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Historic Houston Roads


mblaise

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Many old Houston city maps have Breen Road listed as Mulberry Street. Was the named changed, possibly around 1965 or 66? Why was the name of the road changed?

I know many other roads in Houston had names changed - South Park to MLK, ?? to Sgt. Macario, even T. C. Jester was originally called White Oak Drive.

Sometimes pieces of roads were absorbed into longer roads when the extensions were built. Antoine took over a short street called Oxbow, T.C. Jester took over a street called Telford. T. C. Jester took over Leroy Street. etc. any other examples? probably many!

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Cullen through UH used to be St. Bernard Dr. I think there was a MacGregor St. located near Rosedale and Wichita Streets before the current day N and S MacGregor Ways were built in the late 20s/early 30s. Fulton St. used to be E. Montgomery Rd. (which explains today's W. Montgomery Rd. in absence of the E. variant)

Edited by JLWM8609
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The Shepherd Street bridge over White Oak Bayou used to have a plaque calling it Erie Street Bridge. The plaque disappeared when they rebuilt the bridge. I have a small hope that someone takes those and puts them in a warehouse somewhere for posterity, rather than just junking them.

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There are tons of street name changes - good references are the Harris County Block Book maps or Sanborn Maps - depending on the year of the map, there are often different names, or new names written in and old ones crossed out..

You can search the block books by subdivision name here:

http://www.tax.co.harris.tx.us/blockbooks/...ult.asp#SSearch

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While on 18th street traveling west crossing North Durham... you can see a concrete street post that shows NASHUA STREET. i recall looking at an old map and it showed North Durham was Nashua past 17th street.

i'll try to post a picture soon on the concrete post.

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On the northside, West Mount Houston west of I-45 was once called Airline-Link Rd and east of I-45 it was once called Westbrook and Mosher, depending on the segment.

One poster mentioned how Fulton was once East Montgomery Rd... that also applied to Airline north of where it joins with Fulton.

Sweetwater was once called Hacker.

Aldine-Bender east of I-45 and west of Hardy was once called just Aldine Rd while the eastern segment between Hardy and U.S. 59 was Aldine-Bender.

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A 1913 map shows Delano St. near TSU was called Shepherd St., Winbern St. used to be MacGregor Ave. Bastrop St. used to be Broadway St., MLK/South Park used to be Chocolate Bayou Rd. near the present day UH, Stuart St. used to be Felix Ave., and Francis St. used to be Clarence St., and much more.

Now, Elgin turns into Westheimer once you get west of Brazos, but at one point, it was called Hathaway St at that portion, I guess a "buffer" name between the two names of the major throughofare.

And here's a pretty recent name change. A small portion of Fellows Rd. used to run from just south of Almeda-Genoa Rd. to BW8. They changed it from Fellows to Scott St. But south of the Beltway, Scott turns back into Fellows. And another interesting note, back in the 30s and 40s, Scott was referred to as "Scott Street Road", a little redundant dontcha think?

Current day South Main from the OST split to Stafford is designated on some 1950s era maps as OST all the way out to Stafford.

Fannin south of Holcombe was Knight Rd I think, until they turned it into a boulevard in the 60s.

1913 Houston Street Map: http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/maps/images/map0435.jpg

Edited by JLWM8609
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While on 18th street traveling west crossing North Durham... you can see a concrete street post that shows NASHUA STREET. i recall looking at an old map and it showed North Durham was Nashua past 17th street.

i'll try to post a picture soon on the concrete post.

A portion of Nashua still exists further south, around 12th. The street that was obliterated by N. Durham at that point was called Rodrigo, I think. My aunt had a house there in the 50s; the house still stands but it's on N. Durham, now. Rodrigo only ran north from 12th for a few blocks, perhaps.

There have been many mentions here on HAIF of the original Sears store on Buffalo Drive at Lincoln. Lincoln was taken over by the northward extension of Montrose, apparently. There is still a short remnant of Lincoln Street behind the Valero station at Westheimer @ Montrose.

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Many old Houston city maps have Breen Road listed as Mulberry Street. Was the named changed, possibly around 1965 or 66? Why was the name of the road changed?

I have no idea when or why it was changed, but at one time the street we now call West Dallas was named San Felipe. It ran from the west side all the way into downtown.

