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My wife and I were driving home from a function at Hermann Park yesterday when I suggested a detour down MacGregor and through Riverside Terrace as I have always read about the neighborhood here on HAIF but had never actually seen it for myself. So we did and we drove around a bit and I was quite impressed by some of the terrain and landscaping and some of the big beautiful houses over there.

After about 15 minutes we turned a corner onto Parkwood Drive and came up on an older black lady standing next to her car (a beat up late 80's Nissan Z, it looked like, with old faded Lee Brown bumper stickers on it) in the street talking to a letter carrier. We drove around them and kept driving, kind of slow to check out the scenery, and then about 3-4 blocks after we passed the lady and the mail carrier, I pulled over at the side of the road to look at my key map to figure out how to get out and back to the freeway. When I looked up again, I realized that the lady in the Nissan had pulled up beside me and pinned my pickup in behind a parked car and was sitting there with her window down.

I rolled down my window and asked, "Can I help you?"

"Can I help YOU?"

"Um, no. We're just driving around admiring the houses and the neighborhood."

"If you're driving, then home come you're stopped?"

"Uh, because I'm looking at a map?" (I flashed her my key map)

"How come you're driving through this neighborhood?" (by this time I realized that she wasn't being friendly)

"Because I've always heard this was a pretty neighborhood?"

"How about I show you the way out?"

"No thanks." (and I rolled up my window)

She sat there for a while with her window down, then she pulled forward and drove slowly before she pulled over and started following me again. She followed us about two more blocks until we came to Bowling Green, where we could see MacGregor on the right, and my wife was sufficiently freaked out enough to beg me to go back to the freeway, so we did.

And yes, I'm sure this topic will generate the obligatory, "how does it feel to be reverse-racially profiled?" responses and I suppose that's fair, but for the life of me I can't figure out what she would have thought we were doing at 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon with my wife and kid in his car seat in the car with me and clearly visible to her. Jeez. I am self-aware enough to guess that she figured a large white man in a pickup must be suspicious, but with my wife and kid in the car? What are we going to do, throw a dirty diaper onto someone's lawn?

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Apologies for that crazy ladies behavior. Maybe she forgot to take her medication. 99.9% of Riverside Terrace are normal, happy, hardworking individuals who are happy to see sightseers in our neighborhood. We have people driving and cycling thru the neighborhood all the time. I think I speak for the majority of RV residents when I say we appreciate the new interest in our homes and neighborhood.

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Can't say I haven't expected something like that, I always have my guard up, I just have received alot of strange looks, especially when I take a picture. :o:) Don't let it discourage you from appreciating what some others can't see. I agree with musicman.

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Yeah, I figured it was probably out of the ordinary and bad luck on my part to run into her but I wanted to check.

With regards to the reason we were there, the neighborhood is indeed very very beautiful. All of the houses have an original feel to them and most of the large lots are landscaped beautifully, too. Not to mention the rolling terrain which is quite unusual for Houston, and the green areas over the drainage easements. I was very impressed with it all.

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Not to mention the rolling terrain which is quite unusual for Houston, and the green areas over the drainage easements. I was very impressed with it all.

I love the sloped sites. They always seem to be found at bayou locations. Water (geology) has a way of sculpting the land. I find that fascinating. Check out northern Glenbrook (south of Simms bayou) for another perfect example of this!

PS I had a "park guy" downtown yell to me (nicely) the street name I was on, recently when he say me lurking around, I said "I am looking at the bldg".,and pointed, then he told me the name of the bldg, and I said Thanks! :P haha...not all our experiences are bad ones.

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When I've been driving around taking photos, I've often had to have gotten out of my car to get the right angle. One time an old black guy in a truck came up right behind my parked car right quick, lept out and asked if I was OK, whether my car had broken down, or whether I needed any help. He was genuinely concerned for me being in what he considered to still be a rough neighborhood.

The worst of the worst kinds of reactions I've ever gotten have been from photographing slummy apartments. Low-rent property managers can be really funny if you aren't at all intimidated by them. Especially given that when they're upset, the rythym of their voice, the motion of their head (back and forth), and the wag of their finger (side to side) are all perfectly coordinated. Frickin' hillarious.

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Can topics still be merged? There must be about 5 Riverside topics swirling around here by now. :D

Taking pictures of others places to them is invasion of privacy and plain nosiness. Toss in a neighborhood your where you visibly do not blend in then your asking for trouble. Houston is still a very old fashioned mindset in terms of who belongs where, lets face it. Everyone is judged by appearance, color, etc. Keep in mind that in that nabe many of the long time residents are being forced to move due to new development if you appear as a, well "the enemy" then heck yeah someone is going to approach you.

