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Croberts

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About Croberts

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    Dr. Charles Roberts
  • Birthday 04/03/1953

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    croberts@fau.edu
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    Male
  • Location
    Palm Beach County, Florida
  • Interests
    Born in Heights Hospital, named for Dr. Charles Durham (Durham Drive) Grew up in Lamar Terrace, Willowbend and Westbury. Graduated in 1971. Moved to the Montrose area after high school, and lived intermittantly in Houston and Austin till 1979. Worked at Hobbit Hole and Rainbow Lodge in the mid and late 1970s.
    In 1979, I got a scholarship to Vassar College, where I earned a BA in Geography-Anthropology, I then went to Penn State and got an MA and a PhD in Geography. In 1990, I took a position at Florida Atlantic University, where I remain today.

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  1. I worked plays at the Houston Music Theater (theater in the round, Sharpstown) in the early 1970s, doing sets and lights. I believe it was an organization set up by Chris Wilson, but I do not remember the name of the theater,company We did childrens plays and there were also concerts, I remember a Moody Blues concert.
  2. Second empire was popularized in the US by the building of the Philadelphia city hall, on the citys central square. It became the model for the central square courthouse across the nation. We have several in Texas, such as Lampasas.They were called in the midwest General Grant courthouses, because they were popular in the building boom of the 1870s, and the Texas ones come in about the time the carpetbagger railroads arrive after the civilwar. Consequently, it was not a popular style, and I agree that Houston would have had very few, if any. perhaps some in San Antonio or Dallas or even Fort Worth. The style mainly shows up in courthouses, and most of them are mediocre examples of the style.
  3. I think it was originally a horsecar line.
  4. I think a history of the Harris county flood control district needs to be written, but I have not researched this topic to see if this has already been done. It would be interesting to make an animated map of the changes from prairie to urban. Once the watershed was drained and developed, the channelization has to be maintained to prevent even worse flooding, but the new mitigation wetlands that are being created are a step in the right direction for storing water. I am finding that the Bayou mitigation efforts appear to be good examples of environmental mitigation and restoration given the state of the situation at the time they were created. A lot of planning and community effort seems to be going into these projects. Most cities do have waterways running through them, and these were important reasons why they were located there in the first place. That also means that most cities were developed in wetlands that had to be drained at some point. The earliest stream reclamation project that I know of is the Muddy River in Boston, that was turned from a dump and stagnant water area into a parkway by Fredrick Law Olmsted. In general, before 1980 nationwide, streams were treated as a waste disposal system and wetlands were treated as something that needed to be improved through drainage. Sometime around 1980 it was recognized that wetlands served as a sponge to absorb vast quantities of water that would have no where else to go. By this time, Brays, Buffalo and White Oak had been largely channelized and the adjacent wet prairies developed. The unconsolidated soils, the large drainage area that consisted primarily of wet prairies and wetlands meant that the bayous needed to be channelized wide and deep to drain flood events. Without large preserved wetlands, there was no other option. Even that was ultimately not enough as we have seen. No place floods like Houston, I tell Floridians about driving with your car bobbing in the waves, keeping your accelerator pressed down so that water does not enter the tail pipe and flood the engine and they look at me like I am from mars...yet we have the worst flooding and sea level rise issues of any part of the US.
  5. Enjoyed this, I had no idea that there were so many Queen Anne style houses.Houston also once had a large collection of Great White City classic revivals, with large porticos, often made of wood and badly decayed by the 1970s. Now the big question is will it lose its collection of midcentury moderns, The recent and pending destruction of Westbury Square is worthy of a historical marker- the earliest and most successful New Urbanist style developments and the first one bulldozed.
  6. In fact, one of the first cases tried under the fair housing act was on Arboles street in about 1969-1971. A realty company told a neighborhood group that if they did not pool their money and buy a house, a black family would close on it the next day. They purchased it and were subsequently sued for discriminatory housing practices.
  7. Here is the 1964 photo-with an enlargement of the end with the car. This was just north of Main and just west of Fondren. Nothing survived by the 1970s and there is no sign of it on google earth.You can see the shadow of the elevated trackway, the rail and posts that hold it up. The car straddles a steel beam on a concrete wall, with tire trackways on either side. I remember holding the beam and walking up the trackway till we were at the full height of the trackway.I remember driving down main and looking out the window at the trackway. It was very close to Main, sitting on a prairie.
  8. I used to have an album on here with these in it, but it seems gone now. Here is is from the 1964 image, which I posted on Facebook. The B+W image shows the whole thing, the yellow and brown is a zoomin of the monoral car. Note that this never was associated with the arrowhead park one, which hung under the rail ( I once thought the two were connected.) It straddled the rail, like the one at Disney world.
  9. I just saw the post about red elementary school...this must be the one I remember, 6 blocks away.
  10. I lived on Redstart street, east of Post Oak, 4700 block, I believe. I used to climb up on our swingset in the backyard to watch what we called the "friday noon whistle" which was a yellow-orange, rotating siren. I thought it was at a fire station, but I do not see the location today on google earth. I could see it rotating. This would have been 57-59.
  11. Today, while driving through Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach County, florida, I encounted a gingerbread house. Built in the early sixties to early seventies, this one had the same facade: faux board and batten siding on the upper portion of a first floor room with a wooden gable (rest of the house was brick). It had the faux diamond shaped windows. Makes me think an article in a trade magazine about making a ranch style distinctively different must have inspired both. I only saw one, but it was in the same kind of development where a builder would buy a lot on a street, and each house could have a different builder. I will look for more.
  12. There is another version of this map, I am attaching it here. This one has hundreds of individual survey elevations measured down to tenths of an inch. These must be the survey points that were used to generate teh contours. It would be interesting to compare these points to survey points from recent times. I use this in one of my GIS course exercises. here are the instructions for searching for and downloading maps from the USGS. Search for "U.S. Topos" a USGS site. Read the first page, then choose Download Maps. This takes you to the U.S.G.S. store. Now search for Bellaire, Texas. Notice the red marker. left click it, look at the list, and send maps you want to the shopping cart. Then go to the shopping cart, check the maps you want to download and click download. These are GeoPDFs. The modern ones have multiple layers, including imagery, roads,hydrology, etc. You can open the pdf and turn layers on and off. They are also projected, so you can load them in GIS software as well as simply using them as PDF's. Probably everything that was produced by the USGS (with the exception of the manuscript maps) are available through this site, so you will find multiple additions of the same years maps at times.
  13. I wondered if it was still around. I used to go there after work at Hobbit Hole a few blocks away, in the mid-19970s. Still my favorite bar atmosphere, except for the smoke.
  14. This is a long overdue recognition of the role of Emancipation park in the history of Houston. Juneteenth Day is now recognized by most states as a holiday and will likely be a national holiday someday. While the holiday did not originate in one place, this park can claim an early association with the holiday. For a long time the only written record of the holiday was J. Frank Dobie's articles, related to this park.
  15. Thanks Ross, this was very informative. I new about prairie pimples, but the term prairie potholes was new.
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