Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JLWM8609

What building is this in the background?

Recommended Posts

There's a building in the background of this photo of the Astrodome that I cannot identify. It's just to the right of the crown of the dome. It looks to be roughly in the location of the VA or somewhere along Holcombe between Almeda and Braeswood. It might be the old St. Anthony (currently Alta Lofts) under construction, but I think that would be a bit to the right of that building. I also thought it was part of the old Naval Hospital (currently where the VA is), but it looks too tall to be a structure from it. Any thoughts or guesses?

 

622x350.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prudential is my guess, too. 

Edited by NenaE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't look anything like Prudential to me.  Here's Prudential, 1961:

 

http://www.cah.utexas.edu/db/dmr/image_lg.php?variable=e_bb_4361

 

What is that building to the right of Prudential on Holcombe?  I can't remember it.

 

The tallest building in the background is Humble, 44 stories.  Second tallest is/was First City National, I  think, on Main (can't remember the cross street), 33 stories, now gone.  Is that Central National with the Weather Ball in between them?

 

If you draw a line on a map from the top of the Dome to downtown, Prudential is way off to the left. If you draw a line from the Dome to the left of where Prudential stood, downtown is not in the picture in the background.

 

My first guess was 1400 Hermann, a luxury apartment building that went up in 1958 across from the Rose Garden in Hermann Park.  Still there but the exterior looks different than what I remember.  It would be the solitary mid-rise between the Med Ctr and downtown in the linked photo, on the north side of the park.  The line from the top of the Dome to downtown passes over Hermann Park.

 

However now I'm intrigued by that other building on Holcombe.

Edited by brucesw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly is the Pavilion apartments at 1700 Holcombe at Braeswood.  Looks like it became a hospital at some point.

 

card00908_fr.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Possibly is the Pavilion apartments at 1700 Holcombe at Braeswood.  Looks like it became a hospital at some point.

 

card00908_fr.jpg

 

That's it...it's not the Prudential building as I earlier posted.

The Prudential Building is just to the left of the top of the dome. It's so faint I missed it when I first looked at the picture.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK so what is the more horizontal rectangular building to the left of the crown of the dome, that looks like it is standing in the park?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK so what is the more horizontal rectangular building to the left of the crown of the dome, that looks like it is standing in the park?

Isn't that the Prudential?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second tallest is/was First City National, I  think, on Main (can't remember the cross street), 33 stories, now gone.

 

Is that Central National with the Weather Ball in between them?

 

 

The second tallest, First City, is now One City Centre, at Main and Lamar.  It's very much still there, although the adjacent gorgeous, airy, half block banking lobby/drive through went away in favor of a parking garage.

 

I think what's between them is what was then the Conoco Building, which did have the Weather Ball atop the Conoco sign.  It's now Travis Tower, with its original green sheathing painted over to a more currently acceptable gray.  Central Bank is barely visible, at the lower left corner of the Humble Building (as it was known then).

 

Free association:  There was a time when it was pretty clear that this was a petroleum town, with giant signs for Gulf, Conoco, and Tenneco atop downtown buildings.

Edited by mollusk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Conoco Building, my mistake.  I have been reading up on Central Bank and had that on my mind.

 

All these years I have been under the impression First City was razed; never knew it was still there, but  I  don't go downtown very often and can't do much sightseeing when I do.  However, I'm having doubts that was First City, anyway.  It appears to have multi-hued panels, First City was silver and squarish from this angle, I think.  Possibly Houston House or whatever that building was called?

 

Is that the Sheraton Lincoln on the left edge?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There appear to me to be perhaps two buildings to the left of the crown of the dome with the one in front possibly Prudential, the second one I have no idea. 

 

However, I have trouble with that being so close to the Pavilion, if that's what the subject of the original question was.

 

I have been working on the assumption that the  low buildings at the left edge of the photo are the structures in the Med Center at that time that were on the eastern edge which rules out the Prudential, also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The low buildings in the left foreground should be Med Center hospitals.  

 

The background left edge looks like Cullen Center.  The Sheraton-Lincoln is probably one of the two structures shadowed to the left of the Exxon Building.  

