Jump to content

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


Native Son

Recommended Posts

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.

I think the best overhead shot taken while in operation is the one on page two of this

thread. The post by "emscougar" has a link to it. You can clearly see the lawn art, etc.

I think it was one of the pictures in a collection from another site. "Bailey" maybe?

I forgot.. Anyway, it's the best picture I've seen of the place so far, and I think it

was still open when that picture was taken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

I know that this is a 2008 topic but I accidently stumbled upon it and it brought back memories. My fathers sister Natalie Petre, and my oldest sister Theresa and her husband Mike Carrier worked for Jake through all of the 50's. They had known Jake long before the Manson days. After the Mansion Jake went to Vegas and operated the Sands Casino. Theresa went on to work for Mrs Josey's family on Piping Rock and Natalie Petre, her two sons Sammie and Tony went with Jake to Vegas. Jake needed people he trusted to handle his home and personal life so that he could focus on his business.

Sammie had been a mechanic in the US Army and he became Jakes driver. Jake did not like flying so he and Sam would drive back to Houston from Vegas to see his family. After two or three hard trips across the desert in his Cadillac, Jake changed his mind and began to use the commercial airline.

One of my aunts most favorite story while working and cooking for Jake was: Danny Thomas knew Jake well and he knew that Jake knew most of the high rollers in Vegas. In short he knew where to find money. Danny went over to Jakes for lunch and my aunt Natalie served a light meal and drinks. Danny began to tell Jake of his plans to start a foundation. A commitment to St. Jude that would require a substantial amount of money to get started. He ask for Jakes help in finding contributators. Jake came through and was able to help but what was so touching about her story was; during the conversation between Danny and Jake she overheard enough to ask Mr. Thomas if she could make a contribution. He kindly said yes. She reached into her purse and gave what she could and she was proud that he had allowed her to help. Aunt Natalie was a hardworking (domestic) kindly person who spent most of her time at the home of her employer. All that she had that was dear to her was her family, her church ( Our Mother of Mercy, 5th Ward) and Mr & Mrs Freedman. Their picture hung on her livingroom wall until the day she died. I will always remember the stories about the Mansion, small disagreements he had with Frank Sanatra, how much he mistrusted Glen McCathty and mayy more. Thanks for the memories.

Ron Kerelegon, Houston

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

hope the link works

http://www.historica...s.com/?poi=6578

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

I know that this is a 2008 topic but I accidently stumbled upon it and it brought back memories. My fathers sister Natalie Petre, and my oldest sister Theresa and her husband Mike Carrier worked for Jake through all of the 50's. They had known Jake long before the Manson days. After the Mansion Jake went to Vegas and operated the Sands Casino. Theresa went on to work for Mrs Josey's family on Piping Rock and Natalie Petre, her two sons Sammie and Tony went with Jake to Vegas. Jake needed people he trusted to handle his home and personal life so that he could focus on his business.

Sammie had been a mechanic in the US Army and he became Jakes driver. Jake did not like flying so he and Sam would drive back to Houston from Vegas to see his family. After two or three hard trips across the desert in his Cadillac, Jake changed his mind and began to use the commercial airline.

One of my aunts most favorite story while working and cooking for Jake was: Danny Thomas knew Jake well and he knew that Jake knew most of the high rollers in Vegas. In short he knew where to find money. Danny went over to Jakes for lunch and my aunt Natalie served a light meal and drinks. Danny began to tell Jake of his plans to start a foundation. A commitment to St. Jude that would require a substantial amount of money to get started. He ask for Jakes help in finding contributators. Jake came through and was able to help but what was so touching about her story was; during the conversation between Danny and Jake she overheard enough to ask Mr. Thomas if she could make a contribution. He kindly said yes. She reached into her purse and gave what she could and she was proud that he had allowed her to help. Aunt Natalie was a hardworking (domestic) kindly person who spent most of her time at the home of her employer. All that she had that was dear to her was her family, her church ( Our Mother of Mercy, 5th Ward) and Mr & Mrs Freedman. Their picture hung on her livingroom wall until the day she died. I will always remember the stories about the Mansion, small disagreements he had with Frank Sanatra, how much he mistrusted Glen McCathty and mayy more. Thanks for the memories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Cougar and Kerleq, thanks SO much for your contributions! The information you both provided is fascinating and I especially enjoyed hearing about your Aunt's personal experiences with Freedman and his associates, including movie stars from back in the day. I do remember my first visit to Las Vegas in the mid-60s with my parents and we stayed at the Sahara Hotel, which is now long gone. The entertainers performing there were Pat Boone and Harry James. My mother was beside herself because she saw both Harry James and his wife, the old Hollywood movie star, Betty Grable, at the hotel bar. And keeping in mind that this was long before LV became 'kid friendly,' I saw these tall, magnificent showgirls tanning topless at the Sahara pool to avoid tan lines. My mother threw a towel over my head and took me back to our room until it was "safe" to return. :DB)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread reminds me of a story...

