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Old Houston Amusement Places


belmontdrew

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  • 1 month later...

http://digital.lib.uh.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/p15195coll1&CISOPTR=200&REC=3 Scene in Highland Park. ...from the University of Houston On-Line Archives Collection The Magnolia City (1904) (Part 3) Click on Pg.5

Drag the bar inside the page down for the caption.

Edited by NenaE
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  • 3 years later...

I'm willing to go out on a limb and say Lake Island didn't last very long, probably because it was aimed at adults, with dancing and beer, and it was outdoors. I'm speculating that a guy named Wes Oldfield bought it and turned it into the Gateway Swimming Pool and Skating Rink complex for grownups and kids.

 

I say this because the Gateway Pool was at precisely the same location as the Lake Island complex. On Main one block south of OST. A Super Target store and parking lot now covers that location. Here's a link to more information about Gateway with a historic aerial shot of where it was:

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-gateway-swimming-pool-on-south-main

Edited by FilioScotia
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I'm willing to go out on a limb and say Lake Island didn't last very long, probably because it was aimed at adults, with dancing and beer, and it was outdoors. I'm speculating that a guy named Wes Oldfield bought it and turned it into the Gateway Swimming Pool and Skating Rink complex for grownups and kids.

 

I say this because the Gateway Pool was at precisely the same location as the Lake Island complex. On Main one block south of OST. A Super Target store and parking lot now covers that location. Here's a link to more information about Gateway with a historic aerial shot of where it was:

 

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-gateway-swimming-pool-on-south-main

 

Filio...  I agree that it was probably short-lived, but the Target is at 8510 Main, and this was at 8301, on the odd number side.  Also, the ad is from July, 1947, and your link says Gateway was built in 1946.

 

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I'm fascinated by the apparent fact that there were two competing water parks across South Main from each other in the late 40s and 50s, and there seems to be no trace of them now.

 

The Gateway pool was in a grassy area  just north of the spot where the Target store is now, which would put in or right next to the 8300 block of  Main.

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The advertisement shown above says Lake Island was at 8301 Main, which would put it a block south of the Main-OST merge, and directly across Main from the Gateway Pool complex.

 

The ad also says it was behind Prince's Restaurant, which doesn't make any sense. Look at the aerial photo. The only thing behind that Prince's was OST. I can't see any evidence of a water-themed recreation area for grownups anywhere on the east side of Main. 

Edited by FilioScotia
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The advertisement shown above says Lake Island was at 8301 Main, which would put it a block south of the Main-OST merge, and directly across Main from the Gateway Pool complex.

 

The ad also says it was behind Prince's Restaurant, which doesn't make any sense. Look at the aerial photo. The only thing behind that Prince's was OST. I can't see any evidence of a water-themed recreation area for grownups anywhere on the east side of Main. 

 

I think it says it was behind Price's Restaurant, not Princes, would could explain the discrepancy.  

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Both of you are correct.  I began looking for a Price's Restaurant on the internet and couldn't find anything.  Maybe someone who has accress to a Houston phone book circa 1947 timeframe can find something.  I did find an ad for a Price;s Restaurant in an old high school yearbook from 1953, located at Prairie and San Jacinto, so Price's did exist and most likely at the South Main location at one time.  Looking at the HCAD map, I could find no 8300-8400 addresses that exist today.  I did find this  that shows the addresses for that area I had noted for the possible location,  The 8301 must have been farther south as Filio noted.  Price's must have been at 8301, since Lake Island was behind it at 8301-1/2.  It would have to have been on the east side though, since even nos. were on the west and even nos. on the east side.  Since the aerial picture was from 1953, a lot could change from 1947.  It was most likely a flop

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Only location for Price's I can find is at 501 San Jacinto in the 1954 city directory. The directories for the years prior are truncated on Ancestry. I may be able to get over to the Clayton Library tomorrow. If so, I'll see what I can find.

 

In the 1944 and 1953 Google Earth images, there is an amusement park at what is now Main and Murworth, with a very large roller coaster. It's on the East side of Main

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Only location for Price's I can find is at 501 San Jacinto in the 1954 city directory. The directories for the years prior are truncated on Ancestry. I may be able to get over to the Clayton Library tomorrow. If so, I'll see what I can find.

 

In the 1944 and 1953 Google Earth images, there is an amusement park at what is now Main and Murworth, with a very large roller coaster. It's on the East side of Main

 

That's Playland Park.

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And Playland Park was an old carny style amusement park with no water related attractions, other than the tank with the small boat kiddie ride.

 

My fellow HAIF'ers we have a mystery. We have an old newspaper ad promoting what appeared to be a semi-outdoor water-themed honky tonk with beer, setups and dancing, supposedly at 8301 Main. Unfortunately, that ad is ALL we have. Even with the address in the ad, nobody here had been able to find any evidence of where it was, or any credible evidence that it even existed.  

 

I'm willing to theorize that somebody named Al Gomillion tried to start up a place like that but it failed, or never even opened. Notice the ad says the people in the photos were models. That tells me he didn't have any happy customers to pose for the ad. If it opened it didn't last long because it didn't leave any footprints. 

 

The floor is open.......

