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  1. I am looking for suggestions on the best books, coffe table and/or history, of Houston and Houston architecture. I’ve searched but I would like some educated suggestions. Thanks.
  2. Like roller rinks, it appears to me that bowling alleys are slowly becoming things of the past. Are there any still open in Houston? I don't hear people nowadays taking about being in leagues and competing with other teams. My cousin told me that he remembers a bowling alley in Gulfgate that was underground. Ah, the sounds of the balls hitting the pins! People applauding when someone would get a strike! Twisting open the top of a cold, bottled beer wrapped in tissue paper! Playing a pinball machine! Eating a greasy burger in the cafe! It's been well over 20 years since I've bowled. Is bowling another recreational pasttime that is losing popularity to home computers and big screen TVs?
  3. As documented with text and photographs in earlier postings by various members, the interior and exterior of Galvez Mall (Galveston TX) was cosmetically renovated circa mid-1980s as part of a plan by the Rouse Company to convert it from a general purpose to a more upscale retail facility. Photographs (May 1976) show its exterior appearance at the approximate midpoint between its original opening (circa 1968) and its subsequent interior and exterior renovations. Photographs (July 1987) show its interior and exterior appearance after renovations. These renovations were (in my opinion) well executed, but ultimately ineffective for the stated goal of attracting tenants. The then general manager of Galvez Mall attributed this to a "terrible nationwide recession" he recalled taking place during 1986 & 1987. Although there were no nationwide economic recessions during this time period, there was an economic recession (two or more consecutive quarters of declining economic indicators) in the greater Houston area beginning in the early 1980s and bottoming out in 1987. The recession was due to the collapse of petroleum prices and the consequent high unemployment rate. The greater Houston economy did not recover to its pre-recession level until early 1990. To summarize: Galvez Mall opened in 1968 as a general purpose retail shopping mall with a mixture of large, medium, & small retail stores, and a triple-screen movie theater. In circa 1986 the mall was sold and cosmetically renovated (interior & exterior) to attract more upscale tenants. In late 1994, Houston-based developer Steve Fincher (dba Baxstep Investments) purchased the mall, renamed it THE ISLAND, and attempted (without success) to market it as an outlet mall for retailers who sold discontinued and overstocked merchandise. Some taxing authorities (but not Galveston County) provided a 5-year tax abatement to this developer. Beall's (the last major tenant) left the mall in March 1996 leaving only two smaller retail tenants, GNC and Ritz Camera. Non-retail tenants included: Galveston Model Railroad Club, which set up a working model train layout and held meetings inside the mall until circa 1995 and The Island Fellowship Church, which operated at the former Beall's location until mid 1997. Photographs (Oct 1996) show the mall's exterior appearance seven months after Beall's departed. The mall became derelict (probably during the latter months of 1997) until its demolition in 2000. The land where the mall once stood is now is now occupied by two large stores, Home Depot and Target (each with its own building), as well as several smaller stores arranged in a strip. Walmart is only 2.2 miles south at 6702 Seawall Blvd. The nearest multi-screen movie theater, Galveston Primetime, is approximately 3.8 miles away (from Home Depot & Target) at 8902 Seawall Blvd. According to a promotional excerpt from Galveston County The Daily News, island area real estate developer, Miguel Prida, recently purchased the theater. (Access to the full article requires an online or print subscription to the newspaper).
  4. Does anyone have a good idea of what Rice Village used to be like before its current incarnation as a more upscale place with chains and quirky boutiques? The closest I've found is a long-standing bead shop that closed a few years back (along with the late Variety Fair, and a head shop called "The Rat Hole"). Was it more of a counter-cultural store collection, or more of just a ramshackle bunch of businesses that congregate around universities and aim for the college student demographic? Or both?