I know it was San Felipe as recently as World Wars One and even WWII, because newspaper accounts of the Camp Logan race riot in 1918 said the rioting soldiers advanced toward downtown Houston on San Felipe Road.

Also, the City of Houston built that big public housing project just west of downtown early in WWII, and named it San Felipe Courts, for the street that ran along the south side of the project.

Does anyone have an old map that shows the original route San Felipe took going west out of downtown?

Edited by FilioScotia
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A portion of Nashua still exists further south, around 12th. The street that was obliterated by N. Durham at that point was called Rodrigo, I think. My aunt had a house there in the 50s; the house still stands but it's on N. Durham, now. Rodrigo only ran north from 12th for a few blocks, perhaps.

Shepherd used to be called Lowell. B. A. Shepherd was the first banker in Texas. He opened a private banking operation in 1847.

West of Shepherd Dr was Boyle, Victor and Nashua. Nashua is still as is, but Boyle became Laird, and Victor became Roderick, later a part of Durham. An old map shows Nashua going north to beyond 29th. It now stops at 16th.

Durham north of 16th was not a road, so I suspect that portion was created by creating a new throughway. Nashua may have been torn up and returned to residential. This part I got from the aforementioned 1913 map of Houston, so it could be that the streets shown were planned at the time but not yet built.

Anther Heights change was Railroad St, which is now Nicholson. My grandmother lived at Waverley and 14th, and I used to love to watch the trains when they still operated along that line.

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Does anyone have an old map that shows the original route San Felipe took going west out of downtown?

San Felipe was where W. Dallas is now, one block north of Saulnier.

1925:

sanfelipe1925_index.jpg

current:

sanfelipecurrent.jpg

Also, here is the Westheimer-Hathaway-Elgin alignment (which was a little disjointed) c. 1925:

westheimer1925.jpg

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West of Shepherd Dr was Boyle, Victor and Nashua. Nashua is still as is, but Boyle became Laird, and Victor became Roderick, later a part of Durham. An old map shows Nashua going north to beyond 29th. It now stops at 16th.

Yes, it was Roderick, not Rodrigo. Thanks for that.

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Speaking of Roderick, there used to be a family of aerialist s that lived on Roderick. They had their trapeze set up and would work on their act there. I only went past there a couple of times. We lived on 14th near Beall, so we often crossed Roderick, but rarely had occasion to drive past the place. If I recall, it was just north of 14th.

I don

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I just thought of another road that was covered up to make way for an extension - Eldridge Parkway north of 1960 makes a bend just south of Cypress North Houston Road. This curved section was formerly a street called Susquannah (not sure of spelling).

Another obscure one was when the Antoine extension was built from 290 to Hempstead Road, it went over the top of a tiny street called either March or May Street. April Street still exists a couple blocks down.

Does anyone know why Ora Street was closed? It's a short street near Dacoma and Hempstead. I've seen other funny things with sections of streets barricaded.

Wow that was great about all those streets. Here's another good bit of trivia - the Gulf Freeway was never a "full freeway" until the 70s. Highways with crossovers are not freeways.

I have some web sites of abandoned highways, bridges and "lost" highways if anyone might be interested. I have also been thinking about taking pictures of abandoned streets in the Houston area if there was any interest - I know of at least a dozen places where the concrete remains from old roadways - North Houston Rosslyn, Perry Road, FM 529 just to name some.

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Calhoun in downtown is now St. Joseph Parkway

Addicks Fairbanks is Eldridge Parkway even though the key map shows BOTH names!

I think Grant, Jones and Mills Road all swapped names at one point.

Jetero might have been known as Jet Arrow right at first.

Rick Road became the South Loop Service Road

South Post Oak became the West Loop, kind of

Bissonnett was originally called Richmond Road

Just about all the streets in Bear Creek Park have been renamed some time or another

A 1952 Houston map shows

Part of Little York is called Fairbanks-West Montgomery

Either Pinemont or Creekmont is called Pearson

Here is the link for a lot more fun in 1952 - http://www.texasfreeway.com/Houston/histor...ble_highres.jpg.

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Jetero might have been known as Jet Arrow right at first.

I have a Houston map from around 1962 which shows the location of the proposed airport. No roads existed within the boundaries of the location. The existing roads at the time were Greens on the south, Aldine-Westfield on the west, Lee Rd on the east, and Humble-Westfield (1960) on the north.

