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Jake Friedman's Domain Privee Casino On South Main St.


Native Son

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My father-in-law was a native Houstonian, and he used to talk about an old illegal casino/brothel(?) out Hwy 90. He said it existed after WWII and up into the 1950's. There was an old brick gatehouse just west of the current Beltway on the south side of 90 that he said belonged to the casino...does anyone know about this, or was my late father-in-law yankin' my chain?

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Well, it wasn't exactly the Bellagio. They weren't set up with all the neon lights and whatnot waterfountains that played music. A few table games and a couple of backroom poker tables and a bar is about it. The kind of stuff you'd find in a Mike Hammer novel. The people that ran this establishment weren't the Steve Wynn tycoon types, they were the Vinnie Bag O' Donuts, break your friggin' legs if you don't pay up, types. Come to think of it, there was a huge pond back there where the Alligators were kept for the deadbeats who couldn't pay their credit off, so THAT could be considered like the Bellagio water show ? I am sure this place existed as well as others around this city, and in Galveston. He isn't pullin' your leg.

Edited by TJones
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Correct. It was Jakie Friedman's "Domain Privee." Search this site using those terms and you will find several posts about it. It was very classy and exclusive, and was well loved by Houston's movers and shakers. After it closed down in the 50s due to more stringent enforcement of gambling laws (this was about the time of Galveston's Balinese Room's demise, too), Mr. Friedman moved to Las Vegas and created the Sands Hotel.

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My father-in-law was a native Houstonian, and he used to talk about an old illegal casino/brothel(?) out Hwy 90. He said it existed after WWII and up into the 1950's. There was an old brick gatehouse just west of the current Beltway on the south side of 90 that he said belonged to the casino...does anyone know about this, or was my late father-in-law yankin' my chain?

Here is the big question...What presently stand in its place?

and was it truly just a Casino? Sometimes the word brothel gets tossed in for intrigue. :lol:

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Here is the big question...What presently stand in its place?

and was it truly just a Casino? Sometimes the word brothel gets tossed in for intrigue. :lol:

All that is there now is a field, which is fenced up. I notice on the air views that some

businesses seem to be moving onto that area and building it up. At as of the most recent

pix I see, the exact place where the house was is still a vacant lot.

If you are driving down that road, you can still see the concrete curbs etc that was once

the entrance.

Yep, it really was Casino. And only for high rollers. I read somewhere where Carolyn

Farb was talking about going there as a kid, and meeting movie stars when she would

come down to eat breakfast in the mornings.. I don't think it was ever a brothel.

When gambling pressure increased in the 50's, he packed up to Vegas and opened the

Sands.

BTW, I believe the Sands was demolished not too long ago..

As you may have seen in other posts, I'd actually been in the place when it

was a ramshackle dump in the early 70's.

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Looks like not a lot there besides a fence, Vertigo. I worked down the street from that site, traveled those roads on many occasions, had no idea. That whole area is so interesting, and overflowing in history. Thanks everyone for the interesting topic, and wonderful old maps. Satellite pics of old structures are great for showing patterns of roads and old dirt & concrete foundations, otherwise not detectable.

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I had a good friend, now unfortunately deceased, who was a lifelong Houstonian and a professional musician for more than sixty years. He lived to an advanced age and he loved to tell stories about the people he played with and the things he'd seen. Once I gave him some Bob Bailey calendars and you would have thought I had given him a million dollars. We went through them and he recognized something about every picture! Anyway, one of the pictures was the aerial shot of Domain Privee. He played there many times and had very fond memories of Mr. Freedman and Domain Privee. Apparently it was beautifully appointed inside and Mr. Freedman was an unusually generous employer. Among Houstonians of his generation (now fast disappearing) Freedman was apparently very well loved and respected.

