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Westbury Square

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I know a thread for Westbury Square was started but I think I might have been a bit late getting to it. In that thread I mentioned yesterday that for the first time I went back there to visit a coffee shop that just started up a couple of months ago. Yesterday was really the very first time I stepped foot back on their turf. It's weird to see it now, when you remember many things about it then. Today it looks almost like a ghost town to see whats left, yet I believe the coffee shop might bring some extra life back into it! If you wish to stop there for a visit, here is a phone # 713-728-JAVA

When I was a child, the year of 1985 Westbury Square had a Halloween costume contest which I won first place as a home made robot. And today I still have the trophy which is what I wanted to share with this forum. Here are two photos of it which I snapped. Yet I wondered if anyone else here has photos from those costume contest or stories about them.

trophy1.jpg

trophy2.jpg

I guess I could put this on ebay, but it's mine and I wish not to sell

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Cool story.

I moved to Westbury in summer of 1997 and I was 18 at the time. We bought a house that is a 2-5 minute drive from the square. I've walked around over there and looked at all of the shut down biz. and buildings. Do you have any photos of the square in her glory days?

I really love this sort of the history stuff. The guy that lives next door to me has been in Westbury for 35 years and he tells me it was a really happening place in the 1970s. He says they used to have poetry reads and all of the 18-30 yr old crowds used to assemble there to have a good time. I wish I could have been there; you know.

Westbury these days lacks unity and a sense of community. I've been to the civic center and met the receptionist as well as the chair on the board of directors (Frank Silcock). They seemed okay but it just didn't feel like what I've been told was a great community.

The homes and people in Westbury are wonderful IMHO. I love the 1950s vinatge of things and the mature trees.

The thing that is hurting Westbury is the string of roach motel style apartments on Gasmer and all of the junky looking auto repair shops on Chimney Rock near the post office. if those things were removed and all of the C-stores and gas stations ____ down and demolished to have new single family homes built on them the area would be much like Bellaire is today.

I have mixed feelings about the Home Depot and 99 cent store next to Westbury Square. The Home Depot I buy stuff from almost weekly but that said it just brings traffic into the area. If that store and the 99 cent store strip mall as well as the Bank 1 were leveled and single family homes were built the traffic would be greatly reduced and the area would look wonderful.

Light commercial is fine. Chimney Rock has some reality offices, a doctor's office, tax prep., etc...

Of course, that Ft. Bend county toll road that dumps into Chimney Rock at S. Main is not helping the situation.

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The Home Depot at Westbury Square is brand new, so I don't think there is much you can do about that. Also, there is a Home Depot in the Pin Oak area (near the city of Bellaire) and that did not hurt the surrounding community.

As for the Square itself, I think it should be revitalized - Would a new Target help the Square?

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The Home Depot at Westbury Square is brand new, so I don't think there is much you can do about that. Also, there is a Home Depot in the Pin Oak area (near the city of Bellaire) and that did not hurt the surrounding community.

As for the Square itself, I think it should be revitalized - Would a new Target help the Square?

I'm not sure the square is able to be revitalized. HD has pretty much taken up most of that land and there is very little left. Certainly not enough for a Target --- but with the new Target recently opened in Meyerland, I can't see that they would open one there anyway.

About the only thing I can think of to revitalize what's left would be to open a couple of restaurants. Might be an opportunity for someone willing to take the risk -- there are almost no restaurants to speak of in the entire Westbury area.

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Several days ago I happen to drive by what used to be Westbury Square and almost did not recognize it. In fact I was a little surprised that any of it was still there. I got curious about what had become of it and found this forum in a web search.

The last time I saw the place was probably in the early 80s or late 70s. I grew up in the Houston area and Westbury Square was THE PLACE to hang out when it was in its hey day, even if you did have to drive all the way from Bellaire or Spring Branch : ). I was still young and impressionable so the place seemed almost magical to me. I worked part time for a while in a store there called Cargo Houston that was like Pier 1 Imports, only much, much better. I can remember what most of the stores were and where they were. Behind Home Depot is where the main parking lot was and the front of Cargo Houston faced the fountain, the remnants of which can still be seen through the wooden fence behind Home Depot. There was also a really cool restaurant, book store and clothing store facing this same main parking lot. The other stores I remember, I think, where a Pizza Shop, a oriental import shop, a Dutch or Danish import shop, a glass art shop, a photography shop, and an high end outdoor equipment (hiking and climbing, etc.) shop sort of like REI. They also had stores at Town and Country and eventually in the Galleria (all apparently out of business now). The guys that owned Cargo Houston also owned a place there called the Candle Shop. I believe there was also a Baskins and Robbins or something like that across the fountain from Cargo Houston. I also think there were a small number of upstairs apartments within the square and above the shops.

