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Looks like their shoes were what you would call "trendy".

and that has alway's been the allure of The Galleria as we know it today. To have the latest and most up to date in everything.

People have travelled from other countries and make sure that The Galleria is on the list to visit when in Houston. We "locals" just take it for granted but others see it as a true destination of sorts. On any given day you will find people speaking all languages when shopping around the place. Very International.

I'm ready for my Armani suit now. :D

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Ok, I'm ready to kick in here after some thought. My sister worked at U.S. Testing in the early '70's. That was the place that conducted the surveys. One time when I was spending a day with her there, Sandy Duncan came by and chatted with us. I actually liked El Felix or Fenix Mexican restaurant although I remember service being slow. Close by was a Corrigan's Jewelry store. On the second level, there was Margo's La Mode. I loved that store. There was an optical store named Lugene's. I think there was a Merry Go Round. I remember a leather store too. Later on in the early - mid '80's Banana Republic came in but I can't remember if it was I or II. I loved Marshall Fields. There was a store in II that was owned by Olivia Newton John I think it was Blue Kangaroo? In the eighty's I did some temp work for an oil company in the Galleria II building, but I cannot remember the name of it. I do remember they had the first Wang Word Processor I had ever used. It may still be there, but the hotel had a Zuchinnis restaurant that you could enter from the third level. (I'm really dating myself here.) I have alot of very fond memories from the Galleria.

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Later on in the early - mid '80's Banana Republic came in but I can't remember if it was I or II. (I'm really dating myself here.) I have alot of very fond memories from the Galleria.

I am pretty certain Banana Republic was in the Main section is it called I? above the ice skate rink. I think it was on second level. Had Gilligan's Island-like decor, fake palms, bamboo, etc. (No Ginger Grant though) ;):D

Even today when you go into Neiman Marcus its like walking in to Fort Knox, seriously.

Hardcore security guards every where you turn and more cameras than Candid-Camera! Yes that makes ya feel real comfortable when buying that Rolex or Cartier, Choppard jewelry. Snicker

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Banana Repub was at (say) the southwest corner of the ice rink, on the second or third level of the Galleria I. I think it was more like the late 80's. I worked in the Galleria Towers during the mid 80's and think it came later.

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Yes, I remember Banana Republic Khaki! I always felt like I should go on a safari. Two stores that have gone through COMPLETE makeovers - BR and A & F. A & F was like LL Bean and Orvis at one time.

I remember when A&F was in Post Oak Central, believe it or not.

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Yes, I remember Banana Republic Khaki! I always felt like I should go on a safari. Two stores that have gone through COMPLETE makeovers - BR and A & F. A & F was like LL Bean and Orvis at one time.

A & F used to look like a cozy mountain lodge back in the late 90's with antler lighting and moose heads and BR used to actually have some sort of a island explorer theme, complete with sand, rocks and skulls in the front of the store.

Edited by Pumapayam
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That place was "mini-skirt central" in 1970 and just a virtual fantasyland for us 15 year old boys. We would hang out on the lower level and continuosly gaze up at the world on display above us. Oh Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!:rolleyes:

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That place was "mini-skirt central" in 1970 and just a virtual fantasyland for us 15 year old boys. We would hang out on the lower level and continuosly gaze up at the world on display above us. Oh Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!:rolleyes:

Thats hilarious!

There hasn't beem much comments on the adjoining hotels, they deserve some of the notoriety of the Galleria ambiance.

We had our Stephen F Austin HS PROM at the Westin Oaks Hotel 1979 and then the reunion 20 years later 1999. Have mostly interior pics. Just the fact that we had our prom at The world famous Galleria made us think we were super special grads that great year! :D

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Anyone else remember the Magic Pan crepe restaurant? Not just remember passing by it, but actually eating in it? I remember as a really young kid eating there as a "special occasion" once or twice.

Edited by Reefmonkey
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Anyone else remember the Magic Pan crepe restaurant? Not just remember passing by it, but actually eating in it? I remember as a really young kid eating there as a "special occasion" once or twice.

Yes. I miss it.

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Thats hilarious!

There hasn't beem much comments on the adjoining hotels, they deserve some of the notoriety of the Galleria ambiance.

We had our Stephen F Austin HS PROM at the Westin Oaks Hotel 1979 and then the reunion 20 years later 1999. Have mostly interior pics. Just the fact that we had our prom at The world famous Galleria made us think we were super special grads that great year! :D

We used to look at swimming pool-goers with binoculars, at the Oaks, from the Galleria II Towers

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I agree with Vertigo58, as a kid I used to feel like I was in NYC when I was in the Galleria Lord and Taylor. Also felt that way when I was at the dowtown Foley's.

Other stores I liked or remembered as a kid:

Sam Houston Bookstore - the only bookstore in Houston with a decent selection of James Bond books, which I got into reading after Living Daylights came out.

