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Researching Historic Riverside Terrace - your ideas?


sheeats

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I'm currently working on an article about Riverside Terrace (you know, the neighborhood of stately homes on MacGregor, just off 288, that faces Braes Bayou...) and I want to do it justice. This has long been my favorite neighborhood in the entire city, not just because of the homes themselves but because of the history. I feel like so many people don't realize how or why Riverside Terrace was founded (wealthy Jewish families that weren't allowed to build/live in River Oaks in the 1930s) and it's very sad that many of the homes have fallen into disrepair. I go there to drive around all the time, just to look at the houses and appreciate the view: the bayou, with downtown's skyline in the background, is fan-freaking-tastic.

Could anyone point me to some resources for doing more research into the architects who built the homes and which homes were occupied by which families (i.e. the Finger family, the Sakowitz family, etc.)? I'm entirely unfamiliar with doing this kind of research and thought I'd ask the experts... :)

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I'm currently working on an article about Riverside Terrace (you know, the neighborhood of stately homes on MacGregor, just off 288, that faces Braes Bayou...) and I want to do it justice. This has long been my favorite neighborhood in the entire city, not just because of the homes themselves but because of the history. I feel like so many people don't realize how or why Riverside Terrace was founded (wealthy Jewish families that weren't allowed to build/live in River Oaks in the 1930s) and it's very sad that many of the homes have fallen into disrepair. I go there to drive around all the time, just to look at the houses and appreciate the view: the bayou, with downtown's skyline in the background, is fan-freaking-tastic.

Could anyone point me to some resources for doing more research into the architects who built the homes and which homes were occupied by which families (i.e. the Finger family, the Sakowitz family, etc.)? I'm entirely unfamiliar with doing this kind of research and thought I'd ask the experts... smile.gif

Don't forget all the large homes that surrounded Parkwood Park.... I believe some of those folks (Sakowitz, Battlesteins, etc.) lived in the homes around the park as well.

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Depending on the depth of research you're planning to do, I'd consider some or all of the following:

(1) Looking at the various past threads on the houses on HAIF.

(2) Talking to someone at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. They can be very helpful, but call first as I think their hours are or will be different because of the construction at the Ideson building.

(3) Looking for archival material on the architects/homes/neighborhood on TARO. Looking quickly, I saw:

Oscar Holcombe Collection @ HMRC ("Of particular interest is the material available on the development of the Herman Park and Braes Bayou areas of Houston during the 1920's. Blue print drawings and reports are included in the collection.")

A Guide to the Hogg Family Papers, 1895-1948 ("1929-1935 MacGregor Drive Development Company")

(4) Searching old Galveston newspaper articles on newspaperarchive.com - you can often find a lot of information there just on your computer. [speaking of which, I would LOVE to see a Press story sometime on why Houstonians have such poor access (compared to other major cities) to the wealth of historical information contained in the Post and Chron archives. Rumors abound.]

Good luck with the article!

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I'm currently working on an article about Riverside Terrace (you know, the neighborhood of stately homes on MacGregor, just off 288, that faces Braes Bayou...) and I want to do it justice. This has long been my favorite neighborhood in the entire city, not just because of the homes themselves but because of the history. I feel like so many people don't realize how or why Riverside Terrace was founded (wealthy Jewish families that weren't allowed to build/live in River Oaks in the 1930s) and it's very sad that many of the homes have fallen into disrepair. I go there to drive around all the time, just to look at the houses and appreciate the view: the bayou, with downtown's skyline in the background, is fan-freaking-tastic.

Could anyone point me to some resources for doing more research into the architects who built the homes and which homes were occupied by which families (i.e. the Finger family, the Sakowitz family, etc.)? I'm entirely unfamiliar with doing this kind of research and thought I'd ask the experts... :)

I'd think one of the first things you might want to look at is a documentary that was made about 15 or 20 years ago called "This House Is Not For Sale". I believe it includes a lot of the history on this area from it's development, into the '70s.

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Thanks so much to everyone for their help. The length of the piece (and the timeframe for completing it) were cut, so it ended up as a simple blog post instead. But if you'd like to read it and see the slideshow of images, you can find them here:

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/08/houston_101_the_forgotten_mans.php

One day I'd love to sit down and be as thorough as possible in putting together a feature on this neighborhood...

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http://www.houstonar...rt%20deco&st=20

2506 Riverside Dr. & N. Old MacGregor Way (see @ post #37)

It's by one of the old bends in the bayou, the old route of the bayou, close to Hwy 288, Old MacGregor Way. I know you know that area, we've talked about it. I was shocked when I ran across it, on GoogleEarth. Hidden Gem.

Edited by NenaE
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Oh, no - that first house has got to be 2615 Riverside. One of my sister's two best friends at Lamar in the 60's lived there. I remember the huge entrance hall. How sad.

I've seen that one. It sits very close to Hwy 288. You can tell how the neighborhood got chopped, from how the nice homes abruptly just end at a feeder road. The photo collection on HAR didn't show that, when that house was for sale.

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  • 7 months later...

Ah yes - we went by there and he talked to us for a little while. The story's true - he mentioned he had very high $ offers (a neighbor confirmed this) but he's planning on passing it on to his children. Too bad he hasn't been able to maintain it..

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  • 1 year later...

Some day, I wish a millionaire UH or TSU alumni would buy that Finger/ Weingarten house as a study in Houston's great architectural past. UT and A&M have programs in Historic Preservation. UH's Dept. of Architecture could study it. It would be a great project in Architecture - Historic Preservation. Alas, we all have our dreams, don't we.

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