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

However, I'm having doubts that was First City, anyway.  It appears to have multi-hued panels, First City was silver and squarish from this angle, I think.  Possibly Houston House or whatever that building was called?

 

Is that the Sheraton Lincoln on the left edge?

 

I'm sticking with First City.  It's in the right place, and from a distance has a paneled appearance with its dark glass inset from the white marble outer grid.

 

Sheraton Lincoln would be difficult from this angle - it might be the structure that's a bit lower than First City, immediately adjacent to and behind the Humble Building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bldg identified as the Pavilion Apartments is at the corner of Holcombe and S. Braeswood. It was built sometime around 1960 as the Park Towers Apartments. I think it is now gone, and replaced by a building that's part of the MD Anderson complex. 

 

As for the original poster's question, the bldg just to the right of the Dome's crown was a very upscale high rise apartment building on Almeda overlooking Hermann Park. It was just south of the intersection of Almeda and S. Macgregor Way. I don't remember the name, but it's not there anymore. I think it was appr. where the Marquis Lofts are now. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A straight line drawn from the dome to the east side of downtown passes right in front of the Pavilions.  I was drawing lines toward Main Street last night, a mistake.

 

The 1964 Historic Aerial shows a couple of large buildings just east of Holcombe and Braeswood, the two buildings in the photo to the left of the dome.  The Prudential, far off to the left, is very identifiable from the air.   Good resolution on this one.

 

It doesn't seem to be possible to link directly to the image, only the home page.  I used the search parameters Braeswood and Holcombe, Houston  Texas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sticking with First City.  It's in the right place, and from a distance has a paneled appearance with its dark glass inset from the white marble outer grid.

 

Sheraton Lincoln would be difficult from this angle - it might be the structure that's a bit lower than First City, immediately adjacent to and behind the Humble Building.

 

Okay.  Thanks for the link.  Yes I miss the lobby and the plaza out front.  When I first came to town I was tempted to open an account at First City just so I could use that lobby.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The low buildings in the left foreground should be Med Center hospitals.  

 

The background left edge looks like Cullen Center.  The Sheraton-Lincoln is probably one of the two structures shadowed to the left of the Exxon Building.  

 

I thought that was too far out for S-L, I forgot about Cullen Center.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bldg identified as the Pavilion Apartments is at the corner of Holcombe and S. Braeswood. It was built sometime around 1960 as the Park Towers Apartments. I think it is now gone, and replaced by a building that's part of the MD Anderson complex. 

 

As for the original poster's question, the bldg just to the right of the Dome's crown was a very upscale high rise apartment building on Almeda overlooking Hermann Park. It was just south of the intersection of Almeda and S. Macgregor Way. I don't remember the name, but it's not there anymore. I think it was appr. where the Marquis Lofts are now. 

 

I think the building immediately to the right of the crown was the Pavilion Apartments.  The building at middle left of the crown is probably the Mayfair Apartment Hotel at 1600 Holcombe. 

 

(from SevFiv's site)

mayfairpc001.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The building does appear to be about the right size (16 stories) and location (directly north of Hermann Park) for 1400 Hermann. The building was definitely there when the Astrodome was built.

 

The building is not square, it is "T" shaped and that might account for the rounded appearance of the building in the picture.

 

 

Edited by msteele6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Since I lived and worked in this general area in the late 50’s – early 60’s, this piqued my interest, as you can see from some of the detail that follows.
I attached a larger view of JLWM8609’s picture that shows a little more detail.  I have also attached another photo that puts the relative location of the questioned buildings in a better perspective.
Other attachments include a 1964 HistoricAerial view that shows the line of sight from the Astrodome to downtown from the original picture, along with a couple of others in the area near the dome.  It does appear that the Prudential building is not in the picture to the left, and what is seen to the far left are medical center structures..
The building just to the left of the dome looks to be the Mayfair Apartments at 1600 Holcombe.  The building to the right of the dome top must be the Pavilion Apartments at 1700 Holcombe that was mentioned in a previous post.  However, it doesn’t look like the building shown in the HistoricAerial view from above.  The shadows are about the same length indicating they are about the same height.
The two seem to be the closest to the dome and would show up in the original photo.  This is still a little puzzling to me.  Any Ideas?