I would be interested in history about he place including pictures, list of stores, maps, etc. It was a great place to hang out, shop and work, but I don

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Several days ago I happen to drive by what used to be Westbury Square and almost did not recognize it. In fact I was a little surprised that any of it was still there. I got curious about what had become of it and found this forum in a web search.

The last time I saw the place was probably in the early 80s or late 70s. I grew up in the Houston area and Westbury Square was THE PLACE to hang out when it was in its hey day, even if you did have to drive all the way from Bellaire or Spring Branch : ). I was still young and impressionable so the place seemed almost magical to me. I worked part time for a while in a store there called Cargo Houston that was like Pier 1 Imports, only much, much better. I can remember what most of the stores were and where they were. Behind Home Depot is where the main parking lot was and the front of Cargo Houston faced the fountain, the remnants of which can still be seen through the wooden fence behind Home Depot. There was also a really cool restaurant, book store and clothing store facing this same main parking lot. The other stores I remember, I think, where a Pizza Shop, a oriental import shop, a Dutch or Danish import shop, a glass art shop, a photography shop, and an high end outdoor equipment (hiking and climbing, etc.) shop sort of like REI. They also had stores at Town and Country and eventually in the Galleria (all apparently out of business now). The guys that owned Cargo Houston also owned a place there called the Candle Shop. I believe there was also a Baskins and Robbins or something like that across the fountain from Cargo Houston. I also think there were a small number of upstairs apartments within the square and above the shops.

I would be interested in history about he place including pictures, list of stores, maps, etc. It was a great place to hang out, shop and work, but I don

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I know a thread for Westbury Square was started but I think I might have been a bit late getting to it. In that thread I mentioned yesterday that for the first time I went back there to visit a coffee shop that just started up a couple of months ago. Yesterday was really the very first time I stepped foot back on their turf. It's weird to see it now, when you remember many things about it then. Today it looks almost like a ghost town to see whats left, yet I believe the coffee shop might bring some extra life back into it! If you wish to stop there for a visit, here is a phone # 713-728-JAVA

When I was a child, the year of 1985 Westbury Square had a Halloween costume contest which I won first place as a home made robot. And today I still have the trophy which is what I wanted to share with this forum. Here are two photos of it which I snapped. Yet I wondered if anyone else here has photos from those costume contest or stories about them.

trophy1.jpg

trophy2.jpg

I guess I could put this on ebay, but it's mine and I wish not to sell

The Rice Design Alliance publishes a magazine called Cite (city). About two issues back they had a great story about the great days of Westbury Square. It's amazing to see how a neighborhood can go through transitions is such a relatively short time.

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The thing that is hurting Westbury is the string of roach motel style apartments on Gasmer and all of the junky looking auto repair shops on Chimney Rock near the post office. if those things were removed and all of the C-stores and gas stations ____ down and demolished to have new single family homes built on them the area would be much like Bellaire is today.

Wow, this same quote could have been said in the 1970's, when I moved to Westbury.

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Picture of Westbury Square back in the day from another topic.

Westbury.jpg

The guys that owned Cargo Houston also owned a place there called the Candle Shop.

The candle shop:

z41.jpg

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I believe there was also a Baskins and Robbins or something like that across the fountain from Cargo Houston.

I think it was called Rumpleheimer's.

(Thanks for the photo, Subdude. Of Westbury Square, not the weird robot-dude below... :D )

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Yep, in this photo it's at the far right:

rumpleheimer.jpg

You can see al-beto's mexican resturant at the left edge of the fountain.

I worked there when I was in high school. Those are pictures taken when

the square was pretty new. They later did away with all the shrubs and plants,

and paved the whole shebang... Just to the right of al -betos is a door that leads

to apartments upstairs. Back when I worked there, they had a *really* hot

girl that lived up there.. I mean a hottie deluxe...:) She used to come down and

eat on the weekends. Everyone that worked at the resturant used to drool

every time she came in. We had quite a partying crew there.. I could tell a

few hundred stories... I remember when we worked there, after we got off

work at night, we used to prowl the town and visit all the places they talk

about on these forums... Like blue light cemetary, some weird "hollow" place

in river oaks, etc.. I remember going to some place in river oaks, but 30+ years

later, danged if I can remember much of the details.. I just seem to remember

"hollow" being part of the name. At that time, I was 16-17. Drove a 65 impala with a

396. One of the other guys drove a chevelle with a 396. Another drove a big

boat chrysler with a 383.. We all used to race on the freeways all the time

after work.

Back then, you could hit 120 mph + fairly easy, cuz the traffic was light at

night. We used to do 100 plus all the way across town. We never got stopped..

Lucky I guess...