Some years back - maybe around a decade ago - I was driving along in the southwest part of the city with a splitting headache. I spied a retail drugstore in a strip center and decided to stop in for something to relieve it. I parked on the side of the drugstore and walked up to a door which I thought was an entrance. I opened it and stepped inside - into a dark lobby, behind which people were playing slots and video poker. A very large, muscular man was seated on a stool in front of me. In a low, deep growl, he asked, "Can I help you?"...

Me: Umm... This... isn't... the drugstore.

Him: Nope. It's next door.

Me: Oh, sorry. My mistake.

I turned to leave when he called out to me...

Him: Hey!

I turned back very slowly... "Yes?"

Him: You didn't see nuthin'

Me: Iiii didn't see... nuthin'

I never did get that headache medicine... :lol:

Edited by Simbha
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Would anyone like more information on the mansion? I can tell you what it looked like inside. My grandfather was the caretaker there for many years and he and grandma lived in the garage apartment. I would visit and stay with them in the summers- this was 1955 to 1967. After my grandpa died, my aunt lived there for a few years and when she moved out it went to ruin- about 1970 by that time and later it burned down.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought I remember reading on this thread--maybe it was a similar one, about a serious high-roller illegal casino, like the "break your legs" type place. I specifically remember reading that the owner would send teenagers home without entry (but not without giving them something like a Coca-Cola)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I talked to my friend; he remembers the building, and his family was living on Craighead at the time of the fire.  He says someone was trying to save the building at the time it burned down.

He didn't have much else to say about it otherwise.

The family sitll owns land on Craighead.  He says that the casino property is owned by Rice, and the current building is a Rice data center.  (HCAD lists it as belonging to a company in New York.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

FYI... there was no indoor pool.-only the large casino building. The bar had an ebony grand piano and lighted stain glass panels of devil women (wine, women, song). There was a bookcase on the west side of the room that would swing away to reveal a hidden office for times when they would get raided. on the back side of the building were private gambling rooms.

In one photo posted you can see a three car garage but that was expanded to a 6 car garage with two garage apartments (grandma and grandpa lived in one and his gardener lived in the other) and the gambling hall was also lengthened. Someone said that photo was circa 1950 but I know it was much earlier that. probably 1930. There were a lot more trees and shrubbery that were full grown by 1955. A large rose garden was in front of the pool.

The house had a large curved staircase. One of the upstairs bathrooms had black sink and toilet and bathtub. Everything was very art deco. I have a few pieces of furniture from the house. The extension at the end of the house was a huge kitchen. My grandma canned pickles, jams and sauerkraut there.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

I just stumbled on this thread by accident.  I sorta lived in this house for awhile.  Technically, I dated the daughter of the woman (Esther) who lived in the house in a caretaker role.  I wonder if this is kinfolk of Starryart.  When I was drafted in 1970 I was living in a quadplex on West Gray and had no other permanent home address and had to use that Old Main address of my by-then fiancée, so all my Army paperwork shows that as my PHA.  I have a lot of photos of the place somewhere.  Interesting note...I think everyone near my age remembers where they were when we landed on the moon.  I was scraping down the sides of the swimming pool.  We had decided to try to clean it out and get it functional again (we did!) and recruited the oldest son Ben, who was living in the servant's quarters in the rear at the time and someone else (maybe DeeDee or Nathan) to help.  Someone came down from the house and said we were close to landing so we went in and watched. 

