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Anybody have any photos of Houston / 1980s - 1990s


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I see lots of wonderful photographs of the very early days of Houston ... what is generally available on various Houston photography archives both in person (Houston Public Library's photo archive, Story Sloane, etc) and digitally (any number of excellent websites & digital archives). What I would love to see more of, are various scenes around Houston in the 1980s ~ 1990s.

I thought of this while driving on "Upper Kirby" over the weekend, as I was explaining to my girlfriend (who recently moved to Houston) what Kirby looked like in the late 80s/early 90s. I've lived here since 1987, so I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about. Anyhow, as I tried to explain the 80s/early 90s scene to her, I could hardly remember it myself! I think it would be nearly unrecognizable to see a 30 year old photo of it.

It would be fun to see some photographs of Westheimer, the Galleria, Rice Village, various movie theaters and restaurants (interiors or exteriors), during the early days of Houston's *rebirth* since the 80s crash, and onward through the 90s. This may be too broad an idea to get off the ground, but I figured it would be worth a shot.

As I'll be going home to visit my family for the holiday weekend coming up, I'll try to kick this off myself by going through some older family photo albums to see if there are any photos of interest. If there are, I'll digitize them by any means necessary and attach them to the thread. I encourage you to do the same!

Ben

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I thought of this while driving on "Upper Kirby" over the weekend, as I was explaining to my girlfriend (who recently moved to Houston) what Kirby looked like in the late 80s/early 90s. I've lived here since 1987, so I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about. Anyhow, as I tried to explain the 80s/early 90s scene to her, I could hardly remember it myself! I think it would be nearly unrecognizable to see a 30 year old photo of it.

Ben

I wish I had some photos of Upper Kirby. That area was a bit dodgier at the time. I remember the north side of Alabama between Greenbriar and Revere had a collection of pretty scary apartments.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wish I had some photos of Upper Kirby. That area was a bit dodgier at the time. I remember the north side of Alabama between Greenbriar and Revere had a collection of pretty scary apartments.

and by dodgy , you mean affordable right?

Kirby was just fine during those times safetywise, and had alot more character too!

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  • 3 months later...

Wow. Houston was hit that badly by the oil crash? http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/blink.png

That's a tale I'd like to hear more about--I mean, it seems that the 1970s and 1980s there was explosive growth, but it did more than just stop?

Was Houston hit badly by the oil crash?!? It was national news back in the eighties when Houston went from boom to bust overnight. The real estate market came to a complete standstill and was still recovering in the late 90's. I'm sure you can find plenty of stories out there about what it was like.

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I was just a child at the time, but I remember the oil crash of 1986 very well. Whole subdivisions in some areas practically became ghost towns as people were packing up and moving out of Houston. The population still grew from 1980 to 1990, but it slowed substantially. While I have no proof they were related; the Greenspoint area seemed to rapidly decline around this time. In fact crime in general rose rapidly in the late 80s in the Houston area. Once great, well established areas never recovered.  Again I don't know if this was the result of the oil crash, but it happened around the same time. My dad did security for Brown and Root and later Allied Industries from the late 70s until 1987. He was laid off from both due to cuts around this time.

 

I've been hearing a lot about how great the economy is in Houston. It was great in the 70s too, but that all changed in the 80s. Don't ever think we are immune from this happening again.

Edited by billyf
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I was just a child at the time, but I remember the oil crash of 1986 very well. Whole subdivisions in some areas practically became ghost towns as people were packing up and moving out of Houston. The population still grew from 1980 to 1990, but it slowed substantially. While I have no proof they were related; the Greenspoint area seemed to rapidly decline around this time. In fact crime in general rose rapidly in the late 80s in the Houston area. Once great, well established areas never recovered.  Again I don't know if this was the result of the oil crash, but it happened around the same time. My dad did security for Brown and Root and later Allied Industries from the late 70s until 1987. He was laid off from both due to cuts around this time.

 

I've been hearing a lot about how great the economy is in Houston. It was great in the 70s too, but that all changed in the 80s. Don't ever think we are immune from this happening again.

 

A lot of former upscale/suburban areas (Aldine/Greenspoint, Alief, Sharpstown, Gulfton) declined rapidly in the late 80s, It was a perfect storm of the oil bust, annexation, foreclosures and plummeting apartment rents.

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The bust was bad.  I was a kid then, too, and it at school it seemed like there were 2 groups of kids - those whose dad had been laid off, and those whose dad was about to be laid off. Mine survived round after round of layoffs at Shell, took a huge pay cut and called himself lucky. 

 

We used to drive up to the Spaghetti Warehouse sometimes for dinner, and I remember thinking how sad and empty downtown looked.  We used to go look at fish in the bayou near Allen's Landing, but it got too creepy and our parents wouldn't let us go down there anymore.

 

Went away for school, kicked around in Austin for a few years after that, and came back to Houston in the early 2000s... it was a little embarrassing to have to ask somebody what "Midtown" was.  I don't love everything that's been built here in the last 15 or so years, but Houston feels more like home now than it ever did.  So, I think we're doing something right.

 

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