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Took a while to find it, but here's the Bob Bailey aerial of Domain Privee:

domain.jpg

Here's the text from the 1995 Bailey calendar photo:

On a two-lane gravel road in a remote area off the southern end of Main Street, about fourteen miles from downtown, this elegant colonial mansion was one of the fanciest gambling casinos in America. It was Jakie Freedman's "Domain Privee." Only a select few were permitted past the gate guards. Thirty to forty made a capacity gambling crowd. But these were the very wealthy. Chips began at $5.00. Domain Privee flourished through World War II. However, in the early 1950's steps were taken to enforce Texas' gambling laws. Under this threat, Freedman closed Domain Privee and moved to a town in Nevada, where gambling is legal. The grandiose resort hotel and casino that he ran in Las Vegas, The Sands, became world famous.

and here's the direct link at UT's Center for American History:

Center for American History

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Took a while to find it, but here's the Bob Bailey aerial of Domain Privee:

domain.jpg

Here's the text from the 1995 Bailey calendar photo:

and here's the direct link at UT's Center for American History:

Center for American History

Back in the 70's it was totally overgrown with tall weeds, etc.

After it was abandoned, people started going there to party, drink beer, etc..

You see the entrance road.. Later people formed their own road and extended

the turn to the right to cross the parking lot area in the back, and extend

on around so it met with the road forming the circle in front of the house.

So in the 70's, people would be able to drive in and make a complete circle

without stopping or turning around.

See the big building behind the house? That had a big swimming pool in it.

It was still intact when I went there, and at that time probably one of the

oldest below ground pools I'd seen. I don't know when the place was built.

But I always found the pool pretty interesting. I didn't know they had pools

that good, that long ago. It was probably modern and state of the art when

it was installed.

I was talking to a friend a while back about the place, and he told me that

he and a friend of his spent the night there one time.

He told me while they were there, some other people drove up, so they

climbed on the roof to see who it was, and also evade detection.

The people later left, and they went back down into the house to camp out.

They said that later on that night they were sleeping, and they heard this

huge crashing noise that woke them up.

After it got light, they noticed that a section of the roof they had been climbing

on totally collapsed into the upper rooms of the house. :lol:

I remember walking around in the house a bit. Most of the rooms had fancy

red wallpaper, I remember that. There were quite a few rooms, and had an

upstairs and downstairs. You can see the windows of the upstairs rooms

sticking out of the roof line.

I notice in that pix, there seems to be an outdoor pool in front of that

north building, which I don't even remember when I was there.

But...I'm fairly sure I remember there being a pool directly behind the

house, where that big building is.. So if I'm right, they had not one pool,

but two. One indoors, and one outdoors. Or so it would seem anyway..

I guess that northern building and pool must have been toast, or covered

with brush in the 70's, as I don't even remember seeing them.

But like I say, it was like a jungle, so maybe they were sitting in the brush

rotting away and we couldn't see em.

It's all mowed down flat as a pancake now.. But in looking at the sat pix,

you can still see vague traces of where things once were. Also the property lines

stick out.

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that is what I love about this place....just for the asking! you guys are the best....

does anyone else remember the gravel loader across S. Main from the Mc Clendon Triple?...we used to climb that beast and watch movies without sound....back when that seemed like a cool thing to do

Edited by Native Son
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Thanks marmer for the fab post w/pic, and nm5k for that story...how intriguing, an overgrown swimming pool, & property w/ that kind of history. I dream about these types of places. Hidden gems in a jungle. Unbelievable.

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Here is a 1960 shot of that area. You can see, what I believe are, the remains of Domain Privee toward the lower left corner. In the extreme lower left, and barely visible, would be part of the parking area of the old South Main Drive-In theater. Just above that is Brochsteins, which I remember being there then, and still appears to be in this recent Google shot. That would be the Old Main Street Loop running diagonal just below the DP remains. The north-south road running into South Main/Hwy90 is Hiram Clarke.

SouthMainHiramClark-1960.jpg

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Back in the 70's it was totally overgrown with tall weeds, etc.

After it was abandoned, people started going there to party, drink beer, etc..

You see the entrance road.. Later people formed their own road and extended

the turn to the right to cross the parking lot area in the back, and extend

on around so it met with the road forming the circle in front of the house.

So in the 70's, people would be able to drive in and make a complete circle

without stopping or turning around.

See the big building behind the house? That had a big swimming pool in it.

It was still intact when I went there, and at that time probably one of the

oldest below ground pools I'd seen. I don't know when the place was built.

But I always found the pool pretty interesting. I didn't know they had pools

that good, that long ago. It was probably modern and state of the art when

it was installed.

I was talking to a friend a while back about the place, and he told me that

he and a friend of his spent the night there one time.

He told me while they were there, some other people drove up, so they

climbed on the roof to see who it was, and also evade detection.

