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Take A Walk Down South Main St.


Subdude

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It would be great to do a project where you collect together images of all the everyday stores in Houston from back in the day... the grocery stores, the car dealerships, gas stations, pharmacies, cafeterias, produce markets, hamburger stands, dry goods stores, etc.
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Hermann Professional Building

Extant

Hermannprof.jpg

6500 South Main

The Fabulous Tidelands Motor Inn

Demolished

Tidelands.jpg

6515 South Main

Bill William's Chicken House

Demolished

BillWilliams.jpg

6545 South Main

Ye Olde College Inn

Demolished

YeOldeCollege.jpg

6601 South Main

Medical Towers Building. Classic modern architecture.

Extant

MedTowers.jpg

6605 South Main

Hemphill Ford

Demolished

Hemphill.jpg

6638 South Main

Cathay House Restaurant

Demolished

CathayHouse.jpg

6703 South Main

Christie's Restaurant

Demolished

Christies.jpg

6800 South Main

Ding-How Restaurant

Demolished

DingHow.jpg

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6900 South Main

Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The most famous building in Houston.

Demolished :(

Shamrock.jpg

6900 South Main

Trader Vic's at the Shamrock. Excellent tiki! :)

Demolished

TraderVics.jpg

6935 South Main

Vallian's. Houston's original pizza place.

Demolished

Valians.jpg

7021 South Main

Sheriton Oaks Motel

Demolished

SheritonOaks.jpg

7315 South Main

Red Lion Restaurant

Demolished

RedLion.jpg

7707 South Main

El Chico Restaurant

Status?

ElChico.jpg

7900 South Main

Kaphan's Restaurant

Demolished

Kaphans.jpg

7905 South Main

Rodeway Inn

Extant

RodewayMain.jpg

8000 South Main

Car'Lon Hotel Courths

Demolished

CarLon.jpg

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8001 South Main

Stuart's Club Grill

Demolished

Stuarts.jpg

8011 South Main

Johnson's Magnolia Service Station (the address on the picture is incorrect).

Demolished

MagnoliaGas.jpg

8200 South Main

Grant Motel

Extant

GrantMotel.jpg

8300 South Main

Motor Inn Hotel

Demolished

MotorInn.jpg

8330 South Main

Surrey House Motor Hotel

Status?

SurreyHouse.jpg

8510 South Main

Gateway Crystal Swimming Pool (notice the rolling hills in the background :lol: )

Demolished

GatewaySwim.jpg

8700 South Main

Alamotel Court

Demolished

Alamotel.jpg

9000 South Main

Chief Motel

Demolished

ChiefMotel.jpg

9001 South Main

Crestwood Tourist Hotel

Demolished

Crestwood.jpg

9051 South Main

Buffalo Inn Hotel

Demolished

BuffaloInn.jpg

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There are other pictures as well, so if you have any requests let me know and I'll try to find them.

It's funny. These are all from before my time, and I didn't even grow up here, but I really like seeing how the city used to look in these old pictures.

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Do you have a photo of Pier 21 Restaurant? It was on Main or Fannin just south of Holcomb. The front center of the building was the prow of a ship.

I went to a number of dances at Sylvin Beach including (ahem) both of my senior proms. Anyone ever go there before? Is it still in operation?

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Do you have a photo of Pier 21 Restaurant? It was on Main or Fannin just south of Holcomb. The front center of the building was the prow of a ship.

Of course! It says "End of Main", but I think it was on Old Main Street Rd. (now part of Fannin) near the Prudential building.

Pier21.jpg

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Awesome photos Subdude!! Great job of putting thee threads together!! :)

I love the old look of the Holiday Inn building as well but I don't remember it looking too different now? I need to take a closer look next time i go by there...

I've always liked that Weldon's Cafteria building as well.

And personally I kind of like the current facade on the Sears building... I'd just like to see it cleaned up and the windows put back in place on street level... (like that will ever happen. :rolleyes: )

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And personally I kind of like the current facade on the Sears building... I'd just like to see it cleaned up and the windows put back in place on street level... (like that will ever happen.  )

On the old forum someone had posted pictures of Sears right after it had been "modernized" in the 1950s. It didn't look as disgrusting as it does now, but it's still hard to see what possessed them to change it.

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  • 3 weeks later...
9100 South Main

King's Court

Demolished

KingsCourt.jpg

9300 South Main

White House Motor Hotel

Status?

WhiteHouse.jpg

9350 South Main

John's Restaurant.  This may have become the Poly-Asian restaurant later.