The coin store on the mid level of Galleria I, right around the corner from See's Candies (another favorite). I used to go there all the time when I was in elementary school and into collecting US coins - you could buy buffalo nickels, mercury dimes, wheatback pennies, indian head pennies, all sorts of out-of-circulation US coins, along with guidebooks and those blue folders to put them in.

The Florsheim store, where my dad bought most of his dress shoes.

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We used to look at swimming pool-goers with binoculars, at the Oaks, from the Galleria II Towers

I worked in an office building across the street from the Galleria through most of the 90s. Most of the cubicles next to windows had binoculars.

We got the number of the pay phone at the bus stop on Westheimer. We would call people up while watching them and mess with their minds.

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And snagging some food from the meeting rooms in the hotel when you didn't bring enough money to last you past the arcade and candy store.

genius

why did me and my friends not think of that :blush:

I worked in an office building across the street from the Galleria through most of the 90s. Most of the cubicles next to windows had binoculars.

We got the number of the pay phone at the bus stop on Westheimer. We would call people up while watching them and mess with their minds.

also genius as well :lol:

Edited by TexasVines
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A little off topic, but more secret window watcher stuff...

I used to work in One Shell and we watched this bum come by every day and dig out half-eaten food from garbage can. One day, we bought him breakfast at McD's and left it in the can. He opened it up, looked at it and threw it back! Needless to say, we onlookers had a field day with that.

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wasn't a movie made about the opening of the galleria?......even had a marching band in it

In the late 70s they used the Galleria as a giant Neiman Marcus knock off, in a cheesy made for TV movie. (The entire Galleria site was supposed to be one giant luxury department store)

David Wayne was the high rolling owner.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080795/

Edited by Absinthe_1900
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I always remember celebrity watching.

Although I never went there for that, I often saw celebs -- both local and international -- at the Galleria.

Once, in the 1990s, I was walking on the second level and paused to lean over the rail. Straight across, on the other side, was Lyle Lovett in a suit shop being fitted. His hair gave him away!

Over the years I have crossed paths with about a dozen or more well-known people and never once stopped to ask them for their autograph. The closest I came to coming up to one was Sheena Easton back in the mid-1980s. She was so hot and I was a strapping young blade just out of the Marines, but she had another girl and couple of guys with her so I just let her pass. *Ahhhhhh*, the beautiful music we could have made.

LOVED the Sam Houston bookstore.

I'm old enough to remember when The Gap was an exotic place and the only one in the whole city was in the Galleria.

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The coin store on the mid level of Galleria I, right around the corner from See's Candies (another favorite). I used to go there all the time when I was in elementary school and into collecting US coins - you could buy buffalo nickels, mercury dimes, wheatback pennies, indian head pennies, all sorts of out-of-circulation US coins, along with guidebooks and those blue folders to put them in.

That coin store was called Astro City Coins. I remember that place. I thought at the time, that the Galleria was an odd choice for a coin store location, but it seemed to work for a number of years.

A few other stores that I remembered:

Jeans West

Rings by Morrow

Margo's La Mode - I always throught that was a loopy name

Hoffritz Cutlery - I bought a throwing knife there. I may even still have it.

Berry Tree - cards

Christian Science reading room - I always felt sorry for those people in there because I never saw anyone using it.

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I bought my first D&D books at Nan's in the Galleria. It was the first the first store I'd ever seen that sold role playing games.

<------ Raises his hand cautiously. Yeah, me too. B)

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I'm old enough to remember when The Gap was an exotic place and the only one in the whole city was in the Galleria.

When was that? I remember the Gap at the Galleria, but I'm pretty sure there was one at Almeda Mall in the early 70s. It never seemed "exotic", just a store full of jeans.

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When was that? I remember the Gap at the Galleria, but I'm pretty sure there was one at Almeda Mall in the early 70s. It never seemed "exotic", just a store full of jeans.

Yah, I'd never heard anything about the gap being exotic, but then I don't know - I'm relatively young. I do remember when Banana Republic sold safari clothes in the 80s, which was brought up in earlier posts, but I'd be curious to hear about the Gap before my time.

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Yah, I'd never heard anything about the gap being exotic, but then I don't know - I'm relatively young. I do remember when Banana Republic sold safari clothes in the 80s, which was brought up in earlier posts, but I'd be curious to hear about the Gap before my time.

I remember The Gap in Almeda Mall sold Levi's and not much else.

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<------ Raises his hand cautiously. Yeah, me too. B)

I knew it. I knew it! You nerds!

You know, those of us on the debate team so totally looked down on you for the magician geek role play stuff.

We made our own bongs and played Risk, for chrissakes. ^_^:D

Edited by crunchtastic
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Yah, I'd never heard anything about the gap being exotic, but then I don't know - I'm relatively young. I do remember when Banana Republic sold safari clothes in the 80s, which was brought up in earlier posts, but I'd be curious to hear about the Gap before my time.

