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http://idylwood.org/...ylwood/history/

...this was posted earlier in another Idylwood topic.

Thanks for the pics, wow, you can tell the age of the neighborhood from viewing Wallingford's photos.

Love those auto models and time period.

Is that house still there? I tried to look for it on GoogleEarth, but the site doesn't work as good as it used to, IMO, garbles the street view most of the time :(

Edited by NenaE
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http://idylwood.org/...ylwood/history/

...this was posted earlier in another Idylwood topic.

Thanks for the pics, wow, you can tell the age of the neighborhood from viewing Wallingford's photos.

Love those auto models and time period.

Is that house still there? I tried to look for it on GoogleEarth, but the site doesn't work as good as it used to, IMO, garbles the street view most of the time :(

If you plug sylvan at Idylwood into Google Maps, it should take you pretty close, then move toward the bend where Sylvan goes into MacGregor Way, and you will find it (over-exposed because of the sunlight) right at the beginning of the bend. It's still a beautiful house.

ETA: Attached file of what it looks like on Google Maps.

post-402-0-11126600-1317408355_thumb.jpg

Edited by travelguy_73
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If you plug sylvan at Idylwood into Google Maps, it should take you pretty close, then move toward the bend where Sylvan goes into MacGregor Way, and you will find it (over-exposed because of the sunlight) right at the beginning of the bend. It's still a beautiful house.

ETA: Attached file of what it looks like on Google Maps.

Thanks Travelguy, nice to know it's still there, with elevated sloping lot, love that neighborhood!

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Here is a picture of the home in the original post of the thread. The car in front of the house is a Venus, a Houston made fiberglass bodied automobile from the 1950's. The picture showed up in a newspaper article about the car, it didn't say where it was photographed, but being very familiar with the Idylwood neighborhood I immediately recognized the house.

post-9739-0-84791500-1317671613_thumb.jp

Edited by msteele6
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Great picture. I grew up in the house two the right, from 1950's to early 1970's. At that time, there was nothing behind these homes all the way to the Gulf Fwy, except woods and natural grass fields. Behind this home (The Gaskils) there were some large Grapefruit, Pear and Orange Trees. You could get lost in the heavy pine tree areas. In the mid 60's NASA occupied many of the original one story office buildings that were constructed fronting the Freeway. You might also remember the large yellow oil derick that marked the office park. Great area to have grown up, it was like being in the country.

Edited by Wallingford
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I grew up on the other side of the cemetery but knew several families that lived in Idylwood (Myers, Andersons). A couple of houses to the left was a house that was built by an architect (Andersons, you probably knew them) that was actually outside of Idylwood's boundaries and on a piece of land that flooded. It was a beautiful house but eventually had to be condemned because of the drainage issues (at least that was what I was told).

As an aside, my brother used to throw the Press in that neighborhood when I was a kid and I can still remember visiting the neighborhood after hurricane Carla, the mud had advanced far into the neighborhood. At this time several houses on MacGregor have been condemned and their lots incorporated into park like areas along the bayou. The whole area has actually become more attractive due to these changes.

And yes, I remember the derrick like structure in the office park, always meant to climb it but never got the chance.

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These posts are why I love HAIF so much! Great photos and stories. I grew up admiring Idylwood's beauty & uniqueness.

Many trips with my grandmother to Dinner Bell ended with a drive through the neighborhood, to idylize it, pun intended.

I realized while reading these posts that I owe my architectural appreciation to my grandmother, as well as my mom.

I am a fortunate one.

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Yes, growing up on Sylvan, it seems like I knew most of the families and every sq/ft of the neighborhood as we explored and played outdoors most of the time. The Anderson's house at 1955 North MacGregor Way, was a most unique home. It overlooked a small lake surrounded by Cypress trees. We spent time on homemade boats and caught many bass and perch. The house was modern style with wrap around overhanging balconies. It was either 3 or 4 stories! (each floor took up less sq/ft). One unique feature was a living Pine tree that was in the Kitchen area, and went up through the roof. Jack and Betty Anderson were the owners, son's John and Justin. Jack was the Architect of the home and Betty operated a beauty parlor that was incorporated into the back side of the home (accessible by a walkway and gate from the main road.

It was located in the original development of Sylvan Dell and not a part of Idlywood.

As I recall there was a bar located on the property at one point, maybe before the home was built. The original lake had been there for many years and was quite scenic. Looking at the property now, you could never tell anything about its unique history.

I understand that the home was featured in a Houston Home or Architectural Magazine in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s when it was new. I haven’t seen pictures of the home, but would like to see any information that anyone would have.

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I heard from a resident who moved there in the 60s that there was a bar on Wayside at Sylvan where the convenience store is now.

There was a convenience type store close to that location with a bar in the back room! It was located behind a gas station that faced Wayside.

Had a pass thru serving bar behind the cashier area. There would be old beer drinkers parked on their bar stools looking over the cashier’s area at the kids buying candy at the counter. It was even creepy then, probably illegal now.

Edited by Wallingford
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The location of the original convenience store/ bar is/was very close to that apartment 4 plex bldg. that faced the other road Sylvan. Wallingford or others, do you remember the apartments on Maxwell Lane when they were actually nice ones, probably 1960's?

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The location of the original convenience store/ bar is/was very close to that apartment 4 plex bldg. that faced the other road Sylvan. Wallingford or others, do you remember the apartments on Maxwell Lane when they were actually nice ones, probably 1960's?