MK

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Several days ago I happen to drive by what used to be Westbury Square and almost did not recognize it. In fact I was a little surprised that any of it was still there. I got curious about what had become of it and found this forum in a web search.

The last time I saw the place was probably in the early 80s or late 70s.

I pretty much lived at the square in the 70's. I worked there, and when I wasn't

working , I was usually partying there... :/ I remember in the the late 60's, early

70's, the square was hopping. On fri-sat nights, Village Inn would be packed, and

usually had bands. People wondered all over the place. We used to party out on the

big hill at the far end of the east parking lot. They had a sidewalk that ran along it,

and then a big hill that was on the land between the parking lot, and chimney rock.

I still live in Westbury too, and have been here since nov 69. So I still remember

weingartens, dugens?rexall drugstore, firestone, brittains broiler burger, etc..

I sorta knew Ira Berne, the owner of the square. Also his wife.. They were my

bosses landlord.. I worked at Al-betos, and then later also worked at Bull n Anchor

for a while. The shell of what was B n A is still there when you turn in to home despot

from W. Bellfort.. Being as I used to work there, I also had the run of the alley that

ran through the middle, and serviced the shops.. It was off limits to the general

public. If you pulled into the alley, Al-betos was all the way at the end. I could look

out the back door and see all the way down the alley. Westbury and it's party hearty

residents were well known across the USA at that time. Even high times magazine

did a story where they called Westbury, "Wastebury". In the mid 70's when I went

to Westbury Hi, it was not unlike that movie "fast times at ridgemont high". Quite

similar actually... :/ I knew people that were just like "Spicoli", or whatever his

name was... Same look, same behavior, and yes, they actually surfed at surfside..

MK

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I lived on Arboles street in Wesbury from 1958 till 1977 (At least my family did). I rememer watching them pave Hillcroft, hearing cows at night across Hillcroft, and watching the lights from the train from Arboles street, when there were few houses between that street and Main. I used to play on the ruins of the monorail that was near the corner of Fondren and Main. I remember "wolf corner" and the last of the red wolves, and the blue light cemetary (neither one are in westbury).

Westbury Square was great in the 1960s. I remember buying posters from concerts at the Fillmore in San Francisco at Cargo Houstons, and Electric Paisley was my favorite shop. I was a blacklight artist for a number of years. I made sand candles with wax from the candle shop and scents from the "scent shop"- whose name I forget.

I recently added a discussion in wikopedia on westbury square. It is interesting to note that the New Urbanists are now espousing westbury square type designs even in houston, and claiming to be the first to advocate pedestrian friendly cities inspired by Italy, and townhouses. The square was a good 40 years before its time.

I remember the parking lot that was in a big hole, and I heard as a child that there was going to be a lake on the east side of the square. Does anyone know anything about this?

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I posted this replay on the other thread, but in case anyone missed it, the old Westbury Square sign is still up, but no one has bothered to change the marquee since 1994

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When I was a child, the year of 1985 Westbury Square had a Halloween costume contest which I won first place as a home made robot.

If you remember anything about a woman falling in the square that night and breaking her arm, that was my mother. :blush:

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We lived just a few blocks from Westbury Square when it was built on Atwell Street. Used to ride our bikes up there and watch the construction.

Rumpleheimer's was the best. That's where I got turned on to cinnamon toothpicks. Every spare penny we had went to buying them.

There were very few stores int he begining. There was a restaurant (Lantern something?), a photography place, a party store, maybe a fabric store. . I'll have to take some Gingko Biloba to remember the rest. ;)

To the person who lived on Arboles....my sister and her husband lived on that street at about the same time you did.

Becky

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We lived just a few blocks from Westbury Square when it was built on Atwell Street. Used to ride our bikes up there and watch the construction.

Rumpleheimer's was the best. That's where I got turned on to cinnamon toothpicks. Every spare penny we had went to buying them.

There were very few stores int he begining. There was a restaurant (Lantern something?), a photography place, a party store, maybe a fabric store. . I'll have to take some Gingko Biloba to remember the rest. ;)

To the person who lived on Arboles....my sister and her husband lived on that street at about the same time you did.

Becky

We were one of the first houses completed, though not the first. I went to Anderson, Johnson Jr. High and Fondren then finally westbury high. I used to ride to the square, but no earlier than 65- we would do dirt bike trails in the excavated trenches behind the square.

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Please forgive the length of this post..

You guys are bringing back incredible memories. I found this forum searching "Westbury Square", hoping for a nostalgic look at the square. We moved in August 1957 onto Arboles Dr., fourth house from Atwell, five minutes walk from the square. I was four. We lived across the street from Candy Thackeray and her parents, Carolyn and Charlie, and the Hineses lived next door to them. On the corner of Atwell and Arboles was an accountant named George Fleet, who lived there with his wife Grace and their two kids Georgie and Cynthia. I remember a girl my age on Atwell named Mary Lippa. Heaven only knows what happened to all these people. The parents would be dead by now, but the kids would still be around somewhere, in their 50's and 60's.