What will always stand out for me in regards to The Gap (in the mid-late 70's) is when you walked in and saw the ladies stacks of blue jeans. They had them seperated by style :

1. Regular Bell Bottom

2. Wide Bell Bottom

3. Super Bell Bottom :lol:

can't forget "Hip Hugger" category.

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Anyone have any information on a store list from back in the day, or possibly photos of this era. I've seen the few that exist towards the bottom of this page ...

I have not forgotten about ya, but I have not had a chance to thumb through all my photos yet. I was hoping to do it this weekend, who knew I'd be having so much fun away from home.

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LOL Sheer Insanity !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAHAAH YES I remember that one now. That's hilarious. THANK YOU HAHA. I think the smaller one in Galleria I was called The Fun Shop, which someone established earlier in this thread.

I can't thank everyone enough for the great memories and information. This has been a REAL trip down memory lane. Lovin' it.

I have not forgotten about ya, but I have not had a chance to thumb through all my photos yet. I was hoping to do it this weekend, who knew I'd be having so much fun away from home.

Dude it is all good! Happy to have the thread going like this - its already been a gold mine for the topic of interest.

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Yah, I'd never heard anything about the gap being exotic, but then I don't know - I'm relatively young. I do remember when Banana Republic sold safari clothes in the 80s, which was brought up in earlier posts, but I'd be curious to hear about the Gap before my time.

I think they just meant that it was exotic in that it was the only one in all of Houston. Maybe they'll be "exotic" again sometime soon if they don't get out of their slump.

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Check out this website of some kind of scavenger hunt I found from 1991 Houston Galleria ...

http://www.thehunt.org/1991/hunttask.htm

"Walk into Sheer Insanity, and say at least seven words beginning with "Z.""

"Enter The Fun Shop with your hand out of sight, and ask them if they've sold your severed fingers yet, because you want them back."

"Go to Petland and ask, "How much is that doggie in the window?""

Silly find, but its got some interesting store names on it that I'd forgotten or otherwise were behind many cobwebs.

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Straight out of Fast Times was Sgt. Singer's Pizza...down on the first level across from the theatres where my friends and I somehow got into see National Lampoon's Vacation.

I remember the Magic Pan always smelled like feet.

Hotel shenanigans: We used to take the elevator to the next-to-the-top floor and climb the stairs to an unlocked door that got us into the bar at the top. It didn't take long for the bartender to realize there were a bunch of 15 year olds checking out his place.

Thanks for inspiring a HAIF noob's first post...

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Here are all the stores in Galleria I from the 1972 city directory:

1000 Funshop Inc

1100 Gerhart's Isabell Bazaar Shop

1110 Norman Merle Cosmetics

1115 Motherhood Maternity Shops

1120 La Feminique Wig Salon No 63

1130 Fal's Famous Name Shoes No 5

1140 Pick Pocket Inc hand bags

1152 Carva-Riviera Jewelers

1154 River Oaks Flower House

1156 Locksmiths Salon in The Galleria

Blair Ginger Cosmetics

1158 Hertel's Barber & Style Salon

1160 Vacant

1170 Pacesetter Club

Pacesetter Restaurant

1185 Marlin's Dottie Health Foods

1192 House of Ties

1195 Vacant

1200 Walker's Pat Figure Perfection

Intl reducing salon

1210 Southern Fabrics Inc

1220 Branch The gifts

1230 Boudoirs by Joyce Bertam bath

accessories

1250 Corrigan Robt E Jewelers Inc

1260 Ice Capades Chalet & Skating

School

1270 El Fenix Restaurant

1290 Farrel's Ice Cream Parlour &

Restaurant

1310 Coquery The restr

1340 Rich J Sports Ltd attire

1350 Collins Money Tree No 653

1355 Yarn Spinner The Inc

1360 Scullery The cookware

1370 Jeans West clothes

1380 Arts Intl

1385 Nan's Toys

1390 Cinema I

Cinema II

1403 Sunshine Co clothing

1407 Sounds 'n Imports music

1410 Matthews Fine Jewelry custom

mfrs

1420 Brass Boot shoes

1423 Photo Place Inc That

1433 Farmer Fanny Candy Shop No 716

1435 Piazza's Shoes & Service Inc No 5

1436 Sanborns International Travel

1440 Hickory Farms of Ohio gro store

1450 Sam Houston Book Shop

1460 Disc Records

1470 Gallagher Helen Gifts

1480 Michael I restr

2100 Gerhart Isabell Inc womens

clothes

2115 Vacant

Vacant

2120 Backstreet Clothing

2130 Thayer McNeil shoes

2140 Lesli Judi clothing

2150 Lugene Inc opticians

Dempsey & Carroll Inc stationers

& engrs

2155 Page Boy Maternity Shops No 3

2160 Hanover Shoes

2170 Capezio clothing

2180 Tinder Box The tobacco

2181 Shirt Gallery The

2190 See's Candies

2193 Point Venture resort

development

2200 Gittings Inc photog

2210 Cross Mark Inc leather mdse

2220 Cuzzen's of Houston mens clo

2230 Bally of Switzerlan Inc clothing

2240 Margo's La Mode ladies clo

2260 Chandler Shoe Store No 4789

2275 Albert's hosiery

2280 Sweeney & Co jwlr

2300 Elaine Shop The clothing

2303 Ming's Jewelry

2305 Key West Hand Print Fashions

2310 Apogee ladies clo

2340 Tiffany & Co jwlry china

& crystal

2350 Wayne J Ltd mens clo

2370 Foxmoor (Div of Melville Shoe

Corp)

2375 Slax N Stuf No 3 ladies clo

2380 Rauscher Pierce Securities COrp

stock exchange

2400 Florsheim Shoe Shops

2410 Leopold Price & Rolle mens

clothes

2418 Town & Country Shotes

2420 Next Door clothing

2430 Julies clothing

2440 William Richard mens clo

2450 Victors P-J Botiques mens

fashions

2460 Berrytree No 5 cards & gifts

2470 Junior Magic ladies clo

2480 Shoe Gallery The

3100 Sportsman's Gallery

3170 Handmakers inc rep craftsman

3180 Long Meredith Gallery

Realty Associates Inc

3194 Flower Children The No 3

3195 Kaufman Marjorie Graphics

3196 Sotherby Parke-Bernet art

gallery

3197 Wilds & Cannon Regent Shop

antiques

3230 Valdari of Colombia

3240 Bryant Galleries art

3250 Oriental Pearl Gallery import

3253 Stevens Patricia International

modeling sch

3255 Galleria The (Ofc)

3270 Children's World clo

3280 Toys International No 2

3330 Sloane W & J Inc furn

3400 Old World The

3404 Old World Antiques The

3405 Pritchard Gallery

3410 Simmons John gifts

3420 Denhome Modern Danish

Furniture

3425 Radio Shack

3430 Gene's Tailors Inc

3435 American Express Co.

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I remember the Galleria had a movie theater, which no longer exists. I believe it had 3 screens.

Galleria One had two General Cinema theaters, Galleria I & II. When Galleria Two opened it had two more, Galleria III and IV, but they were much smaller.

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  • 11 years later...
On 5/21/2008 at 10:44 AM, Vertigo58 said:

I am pretty certain Banana Republic was in the Main section is it called I? above the ice skate rink. I think it was on second level. Had Gilligan's Island-like decor, fake palms, bamboo, etc. (No Ginger Grant though) ;):D

Even today when you go into Neiman Marcus its like walking in to Fort Knox, seriously.

Hardcore security guards every where you turn and more cameras than Candid-Camera! Yes that makes ya feel real comfortable when buying that Rolex or Cartier, Choppard jewelry. Snicker

 

I happened across a used book the other day, and decided to buy it, it was written by the husband and wife founders of Banana Republic back in 1986, and is called "The Banana Republic Guide to Travel and Safari Clothing". It's a little history of the founding of the company, plus highlights their various mainstay safari clothing items, in the style of their catalogs, which were works of art in the pre-Gap era when they still were safari oriented.

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345334795/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

There is also a website dedicated to the Banana Republic stores of the 80s, called "Abandoned Republic":

 

https://www.secretfanbase.com/banana/

 

My nostalgia for the old Banana Republic stores led me down a rabbit hole to thinking about The Nature Company stores. They were places to buy rain sticks, fossils, CDs of New Age music, and were a destination in themselves, kind of like a Banana Republic store used to be. Each Nature Company store had a giant waterfall near the entrance, and they were all dark slate tiles, with the sounds of the rainforest and stuff like that playing on the speakers. They were bought out by the Discovery Channel in 1996, and by 2001 they had all been turned into Discovery Channel Stores, and the slate and waterfalls were all gone. I always liked Discovery Channel stores ok, but thought they were never as cool as The Nature Company. 

 

I distinctly remember the Galleria Discovery Channel Store circa 1998, and I think I remember the location, and I wanna say it was on Level 2 of Galleria I, had a corner location.

 

I can't remember if that Discovery Channel Store had been a Nature Company before in that same location, or if the Galleria even had a Nature Company (I wanna say they did, but I also went to Willowbrook and Town & Country a lot in the late 80s - early 90s, so might be remembering it from there).

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Discovery Channel Stores were neat, I remember visiting one in New Jersey when the chain was winding down business. My father bought a clock that projected the time on the ceiling (still in use in his bedroom) while I got a novelty inflatable tongue (which sadly didn't last).

 

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  • 1 year later...

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