The people later left, and they went back down into the house to camp out.

They said that later on that night they were sleeping, and they heard this

huge crashing noise that woke them up.

After it got light, they noticed that a section of the roof they had been climbing

on totally collapsed into the upper rooms of the house. :lol:

I remember walking around in the house a bit. Most of the rooms had fancy

red wallpaper, I remember that. There were quite a few rooms, and had an

upstairs and downstairs. You can see the windows of the upstairs rooms

sticking out of the roof line.

I notice in that pix, there seems to be an outdoor pool in front of that

north building, which I don't even remember when I was there.

But...I'm fairly sure I remember there being a pool directly behind the

house, where that big building is.. So if I'm right, they had not one pool,

but two. One indoors, and one outdoors. Or so it would seem anyway..

I guess that northern building and pool must have been toast, or covered

with brush in the 70's, as I don't even remember seeing them.

But like I say, it was like a jungle, so maybe they were sitting in the brush

rotting away and we couldn't see em.

It's all mowed down flat as a pancake now.. But in looking at the sat pix,

you can still see vague traces of where things once were. Also the property lines

stick out.

Amazing you actually got to go inside! I could just kill to get my hands on any photos of the parties that occurred there in it's prime that is. Someone must have had a camera when celebs or others stepped out of their cool cars/limos. Imagine if there are images of the inside of the roulette wheels or gambling tables? Hope a movie director is reading all of this? :ph34r:B)

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Correct. It was Jakie Friedman's "Domain Privee." Search this site using those terms and you will find several posts about it. It was very classy and exclusive, and was well loved by Houston's movers and shakers. After it closed down in the 50s due to more stringent enforcement of gambling laws (this was about the time of Galveston's Balinese Room's demise, too), Mr. Friedman moved to Las Vegas and created the Sands Hotel.

There was also a famous casino in Galveston called the Hollywood Club, on Stewart Road, near Jones Road. I remember seeing it in the early 50's, when I was a boy.

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There was also a famous casino in Galveston called the Hollywood Club, on Stewart Road, near Jones Road. I remember seeing it in the early 50's, when I was a boy.

Wow, I remember that one, too! It was surrounded by stucco walls and all you could see from the road was the neon sign and the tops of palm trees planted inside the walls.

Even as a child, I had rather peculiar tastes - couldn't wait to grow up, put on an evening gown and go there and to the fabled Balinese Room. Goodness knows where my ideas came from - my parents certainly didn't go for night clubs or gambling...

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The Balinese Room in Galveston has always fascinated me. I am amazed that it is still standing, not only from the "tear down the old - way of thinking", but also from the fact that it is sitting out over the surf. The seashore elements have not disintegrated it. It is still there, right? I think it should be on an episode of "If These Walls Could Talk".

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The Balinese Room in Galveston has always fascinated me. I am amazed that it is still standing, not only from the "tear down the old - way of thinking", but also from the fact that it is sitting out over the surf. The seashore elements have not disintegrated it. It is still there, right? I think it should be on an episode of "If These Walls Could Talk".

Still there, and open for business once again after a renovation:

Visit Galveston's Historic Balinese Room

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Wow, I remember that one, too! It was surrounded by stucco walls and all you could see from the road was the neon sign and the tops of palm trees planted inside the walls.

Even as a child, I had rather peculiar tastes - couldn't wait to grow up, put on an evening gown and go there and to the fabled Balinese Room. Goodness knows where my ideas came from - my parents certainly didn't go for night clubs or gambling...

The Hollywood Dinner Club. The first big Maceo brothers enterprise. It was opened in 1925 and closed in 1939 after a narcotics bust. It boasted gaming tables and fine dining and featured nationally known performers and celebrities. There's an apocryphal story that a Dinner Club bandleader, desperate because of an absent trumpet player, gave a chance to a young kid from Beaumont named Harry James. Later it was used as a storage area for furniture and old gaming equipment from the Balinese Room.