We got there when it was brand new; in fact, the whole neighborhood was brand new. Houses under construction were everywhere. The square had just been constructed, but little of what is now standing had been put up yet except the one remaining corridor, which only is about a 5th of the whole thing. I remember the arch [that is standing] when it was being built a couple of years later, because we used to jump off the top of the building into the construction sand piles. As kids, from about 1959 on, we were constantly on and around the square. We RULED that place on our Schwinn Sting Rays in the early 60's ; times were soo different..We roamed the candle shop, Mario's Italian retaurant, Rumpleheimer's, the bookstore across from it, the Gay Dot party shop [back when 'gay' meant 'happy, festive'], Cargo Houston, etc. The merchants would bring everything outside once or twice a year and have a big outdoor sale. The square was packed, full of life.

West Bellfort only went a little past Hillcroft and ended in a huge field. It didn't go through to Fondren. I too remember the ruins of the monorail at fondren and main. West Airport went to Hillcroft and turned into a dirt road, but you could get through to Fondren there if you zigzagged a bit. We would walk that way to main street, just past fondren, and get fireworks, and have firework "battles" in Christman tree forts between the houses between Christmas and New years day; no one ever complained..

You could hear the stock cars racing at Meyer Speedway [main street]at night, and you knew it was 11 Pm when the train went through..

First grade for me was at Parker elementary, but by the time I got to second grade, they had built Andy Anderson Elementary, so I went there from 2nd-sixth grades. Anderson had an annual Halloween Carnival that is so vivid in my memory. Every class prepared for it, and we all looked forward to it. When Halloween came around, the whole place would pack out with dressed up kids and parents, and we'd go from classroom to classroom, one with a cakewalk, the next with a 'spookhouse', the next with a make-up table, etc..what a blast..We played in the construction as they built Westbury high, and there were fields all around, where we played, way up in homemade tree houses, shooting our 10 cent 7-11 slingshots at bottles 30 feet below, and collecting dewberries, where the post office is now and across the street from Westbury High. The pool that is now at Ludington and Chimney Rock was then a complex of 5 pools, called the Westbury swim club, and you had to be a member to swim there.

At this point, none of the curved building that would house Mr.Fantasy and all the apartments behind there [on the southwest and southeast side of the fountain]had been built yet. That was all just a big open field, out to chimney rock, although the parking lot adjacent to Burdine was there. Cargo Houston was there too, but the rest was not up yet. After a short time there was a series of little booths that the merchants would use during the outdoor sales. On the other side of Rumpleheimer's, the area that one of you mentioned where we'd all ride bikes, little dirt trails, was there right up until the end, just as it had been in the beginning. I think that is where they had planned the lake.. on the other side of it was what is now the dollar store; then it was a supermarket, and an ice cream shop was on the corner of that building too. The bank looks exactly the same. The barber shop is still there (!!!) whoa..Although it faced the other direction, it was all the same to us, part of the square in a way.

They had a German polka band a few times in the evenings, by the fountain, back in 61-62 or thereabouts, and this is where I got close to my first drum set player. Watched him all night. Became one, later.. Thanks dude, whoever you were..

People lived in the apartments above the shops, and I remember one time that someone had a heart attack and died, and fell over the edge, landing on the sidewalk below. They closed off that little section for a couple of hours. That happened in the corridor that is still standing.

As it got to be the late sixties and into 1970 and 1971, the open field south of the fountain was filled in with apartments, and the curved building aroung the south side of the fountain went up, and things began to change, but still in a good way, an evolution. Cargo Houston got much bigger. Mr. Fantasy , the clothes store, was run by a guy named Dan Mitchell who had been the drummer for the Moving Sidewalks, Billy Gibbons' pre-ZZ Top band, and my friend Monty Pierce used to work there. This was when the pizza parlor had bands, and there was a furniture shop where the arch is still standing, run by George Martin and his dad. They used to live above the shop and build the furniture right there on the spot.

I left in fall 1972 to go to college in Denton, my mom died and my dad moved, and I lost touch with the Square for some years. When my oldest daughter was born, about 1989, we went back and everything was still intact, although it was like a ghost town, and I eagerly showed my son (7 at the time) around the old square. I still held out hope for its eventual revival. I went back again not too long ago, though, with my youngest daughter, and saw what the home depot corporate folks had done..scoundrels.. I sat in the parking lot and cried like a baby. All that history..gone..I live in DFW today and there are neighborhoods like that here too..

