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  • Location
    Westbury/Meyerland in Houston
  • Interests
    Political satire, the Libs. vs. Cons. entertainment, automobiles, doccumentaries on social institutions (suburbia, monetary policy, politics, etc.), movies, music, and Houston stuff of course.

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  1. I doubt anything will be going in where the building stood. The north side of Pasadena is economically depressed and is shambles. The major retailers have almost all pulled the plug on the mall. The strip malls and restaurants are on the low end of retail. No one is getting into bidding wars to purchase residential real estate in that area. The city will pick up all of the rubble and leave the pavement/parking lot as is then put a lot for sale sign on it. The only way some major investment in a structure will be made is if a local, state, or federal building is constructed in the site. The demolition today was inevitable. It was all about location. If this building had been located in the Kirby, downtown, or Bellaire area it would have been kept well maintained, stayed occupied, and received Historic Building protection. I worked in Pasadena around 15 years ago and would see this building regularly. It’s sad to know it is gone but the reality of the area made preservation/restoration impossible. The asking price when it was on the market was super cheap for a reason.
  2. Great thread. I've lived in the area about 17 years and these are the changes I have seen: The shopping center next to Westbury Square: Blockbuster closed about 6-8 years ago and became a cash advance store The anchor store was an HEB in the late 1990s. They had a chronic problem with shoplifting and finally called it quits around 2005. The store identical in size at Chimney Rock and S. Brasewood still exists. The HEB that closed became a 99 Cent Only store. In 2009 that chain was going to close all Texas stores but they changed their minds. Meyerland Auto used to be at the Chimney Rock side of the center. It moved to S. Post Oak about 5-7 years ago. They divided the space and the car repair bays changed hands twice in terms of who leased them. The main office of Meyerland Auto became a check cashing place. The bank changed from Bank One to Chase roughly 5-6 years ago; it was never a Washington Mutual though. If any place needs gentrification it is that center. It's 100% ghetto now and should just be demolished to develop single family homes or condos. On Willowbend east of Stella Link right before the second set of RR Tracks on the north side of the road there was Kruger Motorsports that closed around 2001. It looked to be a chain gas station at some point prior to a repair shop. The building was demolished a few years later and now it is just a vacant lot. A bit towards Stella Link on that same side of the street was a C- store in the strip mall that had virtually no customers ever. It closed around 2002. In that same strip mall was a small shoe repair store an old man used to run. He had a hug collection of die cast toys he collected for decades in his store. I had shoes repaired there around 1998 and he took a lot of pride in his work. I guess he died; the store has been shuttered for at least 8 years now. There was also a barber shop next to his store that closed at roughly the same time. At the east end of the center was a resale shop in the early 00s that was converted into a banquet hall. It looks as if this has closed too. The entire center is now vacant and shuttered.
  3. I was the complete opposite; I used to hate Studio 30 because of the giant parking lot and how that whole area in those days had the wannabe "racers" with car culture going on. They used to drag race at lights on Westheimer all of the time and it kind of lead up to that notorious HPD raid in the K Mart parking lot where they grabbed pretty much anyone who was young and hanging out there that weekend in August of 2002 to charge them with trespassing since they were not even in vehicles and could not be charged with a moving violation. Over 200 people got arrested because that's how bad the street racing problem was in those days and the police just went on a fishing expedition. The K Mart used to be where Home Depot is now on Dunvale and Westheimer. The traffic is so bad these days I doubt they can race even if they wanted to. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/740780/posts I LOVED Meyer Park 14 before it got all ghetto. The first time I went there was in 1989 with friends to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The last movie I saw there was Fast and the Furious part 2 when the theater was in it's decline. Some elderly lady was shot and killed in the Randall's parking lot behind the theater in the following years during a robbery when she was getting in her car. The Meyerland theater was also a favorite of mine because it was small and built on a human scale compared to the mega sized theaters. It did not last long; less than 15 years I would estimate. They extended the strip of stores over where it used to be and you would never know it was there if you look at it now. The building used to have really pretty neon on it too. The Sharpstown mall theater; I saw Dumb and Dumber there in 1994. We parked in the Foley's garage and that's the last time I was in the mall before it really went downhill. Once JC Penny pulled their store it was the beginning of the end. I'm surprised by how long Fingers Furniture and Macy's stayed there. I did go back to the mall in mid 2014 to just check it out. It's a must do because it is haunting to walk the same corridors some 20+ years later and remember what used to be there. The elevator in front of what used to be the Time Out video arcade is completely unchanged. I never really had a connection to Gulf Gate mall but I did see the movie Independence Day in the theater there. We parked at the mall and took the pedestrian bridge over 610. It was kind of run down even then but those were simpler times for sure.
