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Forest Hill


Guest danax

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2112 & danax, would you be willing to take a couple of digital snapshots (if possible) of Idlewood & Pecan Park? I've driven all over the city, but I never found my way into these neighborhoods. I found them on the map, and am curious about the construction over there. Thanks!

Glen

PS - what other neighborhoods around Houston would compare to these 2, how much are the homes, how's the crime, and how many little neighborhoods are like this over there on the SE side?

Here's one of my favorite neighborhoods on the East End, Forest Hill.

The streets are wide like Lindale.It's quiet and the location is great; 10 minutes from Downtown and cloistered by Forest Park Cemetary ( a first-class cemetary along the bayou, Kirby, Esperson, and other prominent Houstonians are there) and Brays Bayou (it's across the bayou and across Lawndale from Idylwood. The homes were built in the late 20s to 40s, 1200-2000 sq ft, and the neighborhood sits on a small hill. Most of the streets are curved and the homes sit on little elevations above street level. There are 3 special houses there that date to the early 20th century. Here's a few pics (apologies for the quality).

Animal House -view 1.

This house supposedly dates to the turn of the century. It appears to be Beaux Arts style (?). It had been used as a frat house for U of H for many years up until recently. I talked a bit with the owner of the house across the street and he said that the frat guys were a problem. Cars would be parked up and down the streets, loud music, parties all night, guys outside in underwear. The Civic Club finally got rid of them.

Animal House-view 2

Another classic house.

This one looks to be about 100 years old too, right around the corner from Animal House on Alta Vista.

Spanish Colonial house.

This house is one of my favorites in all of Houston. I would love to see the inside.

Forest Hill's first "McMansion"

I think this was built on an empty lot as I don't remember seeing anything being demolished, and the owners are local business owners who had lived in Clear Lake for a long time.This is on Santa Maria which borders the cemetary.

Street view 1.

Most houses are either brick bungalows or basic wood frame cottage style. Quality varies.

Street view 2.

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Forest Hill is one of my favorite areas.....the winding streets, and hills are really neat....although I think all those old moster houses that predate everything else are a little wierd. Know any more of the story behind those houses? Why are those huge houses in there, and everything else is a more typical size?

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Forest Hill is one of my favorite areas.....the winding streets, and hills are really neat....although I think all those old moster houses that predate everything else are a little wierd.  Know any more of the story behind those houses?  Why are those huge houses in there, and everything else is a more typical size?

There is something in the architectural guide to Houston about those two, the big colonial and the Spanish one, but I can't lay my hands on my copy. Can somebody look those up?...

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Forest Hill Info.

From Houston Architectural Guide- Second Edition

page 170

1724 Alta Vista Avenue

(1912) Cooke & Co.

The architect W. A. Cooke designed this expansive Mission bungalow, faced with stucco and red roof tiles, for his family. It is located in Forest Hill, planned in 1910 by the Kansas City landscape architects Hare & Hare as the first subdivision in Houston with a curvilinear street plan. Forest Hill was laid out across Brays Bayou from what was then Houston Country Club (now Gus S. Wortham Park). The Cooke House was one of three large houses built there; these did not presage Forest Hill's future, however, and during the 1920's they came to be surrounded by much more modest houses.

page 171

1766 Pasadena Avenue

(1911) Lang & Witchell

This Colonial Revival house was the largest built in Forest Hill. Designed in the Houston branch office of Dallas's most proliffic architects, it sits on a small hillock looking out to Brays Bayou.

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  • 2 months later...

My name is Marilu De La Fuente. I'm the owner of the Mission Bungalow in the Forest Hill Subdivision.@1724 Alta Vista.

This note is for the person that wrote . . . "This is my favorite house in Houston, would love to see the inside. Please get in touch with. Office number 713-845-1223. Also, Animal House on Pasadena was used during WWI & WWII for Railroad Engineers and personnel as a stop over when passing through Houston. I know alot about my neighborhood. Also, it was to be the River Oaks of Houston that is why homes could not be built in less than an acre of land. The Houston Country Club site is now Gus Wortham Golf Course....

Please contact me if your are interested in knowing more ....Marilu

Forest Hill Info.

