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jmancuso

old apartment complexes

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i live in one in the galleria area which is pretty old by houston standards and beginning to fail structurally. it's not a bad property and is well kept but you just can't fight time and these buildings weren't intended to last forever. we are coming to a point where many of the older apartment complexes (built in the 60's and 70's) are starting to show their age and i don't see how it's economically feasible to throw money at them.

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i live in one in the galleria area which is pretty old by houston standards and beginning to fail structurally. it's not a bad property and is well kept but you just can't fight time and these buildings weren't intended to last forever. we are coming to a point where many of the older apartment complexes (built in the 60's and 70's) are starting to show their age and i don't see how it's economically feasible to throw money at them.

Where the dirt is more valuable there seems to be a trend toward replacing them. Regency Arms on San Felipe and another one, (can't remember the name, around the corner on Voss and Burgoyne I think), both have come down. Bayou Park Village is coming down and I don't think that one was in bad condition particularly. There was also that one next to Randalls on Westheimer just east of Shepherd & the Marquee near the Galleria. I don't know what they will do with Carter's Grove in Garden Oaks now that it is shut down, but I bet it ends up demolished as well.

A lot of complexes got their life extended by major rehabs back when Houston was pulling out of the oil bust of the 80's. The market wasn't quite ready for new construction, and there were a lot of older closed down complexes that had fences surrounding them, or were just generally in poor shape. Who was around back when these places were getting their major rehabs? 7979 Westheimer, 9900 Memorial, Coral Club, Park at Lakeside, all had renovations to make the rival new construction (at least cosmetically).

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One thing that always interests me is why certain older complexes go condo.

I lived in the Westpoint Apartments, some old Harold Farb apartments on Westheimer just east of Fondren, when I first moved back to Houston after college, and lived there from the Summer of 1998 through the end of 1999. My parents gave me a lot of perspective on this complex's life cycle when they found out I was moving in there. Seems when they moved to Houston as a young newlywed couple in 1970, Westpoint was one the hip complexes to live in, even boasted its own nightclub - Barbery Coast. When I was living there, Barbery Coast had become the fitness center, and the occupants weren't young and hip, mostly strippers from Babydolls who would sun themselves out by the pool (thus turning me off permanently to strip joints once I saw what strippers look like in the light of day) and all sorts of burnouts, interesting characters, and recent immigrants.

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i came across this advertisement during a scanning session of mine - the Royal Windsor Apartments

they were in the area where the Chik-fil-a (?) is near the corner of Richmond and the loop. i can't recall when the shopping center was built, either, but HCAD shows Weingarten taking ownership in 1996.

the block book for this area just says "a replat of Windsor Plaza Apartments" - does anyone know anything more about them?

the scan didn't turn out so well, but check out the pointy spikes!

royalwindsorsm.jpg

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When my mom remarried in 1962 she lived in some apartments called Olivia Gardens. They were located across 610 from Gulfgate closer to Telephone Rd. I looked on Windows Live Local and the complex is still there. It was surrounded by acres of trees back when I went to visit there.Now its surrounded by businesses. That complex has to be over 50 years old. They moved to the Royal Wayside in 1962 and stayed there for years. I still remember the address, 1010 south wayside. Right across from the Country Club golf course. That place has to be over 50 yrs old also. Its still there and still called Royal Wayside with the original sign and stained glass windows. Then they moved to the Madeira East. The complex is still there although from what I hear its a drug haven. The name has changed but its the one located between the backside of the Idylwood subdivision and the Gulf Frwy. I have pictures of when it was brand new and very nice. I even have one with it covered in snow in 1972.

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One of the worse dilapidated apartments I know of are directly across the side street from Jackson Middle School. Once called The Bell Apartments (now letters have all fallen or shot off). You will see everthing from brick walls seperating from the building to trees with ropes for lifting motors out of old cars. There is no grass only dirt from cars spilling over into the yard. Bullet riddled, graffiti and broken windows. Fold out tables outside for cutting up animals for parties. Knocked over garbage cans and litter everywhere. Plenty of slime in this here machine. Even cops are afraid to enter this joint.

Cover of House Beautiful?

Picture a huge bowling ball just rolling over and crushing the whole mess. >:)

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One of the worse dilapidated apartments I know of are directly across the side street from Jackson Middle School. Once called The Bell Apartments (now letters have all fallen or shot off). You will see everthing from brick walls seperating from the building to trees with ropes for lifting motors out of old cars. There is no grass only dirt from cars spilling over into the yard. Bullet riddled, graffiti and broken windows. Fold out tables outside for cutting up animals for parties. Knocked over garbage cans and litter everywhere. Plenty of slime in this here machine. Even cops are afraid to enter this joint.

Cover of House Beautiful?

Picture a huge bowling ball just rolling over and crushing the whole mess. >:)

I remember those!! They were bad back in the 70's. Yep, bowl em down!!

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the scan didn't turn out so well, but check out the pointy spikes!