With all due respect, the person above who suggested that a TARGET would help does not realize the sense of class and vitality that the square engendered in its day. Maybe you just had to be there. No soulless Target could ever hope to do it. It can never be like it was. Not even close. Compared to a Target it was like magic.

The only way it could ever be redone would be to raze the Home Depot and redo the whole thing, and we all know that isn't likely..mom and pop shops are all being replaced by walmarts and targets and home depots now anyway.. no going back..earth incorporated..all hail the mighty dollar..

ah well.. I'd love to hear more, and I hope more old homies find this forum and post.. sorry for rambling..

regards

eric stuer

stu at rhythmweb

http://rhythmweb.com

We were one of the first houses completed, though not the first. I went to Anderson, Johnson Jr. High and Fondren then finally westbury high. I used to ride to the square, but no earlier than 65- we would do dirt bike trails in the excavated trenches behind the square.
Edited by stu

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Please forgive the length of this post..

You guys are bringing back incredible memories. I found this forum searching "Westbury Square", hoping for a nostalgic look at the square. We moved in August 1957 onto Arboles Dr., fourth house from Atwell, five minutes walk from the square. I was four. We lived across the street from Candy Thackeray and her parents, Carolyn and Charlie, and the Hineses lived next door to them. On the corner of Atwell and Arboles was an accountant named George Fleet, who lived there with his wife Grace and their two kids Georgie and Cynthia. I remember a girl my age on Atwell named Mary Lippa. Heaven only knows what happened to all these people. The parents would be dead by now, but the kids would still be around somewhere, in their 50's and 60's.

We got there when it was brand new; in fact, the whole neighborhood was brand new. Houses under construction were everywhere. The square had just been constructed, but little of what is now standing had been put up yet except the one remaining corridor, which only is about a 5th of the whole thing. I remember the arch [that is standing] when it was being built a couple of years later, because we used to jump off the top of the building into the construction sand piles. As kids, from about 1959 on, we were constantly on and around the square. We RULED that place on our Schwinn Sting Rays in the early 60's ; times were soo different..We roamed the candle shop, Mario's Italian retaurant, Rumpleheimer's, the bookstore across from it, the Gay Dot party shop [back when 'gay' meant 'happy, festive'], Cargo Houston, etc. The merchants would bring everything outside once or twice a year and have a big outdoor sale. The square was packed, full of life.

West Bellfort only went a little past Hillcroft and ended in a huge field. It didn't go through to Fondren. I too remember the ruins of the monorail at fondren and main. West Airport went to Hillcroft and turned into a dirt road, but you could get through to Fondren there if you zigzagged a bit. We would walk that way to main street, just past fondren, and get fireworks, and have firework "battles" in Christman tree forts between the houses between Christmas and New years day; no one ever complained..

You could hear the stock cars racing at Meyer Speedway [main street]at night, and you knew it was 11 Pm when the train went through..

First grade for me was at Parker elementary, but by the time I got to second grade, they had built Andy Anderson Elementary, so I went there from 2nd-sixth grades. Anderson had an annual Halloween Carnival that is so vivid in my memory. Every class prepared for it, and we all looked forward to it. When Halloween came around, the whole place would pack out with dressed up kids and parents, and we'd go from classroom to classroom, one with a cakewalk, the next with a 'spookhouse', the next with a make-up table, etc..what a blast..We played in the construction as they built Westbury high, and there were fields all around, where we played, way up in homemade tree houses, shooting our 10 cent 7-11 slingshots at bottles 30 feet below, and collecting dewberries, where the post office is now and across the street from Westbury High. The pool that is now at Ludington and Chimney Rock was then a complex of 5 pools, called the Westbury swim club, and you had to be a member to swim there.

At this point, none of the curved building that would house Mr.Fantasy and all the apartments behind there [on the southwest and southeast side of the fountain]had been built yet. That was all just a big open field, out to chimney rock, although the parking lot adjacent to Burdine was there. Cargo Houston was there too, but the rest was not up yet. After a short time there was a series of little booths that the merchants would use during the outdoor sales. On the other side of Rumpleheimer's, the area that one of you mentioned where we'd all ride bikes, little dirt trails, was there right up until the end, just as it had been in the beginning. I think that is where they had planned the lake.. on the other side of it was what is now the dollar store; then it was a supermarket, and an ice cream shop was on the corner of that building too. The bank looks exactly the same. The barber shop is still there (!!!) whoa..Although it faced the other direction, it was all the same to us, part of the square in a way.

They had a German polka band a few times in the evenings, by the fountain, back in 61-62 or thereabouts, and this is where I got close to my first drum set player. Watched him all night. Became one, later.. Thanks dude, whoever you were..

