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Westbury Square Memory video


devonhart

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Nice job....though it was much more than a "hippie" destination. It appealed to a cross-section of visitors and shoppers.

I guess I didn't get my point across--among the ice cream, candles and hand blown glass, i.e., mainstream culture, was a counter culture shop. Which I thought was unusual as a kid, there was Montrose and downtown where the hippies were, and there was suburbia where the straight folks were. This weird mix happened at our house a couple time a year, my Dad's friends at his long-time hangout, a bar in Montrose (the Hut) had gone "hippie" and he would invite the long hairs for New Years Day to our Willow Meadows home.

Edited by devonhart
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Westbury Square was before my time, so I admit my perspective may be skewed..

I'm guessing if the counter-culture/hippie component hadn't have latched on to the place, nobody would give a damn about Westbury Square today. Certainly it wouldn't have maintained the aura of cool that it has.

By today's standards... it's suburban and a faux disneyworld lifestyle center... everything Urbanistas hate.

I understand that this outdoor concept was pretty ahead of its time for Houston .. but still, would it have still maintained this aura and reputation without the hippies.. I doubt it.

Props for the well done video however.. Good job.

Untitled-5.jpg

Edited by Highway6
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I don't know anything about Vintage Park (other than it does have a likeness to Westbury Square from the above images) but I like the idea of that kind of shopping concept. Clarifying - I like the idea of inward shopping opposed to the inside-out layout (like what happened to Meyerland Mall...bleh!).

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Inspired by the Westbury thread here, I googled like crazy to find photos.

I remember Westbury Square as the place to be after the football games at Butler stadium. Then cruise over to Gasmer and S. Post Oak to Toronados for some serious foosball.

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Westbury Square was before my time, so I admit my perspective may be skewed..

I'm guessing if the counter-culture/hippie component hadn't have latched on to the place, nobody would give a damn about Westbury Square today. Certainly it wouldn't have maintained the aura of cool that it has.

By today's standards... it's suburban and a faux disneyworld lifestyle center... everything Urbanistas hate.

I understand that this outdoor concept was pretty ahead of its time for Houston .. but still, would it have still maintained this aura and reputation without the hippies.. I doubt it.

Props for the well done video however.. Good job.

Untitled-5.jpg

Oh how wrong you are. All the shopping districts are going "outdoors" these days. To say Westbury Square wouldn't be popular today is saying the "Village" or many other outdoor concepts are not attracting people today. It's just ashamed a tax evasion slumloard bougjht the place in the 90's.  

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Oh how wrong you are. All the shopping districts are going "outdoors" these days. To say Westbury Square wouldn't be popular today is saying the "Village" or many other outdoor concepts are not attracting people today. It's just ashamed a tax evasion slumloard bougjht the place in the 90's.

I agree an outdoor shopping area would be popular today.. with the consumers. I never said otherwise.

I said it wouldn't be remembered so fondly today if it weren't for the hippies and the "cool" factor they attached to it.

By today's architectural standards, Westbury Square should have been universally hated. It was in the suburbs. It was contrived. It was a Hollywood set.... The same reasons that today nobody with an Inner Loop mentality would consider Vintage Park, Sugarland Town Square, or Pearland Town Center architectural gems or cool places to go.

Vintage Park = Boring, Fake

Vintage Park plus Hipster Infiltration = Awesomeness

Edited by Highway6
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Westbury Square was before my time, so I admit my perspective may be skewed..

I'm guessing if the counter-culture/hippie component hadn't have latched on to the place, nobody would give a damn about Westbury Square today. Certainly it wouldn't have maintained the aura of cool that it has.

By today's standards... it's suburban and a faux disneyworld lifestyle center... everything Urbanistas hate.

I understand that this outdoor concept was pretty ahead of its time for Houston .. but still, would it have still maintained this aura and reputation without the hippies.. I doubt it.

Props for the well done video however.. Good job.

Untitled-5.jpg

Isn't part of the difference that despite the physical resemblance, somewhere like Vintage Park is for chains (Old Navy etc) while Westbury Square was about small localized merchants. I can see how this would have lent a totallly different character.