...and the "Unsafe at Any Speed" Corvair in the driveway! Notice too that it's pre-zip code era ("Houston 27")

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Notice too that it's pre-zip code era ("Houston 27")quote]

And the MOhawk telephone exchange on the phone number. "$99 all bills paid" - ye gods! :D I remember the spikes and colored diamond-pane windows well.

I am sure others may have noticed in the hundreds of topics on apts but anytime you see $99.00 Move In! advertised, run!

That more than likely means just move in with your plastic luggage bags and your crack pipe and we wont even ask if your a recent parolee, hell just move in and join the 3rd world crowd/surroundings. I always thought words like fat-cat slum lord were just jokes. :wacko:

$99.00 MOVE IN!

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Vertigo, a complex near my university stated that it requires a social security number, a driver's license, and criminal and background checks. THAT is a good complex.

I'd like to ask the complex you are describing about what it requires...

Edited by VicMan

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$99.00 MOVE IN!

Amazing - at the time that ad was placed, $99 a month for an apartment was pretty high cotton, wasn't it? My family lived downstairs in a 1390 square foot 2-bedroom duplex on Castle Court; corner lot with a huge yard and water paid for $110 from 1964 to 1978. Also, a family friend lived in a 1-bedroom at Allen House for around $65 a month in the '60's, if memory serves correctly, and my father almost went into shock in the early '70's when he was promoted to VP at his company and his annual salary increased to $30,000! He thought about buying a house in Royden Oaks that was going for $45K, but decided he couldn't swing it with one daughter in college and another in private school. After all, our new fully-equipped Buick Skylark cost $4000! :blink:

My sister and I have fun reminiscing about the costs of old, especially around monthly mortgage time. :lol:

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block book for this area just says "a replat of Windsor Plaza Apartments" - does anyone know anything more about them?

the scan didn't turn out so well, but check out the pointy spikes!

In 1972, I was the paperboy for the Chronicle for the Royal Windsor apts, and others on sage road. I remember it as a swinging singles complex. Telephone spool tables, ozarka water bottle terrariums, macromee (sic) hangers with ferns or sand candles. On sunday morning the sliding glass doors would be wide open, sometimes people passed out near the doors.

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It would be a miracle if no one has brought up this eyesore.

The big apt complex at Westpark curve and 59 frwy.

These must have been built in mid to late 70's. Seemed to cater to the upwardly mobile single's crowd especially when the Westpark Common Market next door was very popular in late 70's. Falls of Westpark is the name.

After the Houston economy downward spiral of early 80's hit most of the yuppish crowd fled back up north, etc and the apt management got $ desperate. You know the rest of the story. What makes it even more pathetic is how its overshadowed by the ever so near 59 curve. It looms above like a dark monster ready to gobble it up and it's even worse at night. Residents dart out into traffic to hang out at gas station across the street, cars exiting frwy to continue onto Westpark barely miss them. Very, very, dangerous. Makes you wonder where the residents even park that live there? The parking is so miniscule. You have to see it to believe it. These walls need to come down it is really an eyesore for that area. This dump doesn't even seem like apts more like a temporary holding cell. If only someone could drop a house on this witch. It has exhausted its life time. Last rights?

Edited by Vertigo58

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I'm ready for the owners of Takara So to die, so their heirs will sell the property, divide the loot and let someone tear it down and replace it with anything else. This location, close to everything, deserves more than to be a magnet for drugs and hookers.

Of course, that's just my opinion and not that of this blog.

Edited by missmsry

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I'm ready for the owners of Takara So to die, so their heirs will sell the property, divide the loot and let someone tear it down and replace it with anything else. This location, close to everything, deserves more than to be a magnet for drugs and hookers.

Don't you mean "...more than to be a magnet for cheap drugs and cheap hookers"? Townhomes and condos get their share of drugs and hookers, just higher priced.

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See how they are building waaaaay toooo many of these new townhomes sand condos all over the city now?

This is exactly what they did in early to late 70's, then the boom came, almost everyone moved back to the cities states they came from. The apts and townhomes got desperate and lowered the rents. You know the rest of the sad story. Its happening again.

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One of the worse dilapidated apartments I know of are directly across the side street from Jackson Middle School. Once called The Bell Apartments (now letters have all fallen or shot off). You will see everthing from brick walls seperating from the building to trees with ropes for lifting motors out of old cars. There is no grass only dirt from cars spilling over into the yard. Bullet riddled, graffiti and broken windows. Fold out tables outside for cutting up animals for parties. Knocked over garbage cans and litter everywhere. Plenty of slime in this here machine. Even cops are afraid to enter this joint.

Cover of House Beautiful?

Picture a huge bowling ball just rolling over and crushing the whole mess. >:)

Boy, Vertigo ...you have a way with words...It's sad, how I can instantly picture this, seen it so many times.

Thanks, Sevfiv for the picture...love to see those 1950's/1960's places, especially with the castle-like image.