Edited by FilioScotia
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Both of you are correct.  I began looking for a Price's Restaurant on the internet and couldn't find anything.  Maybe someone who has accress to a Houston phone book circa 1947 timeframe can find something.  I did find an ad for a Price;s Restaurant in an old high school yearbook from 1953, located at Prairie and San Jacinto, so Price's did exist and most likely at the South Main location at one time.  Looking at the HCAD map, I could find no 8300-8400 addresses that exist today.  I did find this  that shows the addresses for that area I had noted for the possible location,  The 8301 must have been farther south as Filio noted.  Price's must have been at 8301, since Lake Island was behind it at 8301-1/2.  It would have to have been on the east side though, since even nos. were on the west and even nos. on the east side.  Since the aerial picture was from 1953, a lot could change from 1947.  It was most likely a flop

 

Was supposed to be odd. 

 

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Wasn't at one time Main was completely different, with only Old Main Street Loop Road being the only remnant today? I thought I read something on HAIF about that...

 

I think that originally Main Street didn't extend beyond Braes Bayou, and that Old Main Street Loop Road was the route southwest.  

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  • 2 years later...
On ‎7‎/‎28‎/‎2015 at 5:23 PM, Subdude said:

 

I think that originally Main Street didn't extend beyond Braes Bayou, and that Old Main Street Loop Road was the route southwest.  

A section of Old Main Street Loop still exist (where Stella Link terminates) - the rest was abandoned since the 1980s (part of the route was paved over by the Central Houston Nissan dealership but the stub outs still remain; another chunk north of the South Loop faded out since the 1960s when the Astrodome was built and a small section NE of Reliant Center is still there)

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 months later...
On 7/28/2015 at 4:09 PM, IronTiger said:

Wasn't at one time Main was completely different, with only Old Main Street Loop Road being the only remnant today? I thought I read something on HAIF about that...

 

I had no idea there was an old South Main... I've been tracing it tonight, using GoogleEarth - old (1940's-50's) views along with the new maps... you can still detect the road's path. Parts are overgrown or completely covered by new development. There are road blocks that hint at where the old path crosses over other newer roads. And what's up with those loop roads? One is over by Holmes Rd.

 

You can see where the Old Main St. takes a somewhat sharp turn around Knight and Fannin, forks off right after crossing Old Spanish Trail (Alt 90) and passes behind the Astrodome.

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1 hour ago, NenaE said:

 

I had no idea there was an old South Main... I've been tracing it tonight, using GoogleEarth - old (1940's-50's) views along with the new maps... you can still detect the road's path. Parts are overgrown or completely covered by new development. There are road blocks that hint at where the old path crosses over other newer roads. And what's up with those loop roads? One is over by Holmes Rd.

 

You can see where the Old Main St. takes a somewhat sharp turn around Knight and Fannin, forks off right after crossing Old Spanish Trail (Alt 90) and passes behind the Astrodome.

According to an old topographic map from the early 20s, Old Main was the original route before the current route was built. Main St. ended at current day Holcombe. Main Street Road intersected with Main St. near its terminus. That part of Main Street Road still exists in the Medical Center as a small stub called Old Main St. between Main and Fannin. Main Street Road then followed current day Fannin and Knight Rd before jogging to the SW and crossing the tracks to join the route parallel to the tracks (currently US90A). The maps don't say what the road parallel to the tracks was called back then, but it was probably known as Holmes Rd.

Edited by JLWM8609
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The section between modern-day Buffalo Speedway and 610 was completely removed between 1978 and 1989 with a "stub road" at both ends. Yet when Advenir apartments were built, a section of their parking lot was built directly on the right of way (likely due to the way land was split), and THAT was marked as Old Main Street Loop Road on Google Maps!

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
On 6/20/2005 at 1:57 PM, belmontdrew said:

Does anyone remember these old amusement places in Houston? what they were called? where there may be pictures of them?

The ski slope at the intersection of 610 West Loop and Southwest Freeway which later became...

The waterslide at the intersection of 610 West Loop and Southwest Freeway which finally became...

Lone Star Amphitheatre at the intersection of 610 West Loop and Southwest Freeway

OR HOW ABOUT...

Malibu go-cart raceway and arcade at the Southwest Freeway

Games-People-Play...I believe it was on Fondren....big 80's hangout with arcade, waterslides and go carts..

The little go cart place off westpark (Southwest Freeway ran in front of it)..the track was lined with red and white tires...

B)

Peppermint Park was another one on South Main in the 40s to 70s.

 

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15 hours ago, ggmsmolly said:

Peppermint Park was another one on South Main in the 40s to 70s.

 

Playland Park was the one on South Main. Peppermint Park was initially in Pasadena & later between Gulf Freeway & Reveille (before I 610 built). It was a kiddie park. I worked there, running the rides, in 1960, 61 & 62 as a teenager.

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8 hours ago, ernie5823 said:

Playland Park was the one on South Main. Peppermint Park was initially in Pasadena & later between Gulf Freeway & Reveille (before I 610 built). It was a kiddie park. I worked there, running the rides, in 1960, 61 & 62 as a teenager.

Thank you so much for the clarification.

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  • 2 years later...
On 1/10/2006 at 10:46 PM, sprintcar said:

Actually Billy Wade was the best at Meyer Speedway.Another Billy, Billy Griswold was pretty much unbeatable at Playland. The car owner was Johnny Reiff I worked for Johnny & often drove the car when the races were moved to Meyer after Blackie Lothringer's crash which sent him into the spectator stands at Playland.

I grew up across the street from Big Johnny, his wife Sara and Daughter Patty baby sat me as a child, I remember the Impala Sara drove and the 240zx Patty drove and the big garage he had in his back yard, remember going to his shop but was to young to remember where it was.

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