  5. During my first trip to Galveston TX (circa July 1975), my then girlfriend and I stayed for 6 days at a motel located within walking distance of Stewart Beach Park, but I didn't recall its name. Thanks to recent information from another member, I am reasonably certain it was the Islander Beach Motel. Most of the motel's rooms (including the one we stayed in) were in a building elevated on concrete piers above the parking area. There were also three or four "cabana" rooms located in an adjacent building (or buildings) at ground level. The restaurant building was vacant. As this motel was not part of a chain with a toll-free reservation number, I had to contact the motel directly to reserve a room. Other than give my name, address, and home phone number, I don't remember anything else that was needed to reserve the room. Presumably the motel would have billed me had we been a "no-show". The following year (mid-August 1976), I telephoned the Holiday Inn toll-free reservation number, but was told "Galveston is not available." With the likelihood of most, possibly all of the Galveston motels not having vacancies during peak season, it seemed interesting to try a day trip. As documented in another posting, my day trip to Galveston worked out very well. The following month (mid-September 1976), my call to the Holiday Inn toll-free reservation number was successful. Because this was off-season, there was no problem getting a motel reservation in Galveston. After checking in and getting unpacked, my main activity that evening was taking a road trip to the western end of Galveston Island. Once out of the tourist area, it was mostly beachfront residential areas until the vicinity of San Luis Pass. Because the bridge across San Luis Pass required a toll payment, I opted to turn around and head back to the motel instead of crossing the bridge. According to my car's odometer, the trip was about 27 miles each way (54 miles round trip). The Holiday Inn I stayed at was probably the one located (at that time) near the Port Holiday Mall. After checking out of the motel the next morning, I spent most of the day at or near Stewart Beach Park, followed by an hour or so at the Galvez Mall. After topping off my car's tank at either the Hudson Oil gas station or another station in the same area, I headed home to my apartment in Shreveport, LA. Addendum: According to online maps, the road distance from Fort San Jacinto Lookout Point to San Luis Pass is 28.8 miles.
  6. Does anyone have any pictures of the Houston Gardens Elementary that is on Homestead Road from the 1960's or 70's?
  7. Inspired by the Westbury thread here, I googled like crazy to find photos.
  8. I assumed there was already an existing topic for old Galvez family/city photos? If there is please merge. I have reprints of quite a few color pics on Stewart Beach back when they allowed cars to park there. There were several concrete ramps that allowed cars to creep slowly down below then park. These ramps have been removed or blocked since. I noticed only one thats hardly noticeable. These ramps were scary for kids. While in the car it felt like you were about to drop onto the ocean. However once you parked it was major exciting. The very clear pics I mentioned are from 1952-53 and are neat as they show all the now classic cars of the time all lined up in a row. Brand new! In the background you can see the seawall hotels & people (bathing beauties) as it looked in 1952. Guess I better get to scanning to show.
  9. These were in the Houston calendars that were published a few years back. Alabama Theater (now Bookstop). Iris Theater, Travis between Capital and Texas. Now the site of Chase Tower. The first downtown tunnel connected this to the Texas Theater on Capital. Bluebonnet Theater., 1015 Broadway near Lawndale Yale Theater, Washington at Yale Shepherd Drive-In River Oaks Theater, the only one here still showing movies. Heights Theater, 319 W. 19th. Tower Theater, now Hollywood Video
  10. Great Southern Life Insurance Co. occupied a building on this corner in the mid-50's. I had a summer job there just after I graduated from high school. There was a park called Dunlavy Park just south of there that had a swimming pool. I have no idea how long Great Southern was there. Seems like I remember a Great Southern building near Richmond and Buffalo Speedway when I worked for TI on the SE corner of Buffalo Speedway and Richmond in the early-mid 60's. Does anyone know the evolution of the occupancy of the Richmond-Dunlavy corner from the 50's on?
  11. Does anyone know if there used to be a payphone in Meyerland Park back in the 1980's-1990's, and if yes, where in the park it was located at? I also am curious how long that whale slide has been in the playground area? Any old photos/videos pre-2005 of the park would be very helpful.