  4. I remember all of those things very well. I went to Lanier from 91-93 and we lived in that area when I was a kid. Next to Academy was a Western Auto store that had glossy black glass like flooring. The car dealer was Hub Buick that moved out to 290 during the 90s because the value of the land soared. My dad would have his car serviced at that dealer and spent $800 something once to repair the a/c which was a freakin lot of money in those days. But he once bought OEM GM made in USA shocks for his car from there around 1986 and paid about $12-15 each which tells you how the purchasing power of the dollar has collapsed. Chinese made struts now start at $40-50 for the cheapest quality; if you go premium OEM it's over $100 now. I can clearly remember when the first Buick Reatta models arrived at the dealer and were on display. It was a 2 seat FWD luxury sports coupe that was expensive. The car has all of the newest technology of the time but was a complete failure for GM and they pulled the plug only after 3-4 years. Southland Hardware is still there but I have not set foot inside in over 25 years. The surge in land prices are what changed things in that part of town. RMS auto care is still around down the street from Southland. I think they still have the rotating sign that I could see from Lanier in one of my classes on the 2nd floor.
  5. UPDATE The Westbury Centerette, the Exxon ruins, and the strip mall next to Autozone are history now. The teardown started about 2 weeks ago and they have already hauled off the waste. Now they are breaking up the pavement to go down to soil that has not seen daylight in over 50 years so I assume they will start building soon. In other words, this is not just a tear down and leave it looking ghetto with the foundation and parking lot still there kind of deal. These were taken yesterday March 30, 2015 facing southwest on Cedarhurst at Moonlight. The laundry place was right at the corner in photo 1 and the Exxon used to be behind the middle tree in the row of 3 in photo 2.
  6. In the late 1980s is when I last noticed that sign; sad to see it gone. They were fools to cut it up. It could have been sold to a private collector if they did not want that roach to be associated with the company any longer.
  7. I just need a little over $9.5 mill and I would buy it. http://search.har.com/engine/2307-River-Oaks-Bl-Houston-TX-77019_HAR17501491.htm The county records show a major renovation was done in 2007 so I doubt it looked exactly like that in the days he was there but still kind of a cool part of history to own. He actually died in the house in 1993. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/1993_1121241/frank-sharp-dies-in-sleep-at-age-87-success-scanda.html
  8. http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7310659.html The red light camera issue was nothing compared to this. Most people I know don't even know about the downtown cameras that already number in many and will soon number in many many more. How soon before they put a camera in your house and your car so they can "help you" if you are in trouble?