Demolished

Johns.jpg

9604 South Main

Las Vegas Motor Hotel

Extant

LasVegasMotel.jpg

9810 South Main

Sonny Look's Sir Loin House

Demolished

LooksSirLoin.jpg

9901 South Main

Elliott's Steak House

Demolished

Elliotts.jpg

10015 South Main

Mitchell Inn

Extant

MitchellInn.jpg

10200 South Main

The Yacht Restaurant

Demolished

Yacht.jpg

10319 South Main

Holiday Inn Motel

Extant

HolidayMain.jpg

That Sonnys and Sir Loin's resemble a place that I went to in Beaumont back in the 1970s called "Steak and Ale." Were there any "Steak and Ale" restaurants in Houston? I don't think that the one in Beaumont is there anymore.

Chet Cuccia

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El Chico is gone and has been for years. Guess you can call it demolished because I'm about 99.9% sure that building is no longer in existence.

Funny thing is that El Chico became just another run-of-the-mill TexMex place later, but back in the day of the restaurant pictured above, it was a pretty fancy place. I remember my parents getting dressed up for a night-on-the-town type evening to go out for dinner there. They didn't take us kids to such a fancy place! Funny to think of El Chico that way, or any TexMex place, but that's how it was back then.

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Subdude, this is great. I am flattered that my idea had something to do with the creation of this "project," but I never could have done what you have in making it a reality. For once I feel like this site could be something more than just a bunch of bored malcontents spouting off their views about architecture. As you build on this and other people contribute, we really could build a significant resource for historic Houston on the web - THE resource for historic Houston on the web. Bravo.

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El Chico is gone and has been for years. Guess you can call it demolished because I'm about 99.9% sure that building is no longer in existence.

Funny thing is that El Chico became just another run-of-the-mill TexMex place later, but back in the day of the restaurant pictured above, it was a pretty fancy place. I remember my parents getting dressed up for a night-on-the-town type evening to go out for dinner there. They didn't take us kids to such a fancy place! Funny to think of El Chico that way, or any TexMex place, but that's how it was back then.

Remember Molina's "Mexico City" restaurant? I think the original location was on Fannin or Main - delicious food & perfect atmosphere. I would love to find one of the old menus because for many years, it was a "family tradition" in our family to go there on Christmas Eve. Great pics! I have many good memories of Valian's too.

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  • 2 months later...
Another one I found.

Gaidos, 9200 South Main.

I knew they were in Galveston, but not in Houston.

Gaidos.jpg

It's not in this picture, but they used to have a Giant Shrimp sculture with a cowboy outfit on, brandishing sixguns like he is ready for a gunfight, and a Giant Blue crab, on the other end of the building, with a sign underneath it that said "actual size". :)

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  • 1 month later...
"...midtown... at the very center of the entertainment and cultural area."

Does this mean that "Midtown" was a lot larger back then? Was this before the "Museum District" label was invented?

Yeah, I think the "Museum District" is fairly recent, like from the 1990s. I'm not sure what was considered "midtown" back then, although it makes sense that it would have covered the area between downtown and Uptown (the area on South Main near the Shamrock).

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Yeah, I think the "Museum District" is fairly recent, like from the 1990s. I'm not sure what was considered "midtown" back then, although it makes sense that it would have covered the area between downtown and Uptown (the area on South Main near the Shamrock).

Huh? Are you referring to the "area on South Main near the Shamrock" as "Uptown"? If so, why?

Or are you saying that the "area on South Main near the Shamrock" is between downtown and Uptown? Hardly.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The area around the Shamrock was known as "Uptown" from after WW2 until (I think) about the 1980s. I've seen it in a lot of old ads. Calling the Galleria area "Uptown" was just dreamed up in the 1990s as kind of a marketing gimmick.

yes - this Towers Motor Hotel postcards says it's in "uptown" (and it was located on Holcombe near Main)

towersmotorpcback.jpg

Edited by sevfiv
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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Bill Williams Restaurant