Maybe that old lady has many old friends and relatives that were or are being forced out. Could be Altzheimer's, etc. There are some people that will want you to hand over the film, call cops, shoot and worse try to sue. I hate nosey people period. Hoever some come in handy too. My neighbor is a nosey busy body and she has prevented trouble makers by calling HPD and we thanked her.

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Can topics still be merged? There must be about 5 Riverside topics swirling around here by now. :D

Taking pictures of others places to them is invasion of privacy and plain nosiness. Toss in a neighborhood your where you visibly do not blend in then your asking for trouble. Houston is still a very old fashioned mindset in terms of who belongs where, lets face it. Everyone is judged by appearance, color, etc. Keep in mind that in that nabe many of the long time residents are being forced to move due to new development if you appear as a, well "the enemy" then heck yeah someone is going to approach you.

Maybe that old lady has many old friends and relatives that were or are being forced out. Could be Altzheimer's, etc. There are some people that will want you to hand over the film, call cops, shoot and worse try to sue. I hate nosey people period. Hoever some come in handy too. My neighbor is a nosey busy body and she has prevented trouble makers by calling HPD and we thanked her.

All fair points and I can very much appreciate suspicion if someone is driving around taking pictures, but I wasn't taking pictures or even getting out of the car. Best I can tell, she got in her car and started following me when I passed by, which was just strange.

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I love the sloped sites. They always seem to be found at bayou locations. Water (geology) has a way of sculpting the land. I find that fascinating. Check out northern Glenbrook (south of Simms bayou) for another perfect example of this!

PS I had a "park guy" downtown yell to me (nicely) the street name I was on, recently when he say me lurking around, I said "I am looking at the bldg".,and pointed, then he told me the name of the bldg, and I said Thanks! :P haha...not all our experiences are bad ones.

A lot of the sloping in the neighborhood can be attributed to the fact that the bayou was straightened in the 1920s and again in the 1950s, and the slopes are its old banks. The original path of the bayou can be seen north of N. MacGregor just east of 288 in what used to be called Crescent Island, at the site of the old Wright Morrow mansion beyond the metal guardrail on the right hand side of S. MacGregor just before the curve, Parkwood Park, to the northwest of the intersection of N. and S. Parkwood, and in the yards of the houses located at Rio Vista and S. MacGregor. Go down a little further past Scott on S. MacGregor and you can still see the original channel on the left hand side between Kuhlman and Oakcrest.

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I really like the Mediterranean mod on the east loop of Parkwood. It's being remodeled right now (and has been for the past 1.5 years, as I think the current owner either bought it with the intention of moving in eventually or is about to sell it for several more than what he invested--not sure which). I'd imagine that the house would go for at least $750K. If only I had a couple extra nickels...

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Most of the homes along the bayou were made very well and meant to last. We used to ride our bikes all along that route starting behind U of H and the head towards MacGregor. The homes near TSU are extraordinary and up on a neat little embankment. Was discussed in other similar topics of this nabe.

As for that older woman, I would say maybe she just needed to refill ye olden crack pipeth. :D

Edited by Vertigo58
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Wow. I've gotten a few second looks when I take walks through the neighborhood, but I think it may have to do with my dog as much as my relative paleness. All the neighbors that have spoken or waved to me are really nice. Sorry you had an encounter with the paranoid exception. I personally like it when people check out the nighborhood and appreciate the beautiful historic architecture. If more people would move in to save and renovate the the few empty houses, it would save them from being torn down or turned into townhomes.

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A lot of the sloping in the neighborhood can be attributed to the fact that the bayou was straightened in the 1920s and again in the 1950s, and the slopes are its old banks. The original path of the bayou can be seen north of N. MacGregor just east of 288 in what used to be called Crescent Island, at the site of the old Wright Morrow mansion beyond the metal guardrail on the right hand side of S. MacGregor just before the curve, Parkwood Park, to the northwest of the intersection of N. and S. Parkwood, and in the yards of the houses located at Rio Vista and S. MacGregor. Go down a little further past Scott on S. MacGregor and you can still see the original channel on the left hand side between Kuhlman and Oakcrest.

Thanks for the history, always love to hear this kind of info!

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Wow. I've gotten a few second looks when I take walks through the neighborhood, but I think it may have to do with my dog as much as my relative paleness. All the neighbors that have spoken or waved to me are really nice. Sorry you had an encounter with the paranoid exception. I personally like it when people check out the nighborhood and appreciate the beautiful historic architecture. If more people would move in to save and renovate the the few empty houses, it would save them from being torn down or turned into townhomes.