The Hollywood Dinner Club building stood vacant (except for storage) from 1939 until it was destroyed by a fire in 1959. Here are a couple of pictures from the Rosenberg Library, reprinted in Frank Chalfant's book "Galveston: Island of Chance"

HDC in its heyday:

HDC1004.jpg

HDC, vacant and neglected in 1957 before the 1959 fire

HDC1005.jpg

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The Hollywood Dinner Club. The first big Maceo brothers enterprise. It was opened in 1925 and closed in 1939 after a narcotics bust. It boasted gaming tables and fine dining and featured nationally known performers and celebrities. There's an apocryphal story that a Dinner Club bandleader, desperate because of an absent trumpet player, gave a chance to a young kid from Beaumont named Harry James. Later it was used as a storage area for furniture and old gaming equipment from the Balinese Room.

The Hollywood Dinner Club building stood vacant (except for storage) from 1939 until it was destroyed by a fire in 1959. Here are a couple of pictures from the Rosenberg Library, reprinted in Frank Chalfant's book "Galveston: Island of Chance"

HDC in its heyday:

HDC1004.jpg

HDC, vacant and neglected in 1957 before the 1959 fire

Stop the press's!

The right half of that building is still on Broadway! Or at least there is an almost exact duplicate of it. Its now a Mexican Restaurant. If anyone can verify? Its on your left as you drive East on Broadway.

PS, I forgot that famous trumpeteer Harry James was an old Texas boy! Mom was lucky enough to see him play here in Houston back in his hey day. :rolleyes:

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Stop the press's!

The right half of that building is still on Broadway! Or at least there is an almost exact duplicate of it. Its now a Mexican Restaurant. If anyone can verify? Its on your left as you drive East on Broadway.

PS, I forgot that famous trumpeteer Harry James was an old Texas boy! Mom was lucky enough to see him play here in Houston back in his hey day. :rolleyes:

I know what building you mean, but that's an old Coca-Cola bottling plant. It does look similar, and was probably built about the same time. But it's not the same one.

Yes, Harry was born elsewhere but his family moved to Beaumont when he was small. His earliest gigs were in local dance bands.

Edited by marmer
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  • 3 months later...

I was doing some remenissing looking up videos of astroworld, and I some how ended up reading this forum. My eyes almost popped out of my head. I am 43, when I was a child, I went to a school called Town and Country. Across the street and down a bit was an old mansion. My mother and I used to jump the fence and go explore it. I remember the guard house at the gate, the black swimming pool, there was a ballroom with tall marble pillars, and an open stairwell that led down into darkness. I never went there!

I even went into a closet on the upper floor and went through an opening to see an attic with piles of pidgeon poop 6 feet high. On the ground floor there was a bar, with red carpet. Over my visits, someone broke all the mirrors, then later I saw someone had tried to pull the bar out, but it never made it through the door. Inside that bar the floor was covered with trash, and in that trash, I kid you not, I found hundreds of child toy items like crayons, coloring books, army men, little cars, dolls, etc. There were garages out back where I found jars of screws and nails. We called it my haunted mansion.

My grandfather said the owner was busted for gambling, and sent to prison. I never knew anything about this childhood memory till I saw your posts. This is amazing, I have been looking for answers all my life about this. Is there ANYWAY to find pictures of this mansion? You guys are the first people I have run across that even know anything about it!!

And yes, I wanted to metal detect it too!! I even had wild thoughts of using a sizemagraph to locate the basement and dig down to it, cause back then I was chicken to go down there. Silly, huh?

Oh....and the guy with the pony rides on main,.....bought my grand fathers car, last I heard of him, he was arrested for animal cruelty and they led the starving horses off in trailers.

I would LOVE to get old photos of this area, the mansion, the shamrock hilton, especially that 25 foot deep pool I swam in once. But particularly I would love photos and more history on the mansion. I spent many hours exploring that place.

it was not torn down, it was arsoned twice, the second time it burned to the groung according to my grandfather.

Mike aka Cougar!!

ems_cougar at yahoo.com

Edited by emscougar
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All I can say is......oh.....my......God.

You do not realize how long I have searched for memories of this place. The ariel photo even shows the garages I plundered. The outdoor swimming pool is right where I remembered, off to the right of the driveway. Another poster mentioned an indoor pool....my mom kept a tight leash on me and would not let me go into places that looked structuraly unsafe, so I guess I missed that one. I can relate to portions of the roof collapsing, there were portions of the lower roofs down when I was there. And when I poked my head into the attic to see all the bird poop, the roof had hundreds of holes in it, letting the sunlight beam down through onto the dung piles.

