idiots what's what and where to go. I don't think KILT can count on ever having Herman come back for another interview. Truth be told I wasn't a UH fan for many years, but Tom Herman has brought me back to the fold.
  8. No station doesn't sign off now a days. If you mean "no station signs off nowadays", you're almost right. Many TV and radio stations will sign off at midnight on a Sunday every few months so their engineers can do routine maintenance on the transmitter, and that requires turning the transmitter off. However, it is also true that many stations have two transmitters - a primary and a backup - which allows them to always have one of them up and operating. Periodic and regularly scheduled preventive maintenance is absolutely necessary to keep high power transmitters and the associated electrical equipment operating smoothly.
  9. Boy do I feel dumb. I now realize that I've been looking at the hospital photo from the wrong orientation. It was taken from the roof of the Ideson Bldg, and I assumed the street running left to right was Lamar. Wrong. I now see that it was Smith St, going north to south left to right, and the street at the far left going out of the picture was Lamar going west to east from right to left. That means the 602 Lamar address was at the SE corner of Lamar and 1100 Smith. I finally noticed the big awning at the hospital's front door on Lamar. The gas station is directly across Smith and across Lamar from the library, and it's visible in Google Earth's 1944 Historical images. Sorry it took me so long to figure this out.
  10. The article where I found the photo says it was taken from the roof of the Ideson library in the early 50s. It looks across the corner toward the southwest. Ergo, the gas station at lower right was only a few feet from the Ideson's back doors. It was at the edge of what is now the library plaza. Why do you think 602 Lamar and 1100 Louisiana are in the same block?
  11. Torimask: The photo is facing generally to the southwest. The plaza between the two library buildings is directly behind the gas station. 602 Lamar is two blocks west of 1100 Louisiana. Check it out on Google Maps. IronTiger: That overpass is the I-45 southbound exit to McKinney St behind the City Hall Annex.
  12. That low white building in front of the Tenneco Bldg was the old Downtown Memorial Hospital. It was at 602 Lamar, across the street from the Houston Public Library. It was closed and demolished in 1977 as the Memorial Hospital system spread out all over the city. Wells Fargo Bank Tower is there now. Here's a photo taken from the roof of the Julia Ideson Library in the early 1950s. The gas station at lower right was on the site that's now the plaza between the Ideson Bldg and the newer library. .
  13. Good question Plumber. I haven't been to the Esperson Bldg or the Tunnels in so long I'm hopelessly behind the times. You would think the Esperson owner would have the good sense to make its tunnel access ADA compliant. Can anybody else here answer this?
  14. Debbie Johnson now goes by her married name of Debbie Head (no jokes please.) She's Senior Communications Specialist at the Texas Historical Commission in Austin, a position she's had for a long time. She was a great reporter at KTRK and she's now doing a lot of fine work at the THC.
  15. I know what Austin towers you're asking about. I don't believe Houston ever had any of them. The Austin towers are, after all, just glorified street lights that were built before Austin put street lights on every corner.
  16. As someone who grew up in Pasadena in the 50s, I can testify that it was a very nice place to live back then. Watching it decay over the years has been hard. The parts that were "nice" areas in the 40s, 50s and 60s are rundown slums now. Most of the home building of the past 20 or 30 years has been south of Spencer Hwy and Fairmont Parkway. The people at Pasadena City Hall are wringing their hands over the sad state of "old" Pasadena. I read several years ago that a commission was appointed to find ways to revitalize it and restore it to the thriving suburb it was 50 years ago. Does anybody know how that's going?