  9. One of his photos is from behind the wing, that's why.
  10. Really? In the same location? It had shut down for a few years. Last time I was there was maybe 2007ish.
  11. GREAT thread and I'm glad I found it. I actually went by that Sears in Santa Monica, CA in January of this year. The famous pier is just a short walk away and unfortunately the LA traffic kept me from doing both attractions so I chose the pier. FYI it costs $5 to park in that Sears but the pier parking is free if you stay under an hour in the winter time. Anyway...getting back to Sears downtown Houston. My memories with it go back to the early 80s when my dad worked downtown and would go at times to buy tools. He took me there sometimes on the weekend and I distinctly rememeber the escalators someone else mentioned. For the most part the 1980s were a very dark time for this part of town. The sidewalk by Sears smelled like urine, there were homeless people on the sidewalk that runs along the east side of the building, and even inside it just looked dirty. The bricked in glass was very ugly. The basement tool department is one of the best in the city but being realistic I don't think this store will ever be restored to the art deco style. The Cafeteria by the parking lot was still around in the 80s as was the key shop. Both sit vacant now. We also used to go on the other side of the parking lot to the "FireSale" store directly on the other side of Main St. from the church. I have not set foot in that building in at least 20 years but they would have tons of laundry detergent and clothes from other stores that were liquidated. The shop was in very poor repair then but that's just the way things were. Anyone know what used to be where the Fiesta store on Wheeler sits? Also, what was on that parking lot between Sears and Fiesta? When the elevated section of HWY 59 went in did it wreck the area? My dad still goes to the barber school on the other side of the Sears parking lot. I think it's $3 haircuts but he mostly goes to chat with them about the goings on in the area since he used to be around that part of town the 80s and likes to walk down memory lane. He actually had a really bad wreck at the intersection of Richmond and Wheeler making a left turn onto Wheeler when a Cadillac going west of Richmond crossed the yellow line and totalled his Buick....that was around 1988 I think.
  12. Excellent photos by all in this thread. I flew in to HOU on gloomy and cloudy days this year. The pilot kept swaying the plane right and left on the most recent flight so it got very quiet inside. I'll have to take photos the next time. LoneStarMike, what camera did you use and what airline had windows so clean you can't tell they are there in photos?
  13. I recently completed the final treatment with a local Houston area doctor and would reccomend him to anyone in town because of the outstanding service and attention to detail. It would be kind of nice to have an area of HAIF someone could go to read up on a doctor, car dealer, painter, etc... Perhaps to avoid any liability with phoney bad reviews written out of spite only allow postings of positive experiences so those businesses and people can get more business from HAIFers who know will know where to go for good service. The bad things kind of tend to weed out themselves if people know about the good and go there. Let me know what you all think. I came up with the classifieds section idea and it has worked out pretty well.
  14. They should get rid of both Greg Hurst and Lucy Noland. Both seem very phoney and like plastic people. They are a poor fit for a historically southern town that is not about those things. They will never find another Steve Smith but maybe give Len Cannon the top job and find another lead female anchor. Cannon is pretty good and does not sensationalize or BS at all. The interview he did with Rick Perry the last time he was up for election was awesome. Greg Hurst did one as well but his was not nearly as good. Ron Trevino is also a good anchor at KHOU and should perhaps do the morning show. Put Arenas on the noon show instead. KHOU has for a long time been the best major news broadcast in town. Their special hometown topic stories are often great.
  15. I voted against all 3 props. because we do not need a rain tax and because IMHO residency requirements to run for local office should be more like 5 years instead of even 12 months. We should not have outsiders who do not know the city well and have been a part of it become leaders here. If they want to become true Houstonians give it time and then qualify. On the red light cameras; I am against them because: -$44 million dollars pretty much went and left the city economy; to Arizona in fact....did not even stay in Texas -The disgusting relationship of city govt. and private business to strip the public of money is deplorable. Yes, this was all about money and had nothing to do with safety. All of the tickets were civil offenses and none were criminal. In other words, if you could afford it you could run as many lights as you wanted, pay your money, and be on your way. The offense should have been criminal and the penalty should have been points added to your license, suspension of license, and even having it taken away from chronic problems. Maybe even jail time if you kept doing this over and over. That would have been about safety and getting bad drivers off of the road and before a judge. -We had existing laws for red light runners. HPD should put officers at the most notorious intersections to catch the people who run the lights. The revenue from the tickets would pay for the officers to be there...DUH!!!! This not rocket science. Ronald Green is just a fear monger saying the $10 million shortfall will cause severe cut in the city services and job loss. If that money was supposed to go for safety campaigns and trauma centers as a supplimental income then why was it budgeted as part of the base/core opperations source of funding to begin with? Hopefully that lawyer who started the cause and got the issue on the table will now sue city because he claims the cameras violated the constituion (not sure how but I am not a lawyer). He should in his case demand that the city refund all drivers who were fined. That would be fun.
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