These posts have unlocked some more memories too, I remember my grand father telling me about the alligators and I recently saw the same tactics being used in early Las Vegas on the History Channel.

I now remember the red velvet wall paper too. Years later, I ended up getting put into a private boarding school in New Mexico called Brush Ranch. There were two girls there, a Marla Dorfman and a

kristen Rosenthal. After watching the ep on History channel I am now wondering if I went to school with mafia daughters!!

But back to the mansion....yes, it was overgrown, it was a real jungle, The pool to the right of the driveway was filled with black sludge, there was an equestrian type riding boot on the floor of the gate house (which was about the size of a phone booth) wow, this is just bringing a WHOLE lot back.

As I posted earlier, I attended Town & Country school just down the street, it was third grade, and Im figuring I was about 8 years old. I want to do some serious research on this mansion, and learn more, especially since I have now publically admitted to burglarizing a mob bosses house when I was a child!! I'm prolly inline to get whacked now!! :) hahahah!!

But seriously, since I have been there and it is such a part of old memories, I would love to learn as much as I can about the old place. This forum is awsome.

Mike

Sorry bout skipping spell check, Im just so excited to find people who remember this property.

post-6955-1221045902_thumb.jpg

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You guys are lucky you got to see this mysterious place. We used to also sneak into old abandoned big houses (human curiosity) but wouldnt advise now of of course.

I learned a big lesson when going into a large old one on our side of town. It was pitch black inside and I hit my face hard on the newel post of the staircase. :wacko: I saw birds circling round like in the toons. lol

and you are right this forum can be a real scream. Tell all your pals about it!

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Off Topic...

I taught at the Town & Country school for one semester in 1971. I tried to find the location on the current maps, but I can't remember the address and couldn't find anything that looked like the campus. If you could tell me the address, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks

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I found a Google Book about Houston that mentions the Jackie Freedman gambling spot...

LINK.

Kevin Jackson

That one page just answered a lot of questions, then after it sunk in, a million more popped up.

It was actually my grand mother who took me to that mansion, I was an in-family adoption from daughter to mother, my grand parents took me home from the hospital and I have always called them mom and dad. I referred to my grandfather like that in my original post to keep the timeline straight, in the peoples minds who would read it.

My dad, (grandfather) was the president of the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters back then. He talked about the mansion, and I have always been under the impression that William P Hobby was the owner, but now find that it was Jakie Freedman, a close friend. Now,...from what I was told, just a few years before I was born in 65, they had a ratty apartment and office on Tulane ave. But before we moved to Sugar Creek in 72, I was brought up in a large house on south Mcgreggor, with an indoor swimming pool, a Coachman motor home that we traveled the country in during summer months, I had nannies and maids when my parents were at work. Which was a small white office building on Del Rio near OST. We also had a yacht in Galveston Marina. My dad drove a corvair. Mom's sister still has a 300 acre ranch in west texas. I am now starting to wonder where all the money came from all of a sudden. Why would my mom take me to an old abandoned mansion, and climb the gate to explore an old house that you could only see the roof of because of the jungle?

Obviously this place was not open to the public, how would my dad know about the govorner, and the alligators? I remember my parents taking me into hiding once, someone was out to kidnap me, we stayed at lavish hotels with doormen and the works. I was told it was just some fruit cake out to get money from my family, by the name of Vaughn Watts.(spelling?)

And why do I have such a strong emotional and mental attachment to an old house that went to oblivion over 30 years ago?

I think it's about time to have a sit down with my sister/biological mother, My dad is deceased, and mom is not lucid now.

Coug.

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Off Topic...

I taught at the Town & Country school for one semester in 1971. I tried to find the location on the current maps, but I can't remember the address and couldn't find anything that looked like the campus. If you could tell me the address, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks

I just checked the sattelite map,looks like old main street loop road. dont know the exact address, but will prolly swing by there later today. I visited a few years ago and I think they said they were shutting down. looking at the pic it appears that the small kidney shaped pool is still there, the one I learned to swim in. WOW technology is a mind blower. Being able to actually check on something like that from my couch.....back then was pure fantasy.

coug.

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Note duplicate topics merged.

How do I get the most recent topics to the top?

