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Everything posted by Croberts

  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.
  16. An old way of copy writing street maps was to add short streets that do not exist. Usually these are dead ends, short extensions of existing streets, or short streets connecting two other streets. Sometimes they would be given fake names, sometimes not due to the short length.
  17. An old way of copy writing street maps was to add short streets that do not exist. Usually these are dead ends, short extensions of existing streets, or short streets connecting two other streets. Sometimes they would be given fake names, sometimes not due to the short length.
  18. Thanks Ross and Original Timmy Chan! I suppose that the oil fields in the area are related to the salt dome. This is the first time I have heard the term "prairie potholes". The word Karst was not on any map. Niche had commented that these features on the 1915 map looks like what karst typically looks like on topo maps in general. Students in classes that study topo maps are shown similar features and told that this is karst. Typically though the contour interval is 5 to 20 feet depending on the map. I have long thought (since the 1980s) that this was an odd karst like feature on this map, knowing that this was not Karst, but I never did any research on this topic, this is one of the things I love about this forum. longstanding questions get answered!
  19. Interesting, so I heard wrong.Back when she was on Houston TV (and I lived there at the time, but rarely watched TV) I heard that she was "from houston". I was frequently driving from Poughkeepsie to Philadelphia by 1983, and the route I liked to take was along the Delaware river (and canal). I checked out the site a few months after it happened. Now that I have watched the youtube videos, I see a strung out, confused, disoriented person. She looks like she is ready to crack in every frame.
  20. I was unaware of that. She was on her way home from a bar the night she died. No one that was not looking at the driveway would have seen her car down there, its pitch black at night.
  21. This is an interesting geographic / cartographic problem Our cities have outgrown our ability to think of them as specific places, so it is useful to have them subdivided into communities, which are larger than subdivisions. Neighborhood covenants or associations could be used. Another useful thing in this regard is to put shopping plaza names on maps, so locations within neighborhoods can be cited without going to the street address level. The maps would have to be widely distributed for this to work. Houston outgrew the southwest-northeast descriptors about the time it dissolved the ward system. The dysfunctional nature of this was not evident until after the period of massive suburban expansion. In the 1950s westbury, willow bend and sharpstown, meyer land etc. were all developed in a relatively short period of time (10-15 years), and initially inhabited by people of the same socio-economc and family status background. It is decades later that there began to be a transformation to an older neighborhood with a more heterogeneous and diverse population. This transition is true of most american cities, but only the older ones (Philadelphia, Boston) have neighborhood names that are recognizable to anyone. Recently, I met a graduate student at my university who grew up in Houston. I told her I grew up in Westbury, and she never heard of it. I tried Bellaire, Sharpstown, but she had never heard of them. She is probably about 24.
  22. Croberts

    census dots

    Thank you for sharing this. Each presumably represents a person living in a block, since this is the block level census. Notice the comments that people are assigned to lakes and parks. In my experience, every school has a family added, and many parks do as well. This is due to the reallocation that occurs in congress. After the census reports the number of people they found (no longer respondents, its about 99% estimates) each congressman argues for more for his district that elected him. They do deals, then tell the census bureau to add more. Rather than mess up good data, they add them to blocks that clearly do not have population, ie schools and city parks, and even lakes. Also cemetaries! I found this out while working with the 1980 census and aerial photographs in the MacAllen area.
  23. in south Florida, urban forestry has gone through two transitions since I moved here in 1990 Phase 1 1920 t0 1992 Plant fast growing (and invasive) tropical trees Phase 2 1992-2000 Plant noninvasive and native trees Phase 3 2000+ Preserve stands of native trees, and plant more native trees, use more native plants in landscaping Houston is on the boundary of the great plains and the semitropical southern forests. The images here are from Landsat. The 1972 image is the earliest Landsat image of the Houston area, the other one is much later. These are color infrared composites, the deep velvety maroon color is forest, the brighter reddish pink color is prairies. These are much reduced resolution images. On the prairies, gallery forests originally existed along the bayous. Live oaks and willows would be the most characteristic trees. They would have grown along the original channels of Buffalo, White Oak, and Braes Bayou. Willow water hole was probably lined with coastal plain willow, the trees appear smaller on the the pre-scraping aerial photos. The limiting factors for tree growth on the great plains was probably fire regimes, then grazing and croplands, or else water (marshes). When I lived there, there was no consideration for these things, the agenda was fast growing trees for former prairie. And it it was not a prairie, developers made it one. Then we planted chinese tallow, arizona ash and chinese umbrella trees, all exotics and two of them are invasive.
  24. It also seems that the pierce junction feature is often on the highest the elevations decrease as you move away from the feature.
  25. I just realized that the contour interval is 1 foot. Most of the depressions are then 1 foot, some, with two contours are two feet deep. I remember walking in these areas when they were pastures and the only sign that there were depressions was that the flat prairie would turn into marsh, then back into prairie.I also remember that my dad would order two dumptruck loads of sand to spread in our yard because of the subsidence every 2 years from 1958 to at least 1971.
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