The area is identified as

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Calhoun in downtown is now St. Joseph Parkway

Addicks Fairbanks is Eldridge Parkway even though the key map shows BOTH names!

I think Grant, Jones and Mills Road all swapped names at one point.

Jetero might have been known as Jet Arrow right at first.

Rick Road became the South Loop Service Road

South Post Oak became the West Loop, kind of

Bissonnett was originally called Richmond Road

Just about all the streets in Bear Creek Park have been renamed some time or another

A 1952 Houston map shows

Part of Little York is called Fairbanks-West Montgomery

Either Pinemont or Creekmont is called Pearson

Here is the link for a lot more fun in 1952 - http://www.texasfreeway.com/Houston/histor...ble_highres.jpg.

I believe Jetero was a typo for the original "Jet Era".

Bissonnet was Richmond Road west of Edloe.

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Jetero might have been known as Jet Arrow right at first.

Jetero was a misspelling of Jet Era, which is what the airport was called before it actually opened. Could you imagine coming into Houston on "Jet Era Rd."? Maybe it's a good thing they changed it to "Will Clayton".

I also know of a little chunk of the old two lane 1930s alignment Telephone Road still in existence. It's now on Hobby Airport's property, but it's still visible.

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I believe Jetero was a typo for the original "Jet Era".
Jetero was a misspelling of Jet Era, which is what the airport was called before it actually opened. Could you imagine coming into Houston on "Jet Era Rd."? Maybe it's a good thing they changed it to "Will Clayton".

Yep, from the Houston Freeways site:

The site for Bush Intercontinental Airport was originally purchased by a group of civic-minded Houston businessmen in 1957 to preserve the site until the city of Houston could formulate a plan for a second airport. The holding company for the land was named the Jet Era Ranch Corporation, but a typo-graphical error transformed the words “Jet Era” into “Jetero” and the airport site subsequently became known as the Jetero airport site. Although the name Jetero was no longer used in official planning documents after 1961, the eastern entrance to the airport was named Jetero Boulevard.

http://www.houstonfreeways.com/preview_ch5.aspx

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I've seen a map somewhere that shows where Hatahway and Westheimer came together was a rail line. i'll ahve to see if I can find that again, as it clearly shows the reason for the disjointed effect. It may be on the 1913 map.

T C Jester was the pastor of the Baptist Temple on 20th. Apparently, they named the street after him when he died.

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Shepherd used to be called Lowell. B. A. Shepherd was the first banker in Texas. He opened a private banking operation in 1847.

The information I've seen seems to weigh in favor of Shepherd having been named for Daniel Shepherd (and his dam) and not Benjamin Shepherd. More than one source gives the Benjamin Shepherd attribution, though - so it's apparently still an open question.

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While on 18th street traveling west crossing North Durham... you can see a concrete street post that shows NASHUA STREET. i recall looking at an old map and it showed North Durham was Nashua past 17th street.

i'll try to post a picture soon on the concrete post.

Durham drive was named for Dr. Charles Edward Durham (Sr.), who i think founded Durham clinic in the heights. He was active until the 1950s, I was told that I was the last child that he delivered (I am named after him) in Heights hospital in 1953. Likely the drive was renamed some time during or after his active period, which it seems ended in the 1950s.

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I'm not certain, but I believe "Waugh" was the name of a WWI veteran from Houston.

Actually, I heard Waugh was named for WWI. So many guys from that neighborhood came home from France telling stories about that "waw" they fought in "over there", they put that word on a street. They spelled it "Waugh" to make it look like it was named for somebody, instead of being named for the "waw".

Edited by FilioScotia
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Actually, I heard Waugh was named for WWI. So many guys from that neighborhood came home from France telling stories about that "waw" they fought in "over there", they put that word on a street. They spelled it "Waugh" to make it look like it was named for somebody, instead of being named for the "waw".

My recollection is that the Waugh family money came from lumber. They had a mansion in the Westmoreland area which was still there the last time I looked (a couple of years ago) with a historical marker of some sort on the iron railing surrounding the house. I need to go see if I can find it again.

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Marks Hinton's street names book says Waugh is named after Thomas Terrell Waugh, a Marine killed during WWI. Not saying that makes it so, but for what it's worth.

just out of curiousity, what does it say about Gulf Bank? I've always wondered about that street name. And I've heard that West Road is named for a farmer. Does the book shed any light there?