  12. I attended this school around 1949-1951. It was in a separate building on the periphery of the main University of Houston campus. Our productions were presented in the Cullen Auditorium, very big deal for little kids. My first big play was "Pinocchio" and starred Robert Foxworth, the one among us who acquired actual success in show biz. Yes, I had a mad crush on him at the time, he didn't know I existed. Our leader, director, teacher was an exotic woman named Kiki Gray, whom we adored. Her husband, Charles Gray was guest Director at the original Alley Theatre (in the round) and went on to become one of the earliest Station Managers at Channel 2. He gave my mother and I tickets to all the Alley dress rehearsals, which was thrilling and later gave us a private tour of the new KPRC-TV building on Post Oak. A long shot, but has anyone here heard of this or possibly attended? Shouldn't mix things up, but old Frontier Fiesta just came to mind. Anyone frolicking there around 1953-54? My cousin, 6 years older, was a Frosh in '53 and the whole family went. I think his parents were a little shocked at how bawdy it all was, but we kids loved it. Kenny Rogers headlined one of the shows, though he was still locally known only at the time. Quality stuff and ultimate fun. Okay, so I'll lump all the show business in one post. How about the Larry Hovis Trio? Although he went on to fame in Hogan's Heroes, I'll always remember the super performances of his musical group at civic events and cocktail lounges through early 1960's.
  13. hello HAIF folks! i am looking for a pre-rice-lofts photo of the rice hotel's capitol room... i mostly find them of the flag room. can you assist? thanks!
  14. I've just taken an interest in Rice University. Has there ever been any year(s) that it won any championship? The only pro football player who comes to my mind who attended Rice was Tommy Kramer. When I attended the University of Arkansas from 1984-86, I remember that Rice University was in the same conference.
  15. Does anyone remember the first location of Braeswood Assembly of God Church? It was on Braeswood, of course. It was small. Then they built what was then a large building and moved into it on Fondren Avenue. I am searching to find the exact date when the new building was opened. Can anyone give me a clue? I believe it was 1973 or 4. Thanks
  16. FB Friday I'm In Love: Numbers Nightclub Documentary is asking if anyone can recall the person on the far left (circa 1981-1982). Please response to the FB page
  17. Does anyone remember this plane crash? http://es.houstonisd.org/herodes/About_Herod/Our_Hero.htm We were living in Marilyn Estates and I had just gone to bed when I heard the plane go over the house and then heard it crash. The explosion lit up my window. I actually thought the Russians had dropped the bomb - this was the time of the cold war. My dad (who was a professional photographer at the time) grabbed his camera and ran out of the house. He was joined by our neighbor who was a mortician. They got wet running across Braes Bayou and were the first ones at the site. My dad told me that he saw the helmet on the ground and then realized that it wasn't empty. That's all he would say and I never saw any of the pictures. A short time later a tree was planted near Meyerland Plaza with a plaque dedicated to Captain Herod.
  18. I heard a rumor from a person calming to be a historian/ghost chaser that the Sears on N. Shepard near Crosstimbers was at one time a hospital and there for haunted. I myself have never heard this before and also find it hard to believe. Can someone debunk or confirm this? Thanks.
  19. For reference, it is that large Italianate red-tile-roofed building that looks almost like it's on a hill, on your right as you're heading north on I-45 or west on I-10 coming from downtown. I've attached both a nice picture of the front of the building, and a picture of what the building looks like as seen from I-45. It is currently owed by Harris Health System, which says: Anyone know the full history of this building?