  17. Where the air is greener. The grass died a long time ago.
  18. Bet you didn't know that a beauty from Pasadena was the first Texan to get into the pages of Playboy. Her name was Marian Stafford and she was Playboy's Miss March 1956. Her bio says she was born in Houston, but she grew up in Pasadena. She was born in 1931, graduated from Pasadena HS in 1949 and from the University of Houston in 1953. She was a real beauty in a wonderfully wholesome southern girl sort of way. There are some photos on the Playboy website, but don't worry. The photos are very innocent and Safe For Work. Even her centerfold - which is NOT included in this spread - showed only a little "skin." She never posed nude by the way. Just a lot of sexy partially clothed peek-a-boo poses with small glimpses of skin. It was such an innocent time. http://www.playboy.com/galleries/playmates-1956-3-marian-stafford-0/slide-1 Marian's centerfold was the first to consist of three foldout pages. In addition to posing for other men's magazines in the 50s, Stafford was a popular and very lovely presence during the so-called "Golden Age" of television. She was a regular co-hostess on game shows like Treasure Hunt and the $64 000 Question. She never had much of a TV career beyond that. Most of her TV experience was in TV commercials for various products. As for acting, she had a walk-on in a Kraft Theater production and small parts in two Robert Montgomery Presents shows. She passed away in 1984 at the age of 53. She's buried in Austin under a head stone that reads: "Marian S. Foshko". 1931-1984. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=31892608 Marian's husband was Robert Foshko, a well known 1950s and 60s TV producer and director who became an equally well known professor of screen writing at UT Austin. He died earlier this year at the age of 85. Check out his obituary. He had quite a life and career. Marian was a flop in TV but she married very well. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesman/obituary.aspx?pid=174826694 I have my own memories of Marian because her mother was my 7th grade math teacher at Jackson Junior High in Pasadena when that issue of Playboy came out. I will never forget how angry Mrs. Stafford got when she caught one of the guys in the class looking at it behind his notebook. She grabbed it away from him and left the classroom in tears. She came back about ten minutes later, saying only that "we will never do anything like this again." And we didn't.
  19. My wife says she would have taken a back road to get to Lufkin but she was alone and doesn't know the back roads as well as I do. She ain't an east Texas girl. Had I been with her we would have jumped off 59 at the first sign of a backup. You're right about Lufkin taking a bigger hit from the storm than Houston got. My wife still jokes that the damn storm followed her to Lufkin, and our daughter still blames her for bringing it. LOLL. As a fellow evacuee, I think you will agree that the storm damage and power outages plus thousands of refugees made life in Lufkin "interesting" for a few weeks. We also said no way we would evacuate next time, and when Ike hit we stayed home and rode it out.
  20. I'm retired now, but I was working at KUHF 88.7 when Rita hit Texas. As the storm took aim at Houston, my wife and I got up at my usual time of 3AM so I could drive from Copperfield to the station at UH, while she hit the road for Lufkin in east Texas to stay with our daughter. I worked all that day on storm preparation stories and the big story of the massive traffic jam. I came home that night and got up next morning at 3AM and called my wife on her cell phone. 24 hours after leaving our house, she was still on the road stuck in evacuation traffic only a hundred miles from home. Absolutely true. She finally got to our daughter's house in Lufkin around 6AM that morning. We still talk about the time it took her 27 hours to drive 130 miles from Houston to Lufkin. It took her a long time to be able to laugh about it. My most vivid memory of the storm itself was all the roof damage on houses all over our neighborhood. Oddly, our house in Copperfield West Creek Village was the only one on our street that had NO roof damage. None. And the satellite dish on our roof was still in place and working. I'm still amazed by that. This experience was the last straw for us. I started planning for retirement, and when I did retire in 2010 we moved as far away from Houston as we could get - Lufkin.
  21. It didn't have to rain a lot downtown to have flooding there. In fact it didn't have to rain at all. It was the heavy rain out in the far flung watersheds that feed White Oak and Buffalo Bayous that caused the massive 1935 flood at the confluence where the two bayous merge on the north edge of downtown. It's worth remembering that the Addicks and Barker reservoirs didn't exist in 1935, which means Buffalo and White Oak Bayous were out of their banks long before they even reached the confluence point. It's a fact that the resulting catastrophic flood was the reason the Barker and Addicks dams and reservoirs were built in the 1940s. Barker was completed in 1945 and Addicks in 1948.
  22. The tunnels are not city or public property. They're owned by the owners of the buildings above them. Houston Downtown Management District Director Bob Eury says it helps to think of the tunnels as scenic basements, extensions of the upstairs lobbies. That's why they're only open from 6am till 6pm Monday through Friday. They close when the buildings close and they're not open on weekends. Eury says people who live downtown would like to have them open after hours and on weekends, but that's not likely to happen, for a variety of reasons, mostly having to do with security for the buildings above them. The tunnels were designed and built for the convenience of people who work downtown, which is why they don't try to attract people from outside downtown. They don't want the tunnels to be an attraction that would compete with what's up on the streets.
  23. Everything was still downtown in 1966.
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