6515 South Main

Demolished

BillWilliams.jpg

Ye Olde College Inn

6545 South Main

Demolished

YeOldeCollege.jpg

Ship Ahoy

6638 South Main

Demolished

ShipAhoy2.jpg

Cathay House Restaurant

6638 South Main

Demolished

CathayHouse.jpg

Christies

6703 South Main

Demolished

Christies.jpg

Ding-How

6800 South Main

Demolished

DingHow.jpg

Trader Vics

6900 South Main at the Shamrock

Demolished

TraderVics.jpg

Pier 21

Fannin near Holcombe

Demolished

Pier21.jpg

Kopper Kettle Cafeteria

6910 Fannin

Demolished

KopperKettle.jpg

Vallians

6935 South Main

Demolished

Valians.jpg

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Red Lion

7315 South Main

Demolished

RedLion.jpg

El Chico

7707 South Main

Demolished

ElChico.jpg

Kaphans

7900 South Main

Demolished

Kaphans.jpg

Victoria Station

7807 Kirby

Extant

VictoriaStation.jpg

Stuart's Club Grill

8001 South Main

Demolished

Stuarts.jpg

Gaidos

9200 South Main

Demolished

Gaidos.jpg

John's Restaurant/Poly-Asian

9350 South Main

Demolished

Johns.jpg

Look's Sir-Loin Inn

9810 South Main

Demolished

LooksSirLoin.jpg

Elliot's Steak House

9901 South Main

Demolished

Elliotts.jpg

The Yacht

10200 South Main

Demolished

Yacht.jpg

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Man--I remember the Mitchell Inn..kinda resembled a Holiday Inn (somewhat smaller "Great Sign")..is it completely gone now?

Not sure...I drive past there all the time, but never really pay much

attention. I know at least one of the older motels is still there, but

can't remember which one it was. It's on the west side of the street

south of OST I think. I remember when I moved here there was

another motel right about at main and the loop. But danged if I

can remember the name of it offhand... It may well be torn down now,

but I never really paid that much attention. It was on the west side

of the street, a bit south of sonny looks. Like I say, I think it was

almost at the loop 610 corner, on the west side... I'll think of the

name one of these days... I stayed there a full week in 1969.

What is wild is to look at the surroundings in some of those pix.

Like open prairie.... The 10,000 block of main was nearly out in

the sticks in the old days. Once upon a time, there was an airport

on main between what is now hillcroft, and chimney rock. "Sam Houston".

That was really out in the sticks... There was also another main street

airport a bit closer to town, fairly close to where the loop is.

I don't remember that holiday inn...Must have been gone when we moved

here. That car in the pix looks like a 50's chevy.. maybe a 56...

I was going through pictures at one of the archive sites, and was looking

at all the pictures of the fancy houses that were once on main near the

downtown area. Lots, and lots of them... That street has changed a lot since

1900.

MK

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Last I checked the Mitchell Inn was still there. It is on the east side of Main, a little bit south of the loop. It has been remodeled - the usual stucco-ing - from what is in the picture here. Good catch on their copying the Holiday Inn "Great Sign". The Holiday Inn Motel further down the street I believe is still in existence as well.

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Meyer Speedway used to be out there as well--near Hillcroft & S. Main..I don't know what year the bulldozer ate it. How about Navarro Courts?

I'm not sure about Meyer speedway. I guess it was about the middle to late 70's

when they shut it down. Yep, was at the corner of Hillcroft/blue ridge and main.

Butler stadium is just to the east on the same side of the street. The old Sam

Houston airport entrance was across the street from Butler stadium. The old

main street airport was farther uptown just south of OST if I remember right.

Both of those airports are now covered by houses... I remember in the

latel 60's, 70's, you could hear the cars at the speedway every friday night,

even here at the house, which is near westbury square.

They even ran a nascar championship race at meyer I think about 1974 or

somewhere along there... I think Bobby Allison >sp?> won if I remember right.

MK

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I writ....

I remember in the

latel 60's, 70's, you could hear the cars at the speedway every friday night,

even here at the house, which is near westbury square.

Actually, thinking about it, I think it was every saturday night... Been so

long, I pert near fergot... But I think the noise on fri was usually the bands

marching at butler at football games. Sat was race car night... I myself

was in the westbury marching band, and played drums. So I added to

the racket on some of those fri nights in the 70's... :)

MK

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10319 South Main

Holiday Inn Motel

Extant

HolidayMain.jpg

I remember this motel from the mid-late 50's. It was just up South Main, on the east side, from the South Main Drive-in theater, which was on the west side. It came before, and was not related to the Holiday Inn chain we know today. It was a small, independently owned operation built in the 40's. I recall there was some type of settlement made between the Holiday Inn chain, as it grew, and this motel owner to change the name of his place. I think he ended up changing its name to the Holiday House.

----------------------------

10015 South Main

Mitchell Inn

Extant

MitchellInn.jpg

On the same subject, I wonder whose sign came first... the Mitchell Inn or the Holiday Inn. They do look similar.