Ok, folks, any help here would be appreciated....I am having trouble finding info on Jakie and the domain. Talked with my sister, she adamantly denies mom and dad having anything to do with the place. But this is getting spooky,......I found out that Vinson & Elkins law firm handled his will. He was friends with the lot of them, even taking some to the kentucky derby each year. I'll give y'all one guess as to where mom worked as a legal secretary before opening Herring Claims Adjusters with dad.

Coug.

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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone have info on the old mansion (looked like a plantation house to me) that was at the curve on S. Main on the right past Stella Link but before Hiram Clarke? It was on the right on what seemed to me to be a rise. I looked on Google and can see what I think is the outline for the old house and a driveway up to it. I used to look at it through binoculars from my upstairs window facing Willowbend. I imagined it was some sort of 30's gambling casino. There was always something going on late at night in the 60's because I could see comings & goings after the drive-in went dark.

Is there any history/articles/books about this area prior to the late 40's early 50's when they started building neighborhoods for returning vets? Woodhaven and Woodcraft (off Stella Link before Willowbend) were some of the first neighborhoods. Lots of tear downs and MacMansions going up on Woodhaven. There couldn't have been much out there and I wondered how much of the land the homeowners might of had at the time.

Thanks for any input. I love this website.

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You may be talking about the 'Domain Privee' which was a swanky club and casino for high-rollers

back in the day. If you do a search on this site you'll find out lots of info.

domain.jpg

Could it have looked like this?

Does anyone have info on the old mansion (looked like a plantation house to me) that was at the curve on S. Main on the right past Stella Link but before Hiram Clarke? It was on the right on what seemed to me to be a rise. I looked on Google and can see what I think is the outline for the old house and a driveway up to it. I used to look at it through binoculars from my upstairs window facing Willowbend. I imagined it was some sort of 30's gambling casino. There was always something going on late at night in the 60's because I could see comings & goings after the drive-in went dark.

Is there any history/articles/books about this area prior to the late 40's early 50's when they started building neighborhoods for returning vets? Woodhaven and Woodcraft (off Stella Link before Willowbend) were some of the first neighborhoods. Lots of tear downs and MacMansions going up on Woodhaven. There couldn't have been much out there and I wondered how much of the land the homeowners might of had at the time.

Thanks for any input. I love this website.

Edited by fortbendtomontrose
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I imagined it was some sort of 30's gambling casino. There was always something going on late at night in the 60's because I could see comings & goings after the drive-in went dark.

Your imagination is quite accurate! Because that's exactly what it was.

But.. It closed in the early 50's, and the owner "Jakie Freedman" moved to Vegas and

started the Sands casino.

In the 60's I imagine it was abandoned as it was in the early 70's when we

used to go in there. So the comings and goings were most likely people

going in there to party, drink beer, etc..

That's what we did.. :rolleyes::lol:

Of course, I guess it could have been legally occupied in the 60's, but

I sort of doubt it judging by the condition of the place in the early 70's.

There is really not much left on the grounds to indicate what was there.

It was all bulldozed and mowed flat, and a fence placed all around the land.

Now, I think new buildings have gone up on the site.

But... unless they have been recently been removed by the new builders,

there is one trace of the old place left. On Old Main, you can still see the

old cement curbs to the entrance of the driveway.

Back when we used to go there, there was also another regular house

a bit farther to the east on the same side of the street, closer to main.

It was lived in back in the 70's. But there is not a trace of it now.

There is at least one other thread about then place, and maybe more..

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...mp;#entry277740

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I bet you are right about the late night teenage parties back then. I could see it after the drive-in went dark so no doubt that was many of the kids leaving & going there. I also imagined the history more like "Gone With the Wind" thinking that the house was much older than the 30's. Do we know that it was newly built by Mr. Freedman or an older home & grounds taken over & livened up? Someone may have told me as a child about it's casino past and I thought I was seeing ghosts! Sounds like it would make a good backdrop for a book.

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  • 4 months later...
The Hollywood Dinner Club. The first big Maceo brothers enterprise. It was opened in 1925 and closed in 1939 after a narcotics bust. It boasted gaming tables and fine dining and featured nationally known performers and celebrities. There's an apocryphal story that a Dinner Club bandleader, desperate because of an absent trumpet player, gave a chance to a young kid from Beaumont named Harry James. Later it was used as a storage area for furniture and old gaming equipment from the Balinese Room.