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I'm ready for the owners of Takara So to die, so their heirs will sell the property, divide the loot and let someone tear it down and replace it with anything else. This location, close to everything, deserves more than to be a magnet for drugs and hookers.

Of course, that's just my opinion and not that of this blog.

Why can't the Montrose people form a conspiracy against this place? I know it already has lots of complaints. Perhaps people could start sending undercover cops to the place?

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i came across this advertisement during a scanning session of mine - the Royal Windsor Apartments

they were in the area where the Chik-fil-a (?) is near the corner of Richmond and the loop. i can't recall when the shopping center was built, either, but HCAD shows Weingarten taking ownership in 1996.

the block book for this area just says "a replat of Windsor Plaza Apartments" - does anyone know anything more about them?

the scan didn't turn out so well, but check out the pointy spikes!

royalwindsorsm.jpg

Hi All, just saw this and while I'm not an architect my family does have Houston history in the Windsor Plaza area. My grandfather J.P. Boone built the Windsor Plaza apartments I think in the late 50's. I can go find out more details if needed He passed in 1991 and his wife in 1998 so I will have to rely on my aunts/uncles to get more information regarding. I think I have some flyers somewhere or pictures will ask some of the uncles/aunts to see what else they might have. He purchased the Windsor Plaza in about 1958 and owned it until about 1990. He also built the first few apartments and houses in Afton Oaks and Merwin Terrace apts starting from just after WWII.

If anyone has any interest in getting pics etc, let me know and Ill try and source some up to scan & post.

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Hi All, just saw this and while I'm not an architect my family does have Houston history in the Windsor Plaza area. My grandfather J.P. Boone built the Windsor Plaza apartments I think in the late 50's. I can go find out more details if needed He passed in 1991 and his wife in 1998 so I will have to rely on my aunts/uncles to get more information regarding. I think I have some flyers somewhere or pictures will ask some of the uncles/aunts to see what else they might have. He purchased the Windsor Plaza in about 1958 and owned it until about 1990. He also built the first few apartments and houses in Afton Oaks and Merwin Terrace apts starting from just after WWII.

If anyone has any interest in getting pics etc, let me know and Ill try and source some up to scan & post.

Welcome N. Craig, and of course we are interested in your stories and pics. I take it these apts. were located across from the Windsor Theater. :mellow: So many are disappearing.

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Welcome N. Craig, and of course we are interested in your stories and pics. I take it these apts. were located across from the Windsor Theater. :mellow: So many are disappearing.

I don't live in Houston any longer and when I come back its almost shocking at the amount of change in that area.

Ill try and dig up a few newspaper photo's about the Windsor Plaza opening. Along with some everyday things that might be with it. It was quite the shindig with black London cabs and everyone wearing bowler hats to put a little "Windsor" into the scene. I am 40 now so I do remember a few places that stick out back from the 70's like Dance City with the funky lights, The Spanish Galleon Restaurant with sign that was incredibly huge and on the inside of 610 (he had both sides as it was built before the freeway) the Safari Club with the cool drinking glasses you could take home.

I found this on a site with a little clip on opening of the Windsor Theatre. Another classy gem in its heyday.

http://cinerama.topcities.com/ctwindsor.htm

Thanks!

N. Craig

Edited by N. Craig

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Welcome to the forum, N. Craig - any information/pictures would be interesting and greatly appreciated!

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I found this on a site with a little clip on opening of the Windsor Theatre. Another classy gem in its heyday.

http://cinerama.topcities.com/ctwindsor.htm

Thanks!

N. Craig

Interesting link, I remember that theater with those gorgeous blue seats, very plush. But the lobby seemed very cavernous, too large, was very quiet (not many people), that was in the 70's.

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my mom used to live in Charleston Park in the 70s off of Main and 610.....nothing like it used to be....

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These apartment buildings were not built to last. In Chicago, you can rent a nice apartment that was built in the 20s and 30s that is sound. They simply update the interior and clean the bricks from time to time. I think it is cheaper in the long run to build buildings that last.

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i came across this advertisement during a scanning session of mine - the Royal Windsor Apartments

they were in the area where the Chik-fil-a (?) is near the corner of Richmond and the loop. i can't recall when the shopping center was built, either, but HCAD shows Weingarten taking ownership in 1996.

the block book for this area just says "a replat of Windsor Plaza Apartments" - does anyone know anything more about them?

the scan didn't turn out so well, but check out the pointy spikes!

royalwindsorsm.jpg

Whats a "Replat"

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I live in Chateaux Dijon, over in the Galleria area - I'm led to understand it's older than I am, and I'm of 1968 vintage. It seems as well-kept as possible, given its size and occupancy. Old apartments have character; new ones are cracker boxes. I looked at several new complexes before I picked my place. It has a charm and an architectural interest that none of the new ones have. There's something like 40 different apartment layouts in the Mustard House; the new places I looked at had oh, like five.

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