From Houston Architectural Guide- Second Edition

page 170

1724 Alta Vista Avenue

(1912) Cooke & Co.

The architect W. A. Cooke designed this expansive Mission bungalow, faced with stucco and red roof tiles, for his family. It is located in Forest Hill, planned in 1910 by the Kansas City landscape architects Hare & Hare as the first subdivision in Houston with a curvilinear street plan. Forest Hill was laid out across Brays Bayou from what was then Houston Country Club (now Gus S. Wortham Park). The Cooke House was one of three large houses built there; these did not presage Forest Hill's future, however, and during the 1920's they came to be surrounded by much more modest houses.

page 171

1766 Pasadena Avenue

(1911) Lang & Witchell

This Colonial Revival house was the largest built in Forest Hill. Designed in the Houston branch office of Dallas's most proliffic architects, it sits on a small hillock looking out to Brays Bayou.

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Did Hare & Hare name Forest Hill?

In 1896, Hare resigned from his city job to become the superintendent of Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. The following year at the Association of American Cemetery Superintendents convention in Cleveland, he made his debut as an authority on cemetery design. At a subsequent convention in 1901, Hare discussed the cemetery as botanical garden, bird sanctuary, and arboretum -- probably the first such conversation of that topic on record in the design evolution of the modern cemetery. As proof of what he believed, Hare assembled at Forest Hill one of the most comprehensive collections of trees and shrubs in the Midwest.
http://www.umkc.edu/whmckc/Hare/Hare%20history.htm

I also wonder if he had anything to do with the planning of Forest Park Cemetary.

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  • 2 years later...

Lang and Witchell designed dozens of colonial revivial mansions in Dallas, early in their partnership. Of course, none of them are around any more. A few Lang and Witchell designs are left in Dallas, but are of varying architectural styles. There was a house in Lancaster, Tx that was a cross between 1766 Pasadena and 217 Westmoreland that L&W designed. If I could get my hands on a color scanner, I'd scan my pics of it for you all.

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I just had a revelation!

This little area does appear as the older nabes of Dallas! The houses are set way to the back and have long front yards with a long entrance or drive way. My bro almost bought a house on the same street as that frat house but thought the house was too unleveled and bricks were falling out. My moms cousin owns several homes on that same street and her house is so cool except for the outside chimney that is about to fall over. Just like any where else in Houston though it comes with the territory I guess.

Best direction's, tell everyone just to dive into nabe behind the florists and headstone marker vendors for Forest Lawn Cemetary. Area would be great for singles.

PS, the plots for sale directly behind (west) of this area are a real bargain. Newly developed burial sites w/view of golf course from your casket. :blush: Peaceful and serene though.

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I checked Forest Hill's school zoning attributes.

It is in Houston ISD and it is zoned to:

* Briscoe ES

* Edison MS

* Austin HS

Thats why I indicated only single people would possibly be interested in this area. SF Austin is a big maybe the others forget it. Then you have Magnolia barrio on other side of bridge to contend with. Oy Vey.

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I checked Forest Hill's school zoning attributes.

It is in Houston ISD and it is zoned to:

* Briscoe ES

* Edison MS

* Austin HS

Briscoe is one of my favorite historic schools in town. A touch of irony with the school being named after a captain at the Battle of San Jacinto and now the current student population is 59% enrolled in the bilingual program.... :mellow:

4zbhw29.jpg

Andrew Briscoe Elementary school was built in 1928. The school opened in March, 1929. This school was name for a patriot, merchant, rancher, and businessman of this, the Harrisburg, area.

Andrew Briscoe was born November 25, 1810, in Mississippi in Claiborne county. He made several trips on horseback to Texas before coming here to live in 1833 where he registered as a citizen of Coahuila and Texas. He opened a store in Anuahuac in 1835. He opposed the irregular collection of customs with Mexican officials and had trouble with them.

He came to Harrisburg next and again he had trouble with the Mexican officials. Andrew was captain of the Liberty Volunteers at the Battle of Conception. He was elected delegate from his municipality to the convention of 1836 at Washington on the Brazos. He signed the Declaration of Independence but before the convention was over, he left to take up his pressing military duties.