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Isn't part of the difference that despite the physical resemblance, somewhere like Vintage Park is for chains (Old Navy etc) while Westbury Square was about small localized merchants. I can see how this would have lent a totallly different character.

That was my initial thought too. Back then, if someone wanted to shop a chain, they drove on down to Meyerland Plaza and Penney's. Or out to Gulfgate with Sakowitz and Joske's. Westbury Square was there to experience a 'different' sort of shopping. It had a boutique, or one of a kind feel about it before we called them boutiques.

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I said it wouldn't be remembered so fondly today if it weren't for the hippies and the "cool" factor they attached to it.

Yeah. I'm totally with you there. With the right management I think it could have still been a hit. It's so cool to go eat and then stroll around. Thats why City Centere, the Woodlands Market Place and so many Town Centers are cropping up. If anything Westbury Square was ahead of it's time. 

ps: The Houston "hippies" were the ones into "cool" places back then. Everyone else was into air conditioned malls. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

We now live in Westbury and for awhile, there appeared to be some 'hold-out' residents living in the second floor apartments at Westbury Square, most notably in the front section facing W. Bellfort near a main entrance overlooking the parking lot. There were two balconies filled with potted plants and a TV dish. But around early 2010, those balconies were cleared off and it appears that this iconic shopping center may indeed be getting closer to demolition. My husband grew up in Bellaire and vividly remembers his teen years 'hanging out' at Westbury Square and the even cooler people who rented apartments there. My 15 y/o son recently rode his bike over there and shot some photos of the remaining debris. I'll post soon. It's sad. mellow.gif

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  • 3 weeks later...

I grew up in Meyerland and had an aunt & uncle in Westbury. We went there often. With only a couple of exceptions (I think there was a Tuesday Morning in the early 70s), it was indeed small local merchants. Rumpleheimer's Ice Cream was a high point for a kid, of course. As was smelling all the candle smells. There was also a Brittain's Brolier Burger there with fake carousel animals for the kids to sit on while they ate.

The only place that was hippie-cool that I recall was Village Inn Pizza, and that was because they had folk musicians who played there. It was not Montrose or Market Square. But it was a favorite haunt of people in Southwest Houston.

Nice job on the video.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The only place that was hippie-cool that I recall was Village Inn Pizza, and that was because they had folk musicians who played there.

Ah,Village Inn, that's one of two places I saw a streaker in 1974. A dude came running in stark naked, then ran out. The other time was at the Stella Link Jack-in-Box drive thru, naked guy jumps out of the car ahead of us, then jumps back in and peels away.

Edited by devonhart
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  • 3 months later...
  • 10 months later...

Y

ps: The Houston "hippies" were the ones into "cool" places back then. Everyone else was into air conditioned malls. 

and pissin everywhere but the restrooms there. The hippies are what killed Westbury Square. I knew some shop owners there that moved out because they were tired of the hippies running off their customers. The entire concept of the center was shop owners could have apartments over their stores. Plus in the late 70s the center was purchased by a landlord that refused to keep the upkeep on the place.

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and pissin everywhere but the restrooms there. The hippies are what killed Westbury Square. I knew some shop owners there that moved out because they were tired of the hippies running off their customers. The entire concept of the center was shop owners could have apartments over their stores. Plus in the late 70s the center was purchased by a landlord that refused to keep the upkeep on the place.

I don't know where you get your information from but I strongly disagree. Those "hippies" is what kept it alive for so long. Not just hippies but young people in general. What killed it, as you did point out was the terrible landowners and management. They kept raising the rent but did nothing to improve the place and did minimal maintenance. I knew some shop owners that just got fed up with the management and left. (They actually loved the "hippies").

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  • 2 years later...

I just heard a rumor that they are tearing down the rest of it.

 

It's true.

 

http://www.click2houston.com/news/westbury-square-demolition-underway/-/1735978/24351734/-/gstq5kz/-/index.html

 

Some of the bricks and lamp posts and being preserved, and the blueprints were found on the property.

Edited by JLWM8609
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