People lived in the apartments above the shops, and I remember one time that someone had a heart attack and died, and fell over the edge, landing on the sidewalk below. They closed off that little section for a couple of hours. That happened in the corridor that is still standing.

As it got to be the late sixties and into 1970 and 1971, the open field south of the fountain was filled in with apartments, and the curved building aroung the south side of the fountain went up, and things began to change, but still in a good way, an evolution. Cargo Houston got much bigger. Mr. Fantasy , the clothes store, was run by a guy named Dan Mitchell who had been the drummer for the Moving Sidewalks, Billy Gibbons' pre-ZZ Top band, and my friend Monty Pierce used to work there. This was when the pizza parlor had bands, and there was a furniture shop where the arch is still standing, run by George Martin and his dad. They used to live above the shop and build the furniture right there on the spot.

I left in fall 1972 to go to college in Denton, my mom died and my dad moved, and I lost touch with the Square for some years. When my oldest daughter was born, about 1989, we went back and everything was still intact, although it was like a ghost town, and I eagerly showed my son (7 at the time) around the old square. I still held out hope for its eventual revival. I went back again not too long ago, though, with my youngest daughter, and saw what the home depot corporate folks had done..scoundrels.. I sat in the parking lot and cried like a baby. All that history..gone..I live in DFW today and there are neighborhoods like that here too..

With all due respect, the person above who suggested that a TARGET would help does not realize the sense of class and vitality that the square engendered in its day. Maybe you just had to be there. No soulless Target could ever hope to do it. It can never be like it was. Not even close. Compared to a Target it was like magic.

The only way it could ever be redone would be to raze the Home Depot and redo the whole thing, and we all know that isn't likely..mom and pop shops are all being replaced by walmarts and targets and home depots now anyway.. no going back..earth incorporated..all hail the mighty dollar..

ah well.. I'd love to hear more, and I hope more old homies find this forum and post.. sorry for rambling..

regards

eric stuer

stu at rhythmweb

http://rhythmweb.com

I absoluteled LOVED Westbury Square in the early to mid seventies. There was a place where you could get a cheese and fruit tray, and another place that sold "natural" makeup and perfume. I remember (I think) the candle shop and the glass blowing place. I went there with my boyfriend and other friends - even took my Mom once, I was so impressed with it!

Miss it!

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Please forgive the length of this post..

You guys are bringing back incredible memories. I found this forum searching "Westbury Square", hoping for a nostalgic look at the square. We moved in August 1957 onto Arboles Dr., fourth house from Atwell, five minutes walk from the square. Anderson had an annual Halloween Carnival that is so vivid in my memory. Every class prepared for it, and we all looked forward to it. When Halloween came around, the whole place would pack out with dressed up kids and parents, and we'd go from classroom to classroom, one with a cakewalk, the next with a 'spookhouse', the next with a make-up table, etc..what

With all due respect, the person above who suggested that a TARGET would help does not realize the sense of class and vitality that the square engendered in its day. Maybe you just had to be there. No soulless Target could ever hope to do it. It can never be like it was. Not even close. Compared to a Target it was like magic.

Hello Eric, the funny thing is that when I posted my reply a week or so ago, you were one of the people that I thought of. I am Charles Roberts, and we were in the same class in the 4rth, 5th and I think 6th grade. I lived on the other arboles, 5807. We graduated from Westbury high the same year, and the last time I saw you (I dont know if you saw me) You were playing in a club on richmond near the montrose area a few weeks or months after graduation. I was there with a group from Sharpstown high, but at the table next to me was Trudy Hilton, who was also in our elemetary classes.

I also remember the halloween carnivals fondly, and think about them when I do things with my children.

You are right about the ambiance of Westbury Square over big box retail. I remember the square as one of my most wholesome activities-now as an adult I can see that hanging in the square as a teen beat out any other activities, which were mainly cruising and looking for places we could engage in deviant antisocial behaviors. Today, In spite of the instore starbucks, pizza huts and mcdonalds, no one meets friends for an evening of fun relaxation and conversation at big box retail, or in their parking lots. I remember the exciting smells of the different one of a kind shops, the diversity of cultures represented by the retail sector. Even today in the New Urbanists communities, which are often like the square in terms of establishments, it is still all a mixture of corporate retail establishments. Take the list of merchants and it could be any shopping mall anywhere- and the smells that eminated from the chemist shop, the eletric paisley, the candle shop- it was probably a combination that we will never see again.

Charles Roberts

Croberts@fau.edu

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Please forgive the length of this post..