At the Battle of San Jacinto, he was captain of Company A infantry regulars. Sam Houston thought so well of Andrew Briscoe that he appointed him Chief Justice of Harrisburg. When his term expired in 1839, he left public life and spent his time dealing in cattle and trying to promote a railroad from Harrisburg to Houston. The railroad was not a success.

In 1837, he married Miss Mary Jane Harris, a daughter of John R. Harris. They later had four children. In 1849, he moved his family to New Orleans where he engaged in banking and brokerage until his death in 1849. He was buried in a family burial ground in Mississippi but later his body was brought to Austin, Texas, and laid to rest in the state cemetery.

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  • 4 months later...

I'll be darned, I never realized that Forest Hill ran all the way up north to Harrisburg by that old church.

Interesting.

That underpass that goes below RR tracks above looks ancient.

Imagine if they brightened it with hardcore night lights and brand new non-resistant paint. Is there such a thing? Would seem a waste of city $ and effort if it was ruined shortly after. Now this little nabe (around this overpass) is man o man. Get back Jack. Take a Sunday drive. :D

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there are some nice bungalows over there. check out walker sometime.

I wonder who or what would know the story of that nabe ie; name, when built up?

Yes, the older ones are cool but so, so very close together. Its like in a world of its own. You could reach out and shake hands with someone sleeping in their bed? Dusty. This means it must have always been for very impoverished people? and the real irony is as you go south down Forest Hill towards the cemetary (Forest Park) it must have seemd for the very afluent and rich to them!

I can imagine buying one of those turn of the century homes and relocating from there. Chances are it would crumble? Just a thought. One day I got lost drove around and ended up on dead end streets, sure remined me of the older areas of LA like Boyle Heights or Montebello, very old historic.

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  • 1 month later...
page 171

1766 Pasadena Avenue

(1911) Lang & Witchell

This Colonial Revival house was the largest built in Forest Hill. Designed in the Houston branch office of Dallas's most proliffic architects, it sits on a small hillock looking out to Brays Bayou.

Original post was from SpaceAge Mon. Jan.3rd, 2005 (see above Post #4)

I cannot believe that house is sitting there. :o I grew up going down 75th st. and Lawndale. Saw it today. I got honked at while trying to take pics. These people obviously don't have a clue what's sitting in front of them! There were several houses like that, I remember, on Berkley St., several streets behind Deady Jr.High School, in Gloverdale. I actually got to go in one, it had a grand piano, and I believe a Victrola, and postcards you view through a viewmaster sort of thing. Was an awesome house with a front fountain. An HISD school sits there now. One other big Victorian house I remember sat at the corner of Berkley & Keller, backed up to Ingrando Park. It always caught my eye because it was so huge and old. I would love to know who lived in the Pasadena St. house originally. :mellow:

Edited by NenaE
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I was just on a bike ride over there on Sunday and it looks like maybe there's some small-scale repair going on:

Can you imagine the views from above? It was a frat house for years. A dead ringer for National Lampoon's Animal House. The fact that is on an incline makes it even more dramatic. I am jealous! :blush::)

By the way everyone should take a good look at almost every lot on this street and bordering streets. They just don't make em like this any more! Very simlar plan as the homes in the once upscale parts of Dallas. Home set way in back with large front yards. I really like that. You can see people approaching your your home from a distance. Love it.

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I ran across an early Harrisburg High School graduation article from my great grandfather's brother. It states:

"A party complimentary to the seniors and juniors was given Thursday night by the principal of the high school, J.D. Moncrief, and wife at their home in Forest Hill."

Hm...I wonder which house.. <_<

I don't know yet which year exactly, but would have been around 1912. There were not many homes there at that time, the earliest dates to 1910 or 1911.

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"A party complimentary to the seniors and juniors was given Thursday night by the principal of the high school, J.D. Moncrief, and wife at their home in Forest Hill."

Hm...I wonder which house.. <_<

I don't know yet which year exactly, but would have been around 1912. There were not many homes there at that time, the earliest dates to 1910 or 1911.