Yes, the apartments were built in the early 50's and were always very nice until the mid 70's. I knew a girl that lived there and the interiors had nice finsh out. We always visited the apartments at Halloween, because you could visit more doors in a shorter amount of time. Originally there were 4 buildings and one disappeared (maybe a fire?) They had large carports in back and professional landscaping. It's a shame someone didn't maintain them properly.

The large apartment complex off Maxwell Lane to the Gulf Fwy was built in the early 70's and were cheaply built and never maintained properly. We used to have apartment tenants jump our back fence and steal things from our backyard and garage. Never had crime in our area before we were blessed with those cheap apartments.

Edited by Wallingford
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Yes, the apartments were built in the early 50's and were always very nice until the mid 70's. I knew a girl that lived there and the interiors had nice finsh out. We always visited the apartments at Halloween, because you could visit more doors in a shorter amount of time. Originally there were 4 buildings and one disappeared (maybe a fire?) They had large carports in back and professional landscaping. It's a shame someone didn't maintain them properly.

The large apartment complex off Maxwell Lane to the Gulf Fwy was built in the early 70's and were cheaply built and never maintained properly. We used to have apartment tenants jump our back fence and steal things from our backyard and garage. Never had crime in our area before we were blessed with those cheap apartments.

Yeah, GoogleEarth shows the older apartments with overgrown vegetation. And HCAD shows they were built in 1954.

Still lists 4-20 units..wonder why, when there are only 3.

Noticed that Maxwell Lane has a gate, blocking right-of-way for automobiles. Doesn't look like a city constructed road block. Looks like an apartment gate. Do you know for sure, what type it is? Didn't think they could do that to a public road. Although, it does benefit Idylwood.

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Those old apartments on Sylvan are gone now. Completely demolished.

As to the gate, it was approved by the city and paid for by the Idylwood Civic Club. I believe it's been there since Lee Brown was mayor.

Thought they were in trouble, due to the white (what looked like a variance notice) sign posted on GoogleEarth. Too bad, would rather have seen the other ones condemned.

As for the gate, that's great. Any step to deter "ner-do-wells" from spoiling such a special place is good.

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Thought they were in trouble, due to the white (what looked like a variance notice) sign posted on GoogleEarth. Too bad, would rather have seen the other ones condemned.

As for the gate, that's great. Any step to deter "ner-do-wells" from spoiling such a special place is good.

Not positive, but I believe there was a huge amount of cut through traffic from the I-45 service road. And, not all vehicles were neighborhood speed limit friendly. Speeders along the bayou finally resulted in speed bumps/humps. The city did traffic studies several times.

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  • 3 months later...

Maxwell Lane was named after the Maxwell family, I think. They had a big house on the east side of the street, halfway between Sylvan and the Freeway. By the 1960s when my brother Wallingford and I start remembering things, it was pretty run down. I guess it got torn down about the time those apartments were made?

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As an aside, my brother used to throw the Press in that neighborhood when I was a kid and I can still remember visiting the neighborhood after hurricane Carla, the mud had advanced far into the neighborhood.

I threw the Press, too, from about 1961 for about 5 years. Originally only Sylvan, Merry Lane and Rockbridge, but later the whole neighbourhood, I think. $1.47/month to have it delivered to your home, 6 days a week.

Originally used to get the papers on Lindy Lane, I think, then on Sylvan when I had both routes.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maxwell Lane was named after the Maxwell family, I think. They had a big house on the east side of the street, halfway between Sylvan and the Freeway. By the 1960s when my brother Wallingford and I start remembering things, it was pretty run down. I guess it got torn down about the time those apartments were made?

That's interesting information. Makes sense. I know that Maxwell Lane is present on old maps, including the 1950's Sanborn records. It was one of few entranceways into the area before the Gulf Freeway was built.

The North MacGregor name has always fascinated me. The street name suggests that in the early days of or before Idylwood, the land developer could have had a link to it. Pure speculation on my part.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maxwell Lane was named after the Maxwell family, I think. They had a big house on the east side of the street, halfway between Sylvan and the Freeway. By the 1960s when my brother Wallingford and I start remembering things, it was pretty run down. I guess it got torn down about the time those apartments were made?

Do you remember anything about the old cemetery that was located on Maxwell almost in the backyard of the houses at 6666 and 6670 Sylvan? Cemetery Wolf, who posts here on HAIF, has a map that shows there was one there.

I'm not understanding where you said the Maxwell Home was. Would it have been where the little convenience store on Maxwell stood?

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  • 4 months later...

There was a large frame house that was near the location of the convenience store on Maxwell Lane. During the 1960's it was owned by an engineering / construction company that kept miscellaneous materials stored there. It was torn down when they cleared the whole tract for the construction of the apartments in 1971. There were several other small homes on Maxwell toward the Freeway, but they were torn down earlier.

The only cemetery near that location was further toward the bayou that appeared to have been abandoned. (would have been behind the homes at the bend of Sylvan / McGregor) The old gravestones were there, but it appeared that the remains had been dug up and relocated. It was pretty creepy because there were large holes at the grave sites that were never filled in.

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  • 1 month later...

Yes, I agree, Wallingford, very creepy story, especially if you were a kid. With the Spanish moss hanging down, in those trees, very spooky! They left the headstones, yeah, too heavy to move. Yet, the pros are right across the bayou, Forest Park. Hope they got all the bodies.

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  • 6 months later...

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