HolidayInnSign.jpg

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On the same subject, I wonder whose sign came first... the Mitchell Inn or the Holiday Inn. They do look similar.

Probably the Holiday Inn "Great Sign". It was used since the early 1950s, but the Mitchell Inn looks like it was built in the early 1960s.

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  • 2 months later...
6900 South Main

Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The most famous building in Houston.

Demolished :(

Shamrock.jpg

6900 South Main

Trader Vic's at the Shamrock. Excellent tiki! :)

Demolished

TraderVics.jpg

6935 South Main

Vallian's. Houston's original pizza place.

Demolished

Valians.jpg

7021 South Main

Sheriton Oaks Motel

Demolished

SheritonOaks.jpg

7315 South Main

Red Lion Restaurant

Demolished

RedLion.jpg

7707 South Main

El Chico Restaurant

Status?

ElChico.jpg

7900 South Main

Kaphan's Restaurant

Demolished

Kaphans.jpg

7905 South Main

Rodeway Inn

Extant

RodewayMain.jpg

8000 South Main

Car'Lon Hotel Courths

Demolished

CarLon.jpg

These are excellent photos. But it's difficult looking at pictures of restaurants when you're hungry. The Shamrock looks like it was quite an upscale, ritzy place in its day.

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8001 South Main

Stuart's Club Grill

Demolished

Stuarts.jpg

8011 South Main

Johnson's Magnolia Service Station (the address on the picture is incorrect).

Demolished

MagnoliaGas.jpg

8200 South Main

Grant Motel

Extant

GrantMotel.jpg

8300 South Main

Motor Inn Hotel

Demolished

MotorInn.jpg

8330 South Main

Surrey House Motor Hotel

Status?

SurreyHouse.jpg

8510 South Main

Gateway Crystal Swimming Pool (notice the rolling hills in the background :lol: )

Demolished

GatewaySwim.jpg

8700 South Main

Alamotel Court

Demolished

Alamotel.jpg

9000 South Main

Chief Motel

Demolished

ChiefMotel.jpg

9001 South Main

Crestwood Tourist Hotel

Demolished

Crestwood.jpg

9051 South Main

Buffalo Inn Hotel

Demolished

BuffaloInn.jpg

This photo topic comes in second right behind "Tour de Telephone."

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These are excellent photos. But it's difficult looking at pictures of restaurants when you're hungry. The Shamrock looks like it was quite an upscale, ritzy place in its day.

Ashikaga, when you reply to a thread with a lot of photos, would you mind at all deleting them from your response? I'm glad you are so interested in bringing new life to old threads, but just kind of clutters things up.

Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...
6935 South Main

Vallian's. Houston's original pizza place.

Demolished

Valians.jpg

I remember eating Pizza was at this restaurant. I was maybe 10 yrs old. I was staying at the Shamrock for a dance convention and specifically remember walking across the street to this restaurant (about 12 of us) to eat Pizza. Wow..what a memory trigger.

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I remember eating Pizza was at this restaurant. I was maybe 10 yrs old. I was staying at the Shamrock for a dance convention and specifically remember walking across the street to this restaurant (about 12 of us) to eat Pizza. Wow..what a memory trigger.

It's a shame that these kind of places get demolished.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was sitting here trying to remember the name of the restaurant serving to this day, the best pizza I have ever eaten and in "Taking a Walk--" there it was. Valian's could not be beat. Enormous pizzas with crunchy thin crust and pitchers of beer at long tables in the back area.

The Shamrock was pure heaven. We loved the pool and the fine hamburgers at the grill (name?), but the best of the best was The Emerald Room. I saw Charlie McCarthy there as a child and a very young Conway Twitty, when he was not country, but vying to be the next Elvis. There were wonderful UofH Frat balls and other events. You always felt at the top of society just being in that place. One of our teenage challenges was to walk/run up the stairs to the top.

On the night of our High 9 Banquet - graduating from 9th grade at Pershing, a few of us headed to the Shamrock, dressed to the 9's. We slipped into an empty Emerald Room and had our own party. There was a piano in the front and one of the guys played it as we danced about, sang and laughed. An older black gentleman in waitstaff uniform busted us, but was so nice he said we could stay a bit, but had to keep the noise down.

Before it was torn down, I took my teenage daughter to spend the night and it was still ultra posh. The thickest, softest carpets ever experienced and I've been to plenty of mansions in River Oaks.

The pix are super, do you have any of Prince's and Stuart's Drive Ins?

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  • The title was changed to Take A Walk Down South Main St.

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