The Hollywood Dinner Club building stood vacant (except for storage) from 1939 until it was destroyed by a fire in 1959. Here are a couple of pictures from the Rosenberg Library, reprinted in Frank Chalfant's book "Galveston: Island of Chance"

HDC in its heyday:

HDC1004.jpg

HDC, vacant and neglected in 1957 before the 1959 fire

HDC1005.jpg

Great photos.

From the Galveston Architecture Guidebook: 'At 2301 61st Street and Avenue R is the site of the Maceo brothers' famous roadhouse, the Hollywood Dinner Club. It burned in 1959 and was not rebuilt'

There is a Jack-in-the-Box at that location today.

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  • 2 months later...
My father-in-law was a native Houstonian, and he used to talk about an old illegal casino/brothel(?) out Hwy 90. He said it existed after WWII and up into the 1950's. There was an old brick gatehouse just west of the current Beltway on the south side of 90 that he said belonged to the casino...does anyone know about this, or was my late father-in-law yankin' my chain?

Here is an article from the January 2, 1976 Houston Chronicle detailing the final demise of the 'Domain Privee' structure at 11000 Old Main. Apparently built in 1940 and closed in mid-1951, the structure sat abandoned for another 25 years until being burned to the ground in a fire.

freedman.jpg

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Here is a cropped view of the 1960 photo.

Domain_1960.jpg

Here is the area currently.

Domain_Now.jpg

Pardon my ineptness, but I cannot tell from the first photo (cropped 60's shot) where the mansion, driveway, etc. is. I'm assuming it's still standing in the 1960 pic but I cannot see it. Can anyone enlighten me as to where the structure/compound is shown on the early photo? I try to use the 'star' and 'diamond' shapes that were etched into the yard to pinpoint its location but don't see them. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Pardon my ineptness, but I cannot tell from the first photo (cropped 60's shot) where the mansion, driveway, etc. is. I'm assuming it's still standing in the 1960 pic but I cannot see it. Can anyone enlighten me as to where the structure/compound is shown on the early photo? I try to use the 'star' and 'diamond' shapes that were etched into the yard to pinpoint its location but don't see them. Thanks in advance for your help.

post-51-1246824726349_thumb.jpg

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The Balinese Room in Galveston has always fascinated me. I am amazed that it is still standing, not only from the "tear down the old - way of thinking", but also from the fact that it is sitting out over the surf. The seashore elements have not disintegrated it. It is still there, right? I think it should be on an episode of "If These Walls Could Talk".

Sad to run across this old statement of mine...never would have thought the Balinese would soon be destroyed by mother nature. I grew up with it.

BTW - I passed by that J. Freedman property today, was actually was on the expressway. Just realized that the Brocksteins bldg. was close by.

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Sad to run across this old statement of mine...never would have thought the Balinese would soon be destroyed by mother nature. I grew up with it.

BTW - I passed by that J. Freedman property today, was actually was on the expressway. Just realized that the Brocksteins bldg. was close by.

Yes. I tried finding some old photos of the Brocksteins building, in hopes that perhaps a good shot of the Domain Privee might be in the background - but to no avail. The only shot I have found is the Houston Chronicle burn photo posted last week. I'd love a better shot of what the place looked like in it's hay-day. On a completely seperate note (and I know this has been covered here) does anyone know FOR SURE whether or not Old Main Street road that cross the railroad tracks down at the end of the street here, whether or not it curved south and crossed the railroad tracks a SECOND time and joins up with Highway 90!? Some maps indicate that it did, most maps indicate that it didn't. There are remnants of the old Main Street road bed across the tracks to clearly follow it but there is no actual evidence that the road ever crossed the tracks again and met Highway 90. Does anyone know for certain?

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hope the link works

http://www.historicaerials.com/?poi=6578

according to the shot from Historicaerial.com the Old Main Loop did not meet up with Alt 90

Thank you for that historic arial. If you follow the apparent old road of Old Main down the rest of the way, it does look like it comes all the way to the other side of the hedges from Highway 90. It even turns abruptly to the left and faces Highway 90, but doesn't come in contact with it. Hmm...

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  • The title was changed to Jake Friedman's Domain Privee Casino On South Main St.

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