I just had to drive thru this area before it competely changes and it's happening now as I type! They must be spending millions $$$ to do all that dredging up and scalling back etc along the bayou. I had to see if MacGregor Park was still there and it is! Take a slow, slow drive as you pass Scott street and you will either be happy or saddened to see that not only are they dredging back they are demolishing some of the finest ultra 1950's moderne home's you have ever seen. These homes look like the ones you might see along Malibu no joke! There was one that actually extended out on raised supports like a beach home has large glass scenic bay windows and it is being torn down. :angry: All that was left was the facade! or rather the front. Strange seeing right thru a fine place likre this and seeing the outside in the background. It must be of the Frank Lloyd Wright genre?

You can imagine that these homes were made for entertaining guests. Imagine what awesome cocktail parties and guests used to attend at one time. There needs to be a documentary done or have historian's snap up as many pics as possible while some remain. How can one send out an alert?

People this is real true Houston vanishing before our very own eyes! Yelp! Yelp!

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I have a friend who lives in the 4th ward. On a couple of occasions... when I leave... People on foot chased my car! Anyone have this kind of experience?

Sorta. I had circled a block a couple times, and a black guy probably in his 40's ran up and started banging on the front passenger side window trying to get my attention. He got it...via the rear view mirror.

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I have a friend who lives in the 4th ward. On a couple of occasions... when I leave... People on foot chased my car! Anyone have this kind of experience?

You mean like yard dawgs nipping at your tires? Never heard of such a thing.

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I have a friend who lives in the 4th ward. On a couple of occasions... when I leave... People on foot chased my car! Anyone have this kind of experience?

Um...they're called 'crack dealers', and are very competative with one another in the 4th Ward/Freeman's Town area. If you were to stop, you'd hear a chorus of "Whachu need?"

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  • 10 months later...
A lot of the sloping in the neighborhood can be attributed to the fact that the bayou was straightened in the 1920s and again in the 1950s, and the slopes are its old banks. The original path of the bayou can be seen north of N. MacGregor just east of 288 in what used to be called Crescent Island, at the site of the old Wright Morrow mansion beyond the metal guardrail on the right hand side of S. MacGregor just before the curve, Parkwood Park, to the northwest of the intersection of N. and S. Parkwood, and in the yards of the houses located at Rio Vista and S. MacGregor. Go down a little further past Scott on S. MacGregor and you can still see the original channel on the left hand side between Kuhlman and Oakcrest.

I happened to stumble upon this great section off S. MacGregor today. It took my breath away, several times. Had no idea this land was deeply sloped, I can see what you are saying now, JLWM. Two of the streets were N. Parkwood & Del Rio. Some homes were in differing stages of deterioration, but others were immaculately maintained. I saw what looked like a concrete dam/ walkway running thru a pond or a bayou area. Fabulous mods everywhere. Unbelievable Traditional homes, as well, one that sat on S. MacGregor Way looked very significant, address was (I think) 4000 S. MacGregor. Does anyone (JLWM?) know who used to live there? It's probably on HAIF somewhere.

Its the only neighborhood I've seen with those mosiac curb street tile signs in black and white, not blue and white.

I've got to look at this on an aeriel map now.

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. Unbelievable Traditional homes, as well, one that sat on S. MacGregor Way looked very significant, address was (I think) 4000 S. MacGregor. Does anyone (JLWM?) know who used to live there?

Sounds like you may be referring to the old Weingarten Home.

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Sounds like you may be referring to the old Weingarten Home.

Looked it up in the AIA Houston Arch. Guide, you're right...

4000 South MacGregor Way

(1939) Joseph Finger

"Finger designed the biggest house in Riverside Terrace, a French manorial style suburban chateau, for the family of grocery chain magnate Joe Weingarten".

I appreciate Fingers work more each day. I wish I could see the inside.

Edited by NenaE
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Looked it up in the AIA Houston Arch. Guide, you're right...

4000 South MacGregor Way

(1939) Joseph Finger

"Finger designed the biggest house in Riverside Terrace, a French manorial style suburban chateau, for the family of grocery chain magnate Joe Weingarten".

I appreciate Fingers work more each day. I wish I could see the inside.

The last time I passed the place, it didn't look so hot. Like most old houses, I think it could use some work, despite the HCAD's site saying that it's in "Excellent" condition.

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The last time I passed the place, it didn't look so hot. Like most old houses, I think it could use some work, despite the HCAD's site saying that it's in "Excellent" condition.

Reviewed the HCAD info, as well. Think their statement "Excellent Quality" refers to the original craftsmanship. (Don't recall ever seeing Excellent before, and I have reviewed a lot of them)...They also say "Condition - Very Poor" or "Physical Condition - Poor", (usually listed under details). You can see the rotting wood on the east side (probably at one time screened) porch area.

Year Blt. 1935

Heat/ AC - none

I agree, this house needs to be saved, so much of Fingers work is demolished.

Riverside had a few firsts...

http://www.bizjournals.com/houston/stories.../18/story3.html

Edited by NenaE
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