The best way would be to see what year this "stately" house above was built. If after that year that rules this one out. I do not think the average High School principal would be living in such grandeur but we never know? Seems in those days people went all out in living in elegant quarters to entertain guests. We need the "History Detectives" in here. :P It wouldn't surprise me to find that the grounds were filled with unusual flora and a few peacocks roaming about. Seriously.

I could swear one or some of the larger older homes on this very street have servants quarters out back. Very common in those times. The dates you mention above are of the "Gilded Age", how cool!

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The original post with pics by danax in original post #1 shows some other very early 1900's homes, I'm with you, thought the principal may have lived in one of the smaller ones, too. But in those days, it was all about who you were married to, as well. Just a thought. I'm still hunting.

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The original post with pics by danax in original post #1 shows some other very early 1900's homes, I'm with you, thought the principal may have lived in one of the smaller ones, too. But in those days, it was all about who you were married to, as well. Just a thought. I'm still hunting.

Its funny some of his pics have run out or been deleted. Actually the majority of these homes were built in the late 1930's and 40's. We have a relative that owns about 3 homes and rents out along Forest Hill/Palo Alto streets but closer to the cemetary. They are simple pretty homes with nice views of the street as you sit in the living rooms. Most in need of basic repair of course. I know one home she has has the orginal chimney however, it is seperating from the house at a precarious tilt! Scary when you park right next to it. The layout of the homes are perfect though. The w i d e streets are what impress me of this cozy area. What is of concern is having children that become curious of the nearby bayous. Recipe for trouble/danger. On a good note is that HPD watches Lawndale like a hawk. Do not speed around ForestPark Lawndale Cemetary. Funeral processions are the norm. :D

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  • 1 month later...
I wonder who or what would know the story of that nabe ie; name, when built up?

Yes, the older ones are cool but so, so very close together. Its like in a world of its own. You could reach out and shake hands with someone sleeping in their bed? Dusty. This means it must have always been for very impoverished people? and the real irony is as you go south down Forest Hill towards the cemetary (Forest Park) it must have seemd for the very afluent and rich to them!

I can imagine buying one of those turn of the century homes and relocating from there. Chances are it would crumble? Just a thought. One day I got lost drove around and ended up on dead end streets, sure remined me of the older areas of LA like Boyle Heights or Montebello, very old historic.

The name of the neighborhood around Briscoe Elementary (North of the bayou: Forest Hill, South 73rd St., Rusk, Walker, etc.) is Bungalo Colony. My kids went to Briscoe. It was an O.K. school.

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Question: I have family (grand parents, great grand parents, aunts and uncles) buried in Forest Park Cemetery on the south side of Lawndale. I've been told that I have some great aunts and uncles buried in the section north of Lawndale also. Looking at old maps of the Forest Hill subdivision, it appears that the golf course straddles the bayou, leaving me to believe that this part of Forest Park Cemetery was originally park of the Houston Country Club. Can someone clarify this for me? And, when did it become developed as a cemetery?

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Question: I have family (grand parents, great grand parents, aunts and uncles) buried in Forest Park Cemetery on the south side of Lawndale. I've been told that I have some great aunts and uncles buried in the section north of Lawndale also. Looking at old maps of the Forest Hill subdivision, it appears that the golf course straddles the bayou, leaving me to believe that this part of Forest Park Cemetery was originally park of the Houston Country Club. Can someone clarify this for me? And, when did it become developed as a cemetery?

Isuredid is good at the map part. Maybe he will see your question.

I was viewing plots about 2 months ago in that very spot you mention. The salesperson said it was where the cemetary originally began then shifter over Lawndale to the other side. That north side is being developed to make room for more of the dearly departed and they are doing a good job of it. It is actually very scenic and has great views of the golf course across the way.

Right now is a good time to get a plot actually. What is ironic is the side where the offices are has some beautiful little lakes and ponds and bridges scattered around. When in the middle of the property, you dont even feel like your in Houston. Its a very tranquil and still place, well it is a cemetary but beautiful. ^_^

Note to self: Commit and purchase a plot.

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Forest Park - Lawndale is a beautiful place, for a cemetary. You are right about that, Vertigo. More like a park. "Hare & Hare" were into creating park-like settings, knew how to use landscape architecture, they have quite an impressive resume/history in Houston.