    We never went in the casino part much.  I remember high ceilings and dark walls with some risqué murals.  I am not sure that it even had functioning lights at that time.  I remember the tiny hidden office with the revolving bookcase door that I saw mentioned.  I thought it was like something straight out of the movies.

    I remember the first night I took C**** home.  We drove up to that big gate with the guard shack and all...I thought I must be dating a movie star!  Soon found out she was just living there in an arrangement that I never knew all the details of.  I am not sure what Esther's connection was to the owners.  When I came back to the States after my Army service, it was gone.  All that was so long ago it almost seems like a different life. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in this house for several years.  My grandfather started out as a guard at the gate and later became the caretaker when Mr. Freedman moved to Las Vegas.  I learned to swim in the pool and played in the rooms in the gambling section of the of the casino.  We stayed there when hurricane Carla came thru. After my grandfather passed away my mother and my brothers and sister and I moved in the big house. There were three bed rooms and two full baths up stairs with a fire place in the master bed room.  There was NO indoor pool just three huge rooms in the casino. One was the bar with padded green walls and  a lighted bar with glass shelves.  I still have some of the glasses from the bar.  The room in the middle had black light pictures on the wall of the devil and his women. Off to the left was a small office with a revolving bookcase. behind the bookcase was a small room for hiding gambling equipment and a safe that was left behind. The third room was empty. but it had a small office off to left by the back door. On the walls were pictures of all of Mr. Freedman"s race horses. If you would like more information about this place I would be happy to give it to you.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in this house for several years. My grandfather started out as a guard at the gate and later became the caretaker when Mr. Freedman moved to Las Vegas. I learned to swim in the pool and played in the rooms in the gambling section of the of the casino. We stayed there when hurricane Carla came thru. After my grandfather passed away my mother and my brothers and sister and I moved in the big house. There were three bed rooms and two full baths up stairs with a fire place in the master bed room. There was NO indoor pool just three huge rooms in the casino. One was the bar with padded green walls and a lighted bar with glass shelves. I still have some of the glasses from the bar. The room in the middle had black light pictures on the wall of the devil and his women. Off to the left was a small office with a revolving bookcase. behind the bookcase was a small room for hiding gambling equipment and a safe that was left behind. The third room was empty. but it had a small office off to left by the back door. On the walls were pictures of all of Mr. Freedman"s race horses. If you would like more information about this place I would be happy to give it to you.

That's AWESOME!

Any old pics to share?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Not sure how I got it in my head that there was an indoor pool.. Maybe I was confused to the location

being as it was so overgrown at the time. I can see from the older pictures that you could loop around

the driveway without stopping even in the old days. So I guess what I thought were carved out driving

trails in the overgrown grass, were actually tracings of the original drive that looped around the garden

area, or whatever it was, east of the house. I think it was the summer of 1974 when we went there.

I remember I was driving the first car I had back in those days, and I'm pretty sure I was 17 at the time

as I remember that summer pretty well.  In the 1973 archive image, it doesn't look as overgrown from the

air as it actually was that next summer we were there. I vaquely remember we went there one night late that

summer, and the police came and ran everyone off. I think that was the last time I went there.

And I guess it was 2 years later when it burned down. At that time, I didn't have any real clue as to it's history.

But even in it's run down shape, I could tell it must have been a pretty fancy place in it's day.

The grass and weeds must have been 3 ft tall when we were there. It was pretty thick as I recall.

Hard to believe it's been 40+ years since then.. Where did all the time go...  :mellow:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

I use to spend the night here.  I was friends with DeeDee.  We cheered at Fun Football together.  I saw the Casino as well and knew about the hidden doors, there were glasses still hanging up and velvet walls.  However, it was spooky to me and never went back in.  Her room was up stairs and when the wind blew it was a little scary.  We would listen, sign and dance to Elvis Presley.  Dee Dee and her family were very nice.  I lost contact with them after they moved.  I am not sure what happened and as it is stated they tore it down.  It was old and needed a lot of work.  It is sad since it was a piece of history.  If I am not mistaken it was next to Brockstein Brothers on Main St. by the over pass going to Sugar Land.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...