  20. During my several, late 1970s vacation trips from Shreveport LA to Galveston TX (approx 285 miles each way, but the closest full service beach resort), Corella's Corral (Mexican food) and Mario's Pizza (Italian food) were two places where I recall getting takeout meals while in Galveston. Corella's Corral was on 61st Street a few blocks inland from Seawall Boulevard. Mario's Pizza (aka Mario's Flying Pizza) was a short walk across Seawall Boulevard from Stewart Beach. In addition to takeout, both restaurants had indoor dining. Corella's Corral ceased operations when its owner & founder, Manuel Anthony Corella, retired from the restaurant business. Mario's Pizza, now named Mario's Seawall Italian Restaurant, is still in operation at 628 Seawall Blvd. In addition to the movie theaters at the Galvez Mall, I remember passing near a standalone movie theater that may have been located near Broadway (Ave J). What stood out in my mind about this theater is what appeared to be Spanish language marquees and other signage. Not sure if it was a single screen or double screen theater. Do not remember the theater's name, but it may have been the Martini Theater, a single screen theater (seating capacity 1188) located on 522 21st Street/Moody Avenue. It was in operation as a movie theater from 1937 to 1979. Online photographs showing the theater building's exterior size, shape, and color seem consistent with what I remember. If this is the correct theater, its location was 0.4 miles north of the intersection of Broadway/Avenue J and Moody Avenue/21st St. Most of my road traveling in Galveston was in a more or less triangular pattern on or near Broadway (Ave J), Seawall Blvd, and 61st St. Not having a detailed map of Galveston, a lot of my travel navigation on the island was by "dead reckoning." It seemed to me at the time that Stewart Beach was no more than a mile from the eastern shore of the island (the actual distance is over 2 miles). Keep in mind that this was before The Beach Club and The Trade Winds high rise (each 382 ft.) condominium buildings became part of the Galveston Island skyline. During my next visit to Galveston, hopefully sooner than later, I plan to bicycle from Stewart Beach to the eastern end of Seawall Blvd and back (approx 2.2 miles each way). For a more extensive workout, I could continue the ride to the western end of Seawall Blvd. The total trip of about 12.5 miles (2.2 miles west to east + 10.3 miles total length east to west) would be easier to complete during the off season when the weather is cooler and there are fewer people out and about. Another option is to bicycle from Stewart Beach to the Galveston-Port Bolivar ferry terminal (about 1.4 miles via Ferry Rd.), ride the ferry as a walk-on passenger, and continue the bicycle ride on the Port Bolivar side to Ft. Travis Park and back to the ferry terminal (approx 1.7 miles each way). Once ashore in Galveston, ride the bike back to Stewart Beach, again via Ferry Rd. The ferry trips each way allow ample time to cool down between trip segments. Walk-on passengers (with or without a bicycle) board the ferry first, ahead of the cars and trucks. Total road distance is approx 6.2 miles.
  21. Everyone remembers the old Galvez Mall, an eyesore for years that occupied the prime corner at 61st Street and Broadway. Most people however, do not remember Galveston's first shopping mall, Port Holiday Mall. This mall was located at the corner of 4th St (renamed Holiday Drive after the mall opened) and Water Street (now Harborside Dr.)The mall had two levels, and was anchored by The Fair, a department store similar in size to Palais Royale. The other tenants were Walgreen's, Kroger (with no direct entrance into the mall itself) El Chico, Hills Liquor, Guaranty Federal Savings and Loan, and your other typical mall tenants, such as TSO, Hallmark, a jewelry store, record store and others that I do not remember. The upper level was mostly private physicians and professional offices, however there were a couple of retail shops near the top of the stairs. A sunken fountain with benches anchored the atrium middle. There was also a hotel (Holiday Inn) and a restaurant on the west end of the parking lot. This mall had marginal success and then quickly faded, especially when Galvez Mall opened. The building is now owned by UTMB but is still intact. I'd like to see the inside today, just to see how much of the mall still remains.
  22. My grandfather worked for the Humble Oil Co from 1927-1972. He worked for them in Longview, TX until 1960 when they transfered him to Houston. His son, my dad, took these photos of the Humble Oil Bld construction on 800 Bell between 1960-1963. Notice the downtown YMCA in the background:
  23. Now I remember something else from 1963, when I was five years old. I remember my mother taking me to a YMCA on Interstate 610 near Gulfgate Shopping Center/Mall for swimming lessons. I remember that the building was at least five stories high. It that place still there? Chet Cuccia
  24. I'm now 47. When I was between 4 and 6 years old I lived in Houston. I remember my parents and I going to the Winkler Drive-In Theatre, which closed down many years ago. I found out that it was located at 205 Winkler Drive at Telephone Road. Does anyone out there have any information about it? Chet Cuccia
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