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Forest Park - Lawndale is a beautiful place, for a cemetary. You are right about that, Vertigo. More like a park. "Hare & Hare" were into creating park-like settings, knew how to use landscape architecture, they have quite an impressive resume/history in Houston.

You mentioned Hare & Hare!

They are worthy of mention under Houston History if they are the ones that designed these places. I mean it. I have to do some research on them, wow! what a great tip of advice, thanks again! If I had a bouquet of roses, I would hand them to you this minute!

Maybe you can divulge more fo them to everyone? Grazie! :D

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If I recall correctly, Hare and Hare were also heavily involved in the development of River Oaks, Idylwood, Hermann Park, and the wonderful stretch of South Main with the Sam Houston statue and tunnel of live oaks. I wish someone would write a book about them.

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If I recall correctly, Hare and Hare were also heavily involved in the development of River Oaks, Idylwood, Hermann Park, and the wonderful stretch of South Main with the Sam Houston statue and tunnel of live oaks. I wish someone would write a book about them.

Ditto!

A documentary is in order I say. Ken Burns - American Master series perhaps?

This may explain the beautiful cobblestone swings with the canopies scattered about the Forest Park Lawndale local. There is one that miraculously remains intact but its right on the edge of all that earth movement going on. When you drive down feeder of 45 headed west slow down immediately after that palm tree sales lot look to the BACK and thats the one I write of.

Its all alone and wouldn't be surprised if it vanishes into oblivion. :angry:

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I believe RPS324 has mentioned Hare & Hare before, in another post in East End topics. It is a "geologically beautiful" area. I can see why they picked it for a Country Club setting, in the early days. They are associated with laying out Glenbrook Valley, as well. Makes sense, with all the slopes present in that area.

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Hare & Hare were also employed by the City of Houston on a number of planning projects (yes, planning in Houston!) during the City Beautiful Movement of the 1920s. I think they were involved with the planning of Buffalo Drive as a parkway (makes sense, due to the River Oaks affiliation), as well as the Houston Civic Center plan, the only implemented piece being the Julia Ideson building.

A little known fact - Kirby Drive was originally intended to be a parkway that connected the Buffalo Drive (Allen Parkway) with North and South Braeswood. It's a shame that the Depression killed the City Beautiful movement here. Houston might have looked quite different today.

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I have a plat of Hare & Hare's original plan for Glenbrook Valley, which unfortunately is quite different from the one they ended up building.

It had a street facing Sims Bayou, much like MacGregor/Braeswood, and much more space dedicated to parks. The intersection of Bellfort and Broadway had two churches planned at the northwest and northeast corners, with the southeast and southwest corners having semi-circular retail much like the original River Oaks shopping center. Behind this was one row of apartment buildings, and the rest of Broadway was single-family residential with homes cornering Broadway all the way down.

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I have a plat of Hare & Hare's original plan for Glenbrook Valley, which unfortunately is quite different from the one they ended up building.

It had a street facing Sims Bayou, much like MacGregor/Braeswood, and much more space dedicated to parks. The intersection of Bellfort and Broadway had two churches planned at the northwest and northeast corners, with the southeast and southwest corners having semi-circular retail much like the original River Oaks shopping center. Behind this was one row of apartment buildings, and the rest of Broadway was single-family residential with homes cornering Broadway all the way down.

For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'.

- John Greenleaf Whittier

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Behind this was one row of apartment buildings, and the rest of Broadway was single-family residential with homes cornering Broadway all the way down.

"One Row"...too bad that did't happen...Apts. are ok in the early years, but are the first to deteriorate, and depreciate. (depending on what area of Houston you are in, of course).

The block maps show when the apt homes filled in around Simms Bayou.

Edited by NenaE
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  • 1 month later...

FYI - An old PTA meeting book of my greatgrandmothers' (1965-66) states that a Mrs. W.G. Peterson was Houston Council President of the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association, later referred to within the HISD as PTO), and lived at 1934 Pasadena, Houston, Texas. Seems that many people associated with the school system lived in Forest Hill. The name Peterson sounds very familiar to me, don't know why.

Edited by NenaE
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"One Row"...too bad that did't happen...Apts. are ok in the early years, but are the first to deteriorate, and depreciate. (depending on what area of Houston you are in, of course).