You guys are bringing back incredible memories. I found this forum searching "Westbury Square", hoping for a nostalgic look at the square. We moved in August 1957 onto Arboles Dr., fourth house from Atwell, five minutes walk from the square. I was four. We lived across the street from Candy Thackeray and her parents, Carolyn and Charlie, and the Hineses lived next door to them. On the corner of Atwell and Arboles was an accountant named George Fleet, who lived there with his wife Grace and their two kids Georgie and Cynthia. I remember a girl my age on Atwell named Mary Lippa. Heaven only knows what happened to all these people. The parents would be dead by now, but the kids would still be around somewhere, in their 50's and 60's.

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You were pretty close.. We were about 2-3 blocks away on Burdine. I remember the Hines I think,

but the others don't ring a bell. But I think you are a bit older.. I was born in 56.. So we

knew different people. I went to Johnston and Westbury..

We got there when it was brand new; in fact, the whole neighborhood was brand new. Houses under construction were everywhere. The square had just been constructed, but little of what is now standing had been put up yet except the one remaining corridor, which only is about a 5th of the whole thing. I remember the arch [that is standing] when it was being built a couple of years later, because we used to jump off the top of the building into the construction sand piles.

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I've got a good air photo of Westbury taken in about 1960 or so.. Our house was just built.

The square wasn't there yet, but they were starting on it. Westbury Hi wasn't there yet,

but the watertower was... Johnston and Parker were both there, and pretty much new..

As kids, from about 1959 on, we were constantly on and around the square. We RULED that place on our Schwinn Sting Rays in the early 60's ; times were soo different..We roamed the candle shop, Mario's Italian retaurant, Rumpleheimer's, the bookstore across from it, the Gay Dot party shop [back when 'gay' meant 'happy, festive'], Cargo Houston, etc. The merchants would bring everything outside once or twice a year and have a big outdoor sale. The square was packed, full of life.

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I bet you got those Schwinns over there at that place at Braeswood and Hillcroft... :/

We used to ride our bikes over there and drool over the latest offerings..

Ditto for Westbury Yamaha's little mini bikes, etc.. They sold a little small 50cc

mini motorcycle that was the rage at that time... Course, I could never afford one myself...

West Bellfort only went a little past Hillcroft and ended in a huge field. It didn't go through to Fondren. I too remember the ruins of the monorail at fondren and main. West Airport went to Hillcroft and turned into a dirt road, but you could get through to Fondren there if you zigzagged a bit. We would walk that way to main street, just past fondren, and get fireworks, and have firework "battles" in Christman tree forts between the houses between Christmas and New years day; no one ever complained..

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Yep, when I moved here in 69, W.Bellfort pretty much ended at Hillcroft, except for like a

cruddy single lane or something.. At that point , they were in the process of extending it,

and it was soon finished..

The pool that is now at Ludington and Chimney Rock was then a complex of 5 pools, called the Westbury swim club, and you had to be a member to swim there.

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.....................................................

I guess you mean the pool that is at the apartments.. Yep, I vaguely remember that thing

being a pool club way back.. I'd kinda forgotten about that. Back in jr.hi, I delivered

the chronicle to those apartments, and also the Westbury Square apartments on the east

side of Chimney Rock.. Used to ride a "stingray" bike with those bulky chronicle bags loaded

to the brim... Used to roll them at a shack behind the old Monterray House... Btw, they

also had some good bike trails behind Monterray House..

At this point, none of the curved building that would house Mr.Fantasy and all the apartments behind there [on the southwest and southeast side of the fountain]had been built yet. That was all just a big open field, out to chimney rock, although the parking lot adjacent to Burdine was there. Cargo Houston was there too, but the rest was not up yet. After a short time there was a series of little booths that the merchants would use during the outdoor sales. On the other side of Rumpleheimer's, the area that one of you mentioned where we'd all ride bikes, little dirt trails, was there right up until the end, just as it had been in the beginning.

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Yep, jumped many a hill there... I remember one time I jumped a hill, and my front

tire fell off while I was in mid air... Spike!!! Ouch...

I think that is where they had planned the lake.. on the other side of it was what is now the dollar store; then it was a supermarket, and an ice cream shop was on the corner of that building too. The bank looks exactly the same. The barber shop is still there (!!!) whoa..Although it faced the other direction, it was all the same to us, part of the square in a way.

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Yep, I've been going to that bank before most of the people that work there ever

thought about the place.. Probably before some were born.... :/

They had a German polka band a few times in the evenings, by the fountain, back in 61-62 or thereabouts, and this is where I got close to my first drum set player. Watched him all night. Became one, later.. Thanks dude, whoever you were..

I played drums all through school.. Bit then I switched to geetar in 1977...

People lived in the apartments above the shops, and I remember one time that someone had a heart attack and died, and fell over the edge, landing on the sidewalk below. They closed off that little section for a couple of hours. That happened in the corridor that is still standing.