 

post-873-0-01584200-1422981235_thumb.jpg

post-873-0-95764000-1422981257_thumb.jpg

post-873-0-11851400-1422981351_thumb.jpg

post-873-0-10744800-1422981489_thumb.jpg

post-873-0-99991500-1422981527_thumb.jpg

Edited by 57Tbird
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The enlarged picture actually confirms, in my mind, the identification of the building as 1400 Hermann. In the enlarged picture you can now clearly see that the building has the T-shaped construction of 1400 Hermann. In the original picture it appeared to be rounded.

 

Additionally, if it is not 1400 Hermann, where is 1400 Hermann, as there is absolutely no doubt that it did exist at that time. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, after closely studying the orientation of 1400 Hermann relative to the Astrodome with that of the building in question, I don't think that it fits.

 

The subject building also appears to be somewhat closer to the Astrodome than 1400 Hermann.

 

 

Edited by msteele6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1400 Hermann was my first guess and it was wrong.  The buildings in question are much too close to the dome to be 1400 Hermann. 

 

In 57Tbirds second photo above, if you draw a line from the dome across the Mayfair to downtown, a mid-rise building is right on the line, between Mayfair and DT; that, I think, is 1400 Hermann.  Which means it is the building visible in the first picture beyond the Mayfair, also.

 

Filio is correct; at the time of these photos, the Pavillion was likely still known as the Park Towers.  Somewhere in my research I have notes about newspaper ads I saw for the openings of both buildings in the 50s but I didn't get photocopies of the ads.

 

KRBE-FM had it's original studios in the 1400 Hermannn building when it went on the air in 1958 as a classical music station ("You're Keyed to Radio Broadcasting Excellence.')  The calls also stood for Roland Baker Enterprises, the owner, who lived at 1400 Hermann.

 

The Park Towers was the home of the original studios of KHUL-FM, 95.7, 'Cool' radio, in 1959, fondly remembered as a jazz station though in fact it played show tunes, standards, just about anything but rock and country.  The studios were on the 15th floor.  KHUL later became KIKK-FM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1400 Hermann was my first guess and it was wrong.  The buildings in question are much too close to the dome to be 1400 Hermann. 

 

In 57Tbirds second photo above, if you draw a line from the dome across the Mayfair to downtown, a mid-rise building is right on the line, between Mayfair and DT; that, I think, is 1400 Hermann.  Which means it is the building visible in the first picture beyond the Mayfair, also.

 

Filio is correct; at the time of these photos, the Pavillion was likely still known as the Park Towers.  Somewhere in my research I have notes about newspaper ads I saw for the openings of both buildings in the 50s but I didn't get photocopies of the ads.

 

KRBE-FM had it's original studios in the 1400 Hermannn building when it went on the air in 1958 as a classical music station ("You're Keyed to Radio Broadcasting Excellence.')  The calls also stood for Roland Baker Enterprises, the owner, who lived at 1400 Hermann.

 

The Park Towers was the home of the original studios of KHUL-FM, 95.7, 'Cool' radio, in 1959, fondly remembered as a jazz station though in fact it played show tunes, standards, just about anything but rock and country.  The studios were on the 15th floor.  KHUL later became KIKK-FM.

 

Correct on 1400 Hermann, I think.  In my Dome to Downtown attachment, it is just beyond the little crescent moon-shaped white feature about half-way up and just to the left of the yellow line.  That puts it right behind the Mayfair in the picture.

 

Subdude's picture of the Pavilion is actually that of the Center Pavilion Hospital.  Here is the other side of that postcard picture.  I don't guess it was ever the Pavilion Apartments.

 

post-873-0-44023200-1423253762_thumb.jpg

 

Correct about it being the Park Towers at one time.  Here is the front and back of a Park Towers postcard.

 

post-873-0-53308600-1423254603_thumb.jpg   post-873-0-24172100-1423254626_thumb.jpg

 

 

Edited by 57Tbird

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...