The block maps show when the apt homes filled in around Simms Bayou.

I remember riding to the airport as a kid and going down Broadway it was wide open on both sides from just south of Sims Bayou to the airport entrance. The apartment buildings didn't get built until the mid 1960's and they were built quickly.

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I remember riding to the airport as a kid and going down Broadway it was wide open on both sides from just south of Sims Bayou to the airport entrance. The apartment buildings didn't get built until the mid 1960's and they were built quickly.

by the 70's those apts were mostly airline personnel and well kept up. They are discussed in length under Glenbrook Valley or similar topic? Sadly by late 70's that whole area went downhill and is major crack/AMW area to this day. Big embarassment for our city. Mayor? -_-

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  • 5 months later...

Check out the list of Hare & Hare credits...impressive...that's one collection would like to check out.

link: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/houpub/00004/hpub-00004.html

Forest Hill is listed in it.

Maybe someone can please look up 1766 Pasadena for us in their old city directory. That's the address for that huge mansion shown above.

Edited by NenaE
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  • 1 month later...
Was this ever answered? HCAD "ownership history" lists the Texas Delta Alumni Corp. as owner effective 9/23/92 until 11/10/03, for the 1766 pasadena hs. :)

I lived in the 1766 Pasadena house from approx. 1995-1998.

I was in the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and I am also a UH Alumnus.

If there are any other questions on this house, I'll try to help from my time living there.

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I lived in the 1766 Pasadena house from approx. 1995-1998.

I was in the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and I am also a UH Alumnus.

If there are any other questions on this house, I'll try to help from my time living there.

Along with Niche's request, can you also describe for us what the interior looked like?

And if anyone else that has a old directory is reading this, as mentioned before, "Maybe someone can please look up 1766 Pasadena for us in their old city directory. That's the address for that huge mansion shown above." I would like to know the names of the original owners.

One more thing, I have always tried to figure out (and haven't) how (when posting) to include two quotes from two different HIAFers in the same reply, with their name credits included. Can someone tell me how that's done? Probably something easy, but I don't have a clue. Usually just copy the second one, but no HAIfer name is included. Also, where do you go on HAIF to ask these questions?

Edited by NenaE
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I love the way those streets are layed out, Forest Hill is beautiful.

On second thought, I guess no one can look up the Pasadena St. mansion in an old directory, since the person's name would be listed first. I really would like to know who's house that was, had to have been someone important, to have such a huge house.

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The fraternity apparently ran a haunted house at 1766 Pasadena at one point. Nice house for a haunted house! The frat bought the house in 1992 and sold the house in 2003.

Edit: 10 bedrooms, 5 baths, 7323 sq ft.

Current owners may be Jose and Claudia Ceno.

Edited by kylejack
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We have long time friends that live on Santa Rosa and on Forest Hill.

I am surprised that development hasnt started removing those fine homes. :o I bet when they were new (at least the 2 story Homes) they had great views of the small downtown skyline in the distance!

That was one of the only good things Ike did was remove most old over grown old trees and now we have an even better view of downtown at least over off Sunnyland Oaks @ Lawndale! :D The skyline is perfectly framed for us now. In the morning you can se the sun glistening off the skyscrapers and in the evening its another breath taking scene. Too awesome people!

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We have long time friends that live on Santa Rosa and on Forest Hill.

I am surprised that development hasnt started removing those fine homes. :o I bet when they were new (at least the 2 story Homes) they had great views of the small downtown skyline in the distance!

That was one of the only good things Ike did was remove most old over grown old trees and now we have an even better view of downtown at least over off Sunnyland Oaks @ Lawndale! :D The skyline is perfectly framed for us now. In the morning you can se the sun glistening off the skyscrapers and in the evening its another breath taking scene. Too awesome people!

The trees in that area are unbelievable, so tall, old and majestic. Heard the cemetary trees took a beating, during the hurricane. Have to get over there soon to see.

Like your present icon, Vertigo, always liked the 1955 & 56 chevy more than the 57. My uncles & grandmother (believe it or not) had 57's. One was turquoise, one was black. Dad always talked about how fast those engines were.

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