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Also, here is the Westheimer-Hathaway-Elgin alignment (which was a little disjointed) c. 1925:

westheimer1925.jpg

This brings up a question I've been meaning to ask for a while. If you look at what is now Westheimer on the map above, you'll see that it runs west and all of a sudden, it runs diagonally, to southwest. It goes like that for several blocks and then turns west again And it's not just Westheimer -- streets north of Westheimer, going up to just near Gray Street -- also run diagonally. I've always wonder why that area is like that. I don't see any obvious reasons (like bayous, et cetera) that might dictate that kind of layout. Does anyone know?

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This brings up a question I've been meaning to ask for a while. If you look at what is now Westheimer on the map above, you'll see that it runs west and all of a sudden, it runs diagonally, to southwest. It goes like that for several blocks and then turns west again And it's not just Westheimer -- streets north of Westheimer, going up to just near Gray Street -- also run diagonally. I've always wonder why that area is like that. I don't see any obvious reasons (like bayous, et cetera) that might dictate that kind of layout. Does anyone know?

I think it was realigned when Montrose was built as a suburb.

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I think it was realigned when Montrose was built as a suburb.

Ah, okay.....that makes sense. I didn't realize that the area to the west of the "diagonal" area might be older than the "diagonal" area. I was kinda assuming that Montrose was built, progressing in a westernly direction (not sure if that sentence makes sense, but you know what I mean. :-) )

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  • 1 month later...

Are Houston and the surrounding burbs the only places in the nation with what can most charitably be described as an endearingly quirky approach to naming roads? I went to a wedding last weekend in Richmond. Now admittedly I'm only an occasional visitor to the burbs and local knowledge was lacking, but both Google Maps, as well as the one on the invitation, referred to SH99 as Grand Parkway. There was no sign for Grand Parkway anywhere en route, and I was looking. And even the SH99 sign was smaller than most COH street signs, it was seriously tiny (as I saw on my way back). I was several miles through the intersection before I figured out what was wrong.

I'm sure people have discussed Eastex/59 and Katy Freeway/I10, and North/South Freeway/I45 at length elsewhere so I won't start again on those. But come on, is it too much to ask to pick a name and run with it?

Edited by sidegate
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For road name changes, Houston is such a patchwork of different places that have been swallowed.

Freeway names on the other hand are just for vanity and to simplify directional language - Rad Sallee wrote about it a couple of years ago here.

I still like how Beechnut starts in the west as Canal street (by 99/GP), turns to Beechnut, then North Braeswood around Stella Link, hooks up with South Braeswood between Main and Greenbriar, and turns in to Macgregor at Holcombe -

and Holcombe how it starts as Bellaire in the west (bits and pieces of it near 99), then Holcombe at Buffalo Speedway, then merges to OST which later curves into S Wayside which is also 69th which is also Macario Garcia, which then reverts back in to Wayside (N) (and according to the map is sometimes called Settegast).

Of course if you take the Griggs offshoot from OST, it's Griggs (why is the actual Griggs continuation in the shape of a V?) then Long then Park Place (all in under six miles).

:blink::D

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For road name changes, Houston is such a patchwork of different places that have been swallowed.

:blink::D

That makes sense. But at some point presumably a new stretch of pavement had to join at an existing one at an intersection, so why on earth would whatever civic authority with jurisdiction not just give the newly intersecting road the same name as the existing road? it's arbitrary and capricious beyond belief.

Edited by sidegate
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That makes sense. But at some point presumably a new stretch of pavement had to join at an existing one at an intersection, so why on earth would whatever civic authority with jurisdiction not just give the newly intersecting road the same name as the existing road? it's arbitrary and capricious beyond belief.

I agree - would have to study more about the origins/original purposes and links of current streets to get some possible insight on the inconsistencies.

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This is my wife's single worst pet peeve about the Houston area. It drives her absolutely crazy because she navigates sequentially (do this, then this, then this, etc.) rather than by landmarks or spatial relationships.

That works in the city by and large but the problem is the suburbs are lacking in landmarks. It's prairie.

And I agree with jgriff, most of the time it's an irritating inconvenience, but in emergencies it takes on a different character. The city is here to govern, and predictability and structure in street naming is fundamental to interactions of its citizens.

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  • The title was changed to Historic Houston Roads

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