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Ouch...

Mr. Fantasy , the clothes store, was run by a guy named Dan Mitchell who had been the drummer for the Moving Sidewalks, Billy Gibbons' pre-ZZ Top band, and my friend Monty Pierce used to work there. This was when the pizza parlor had bands, and there was a furniture shop where the arch is still standing, run by George Martin and his dad. They used to live above the shop and build the furniture right there on the spot.

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Dang, I remember those people... I never knew Mitchell was the drummer for the sidewalks though..

I do seem to remember him being pretty "hip" at the time, for lack of a better description...

The guy that ran the Evolution tapes and records was kinda the same way.. Young, lots of money,

chicks hanging around, drove corvettes half the time... yada, yada... We always thought he

was a pretty hip cat back when we were just jr. hi bike riders... Wonder where he is now...

There were quite a bit of drummers, musicians, around Westbury.. There was a guy that

lived around the corner named Marty Knoll that used to play quite a bit.. When I was in the

Westbury marching band, I remember him once marching with us in the Foleys Parade as

an alumni drummer... He was going to U.H at that time I think.. Either that or Rice..

I remember a few times where we "all the drummers" would all march around the streets of Westbury

practicing up for the Thanksgiving days parade, or whatever.. VERY LOUD!!!!

When I went to Johnston, one of my fellow drummers was none other than Wayne Dolcefino...

Yep... *that* ch 13 Wayne Dolcefino... I still remember us sitting on the back drum row, and shooting

spit wads at the heads of all in front of us.. I often see him on TV and wonder if he remembers

that... :/

MK

Hummmmm. Trudy Hilton... Was she a hottie?

In a previous post, I had mentioned a deluxe

hottie that used to live above Al-Betos, near

the fountain. She was a blond hottie deluxe..

I could almost swear her name was Trudy Hilton.

I was thinking her last name was Hilton when I

thought about that in the other post... And Trudy

seems about right as a first name.. Small world,

or I'm confused...

MK

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MK, i enjoyed your post; some replies to some of your comments are below:

Dude, if you have that 1960 air photo of Westbury digitized, I would LOVE a copy. I'm an aficionado of the old neighborhood, big time..I have very few pics..

Yep, since you were born in 56, I am three years older than you. You were going into Johnston Jr. High as I was going into Westbury High. Too, I spent 9th grade at fondren, so I started meeting more Braeburn Valley people at that point, and didn't hang at Westbury quite so much. I started playing gigs in 9th grade, and pretty much roamed Houston at large after that. The band director at Fondren was a lady named Ms. White, and Randy May was the well known drummer there, so much so that they once had a drum contest in his honor, while he was still a student. He went on to invent an internal miking system and some other innovative marching band equipment that has sold very well for Pearl. A student of Joe Raynor, he played his butt off. (probably still does.) Lives in Huntington Beach.

So MK: you were a drummer at Johnston? Was a guy named Perkins was still the band director? From what I have heard, he is still alive, and still playing.. I was in band at Johnston with at least 10 drummers, but I can't remember many of them. Mark Keener was one of the better ones..I remember Marty Knoll now too, now that you mentioned him, and there was a guy behind me, on Belrose maybe, named Doug Landry, whose dad also played professionally..they had a blue sparkle Slingerland kit that I still remember watching them take apart and clean one day.

You are right. There were a lot of musicians in the Southwest part of town back then. Quite a few kept playing. Houston was a great place to grow up a musician in the 60's and early 70's. Gigs and bands everywhere in those days.

I'm still friends with my Sharpstown friend, Tony Taboada, who still gigs down there, and you can usually catch him at Sullivan's on Westheimer on Wednesdays. More about him , including a sound file, at his rhythmweb page, at http://rhythmweb.com/taboada . First saw him play at a Godwin Park teen dance in about 1967. There's an old picture of Love Street up on that page too. His band website is at http://commercialartband.com .

I studied with Jack Dudney back then, a big band drummer who played with the Ed Gerlach orchestra, and then after 3 or 4 years, with Hap Fulghum, who lived in Bellaire and played with the Houston Symphony. (his son, Joel Fulghum, apparently is a top drummer down there nowadays. Haven't met him.) At one point Jack and Hap had a drum teaching studio together, right across West Bellfort from Westbury Square.

Two more points. As for Dan Mitchell, the owner of Mr. Fantasy, I heard from Pierce he married a girl named DeeDee George from Braeburn Valley, and that he is living happily ever after somewhere in the Houston area. And as for Trudy Hilton, i never saw her after 6th grade, so I don't know whether she was the girl that lived at Westbury Square, but in 6th grade, she was indeed pretty, with wavy blonde hair..I don't remember her too well, other than that. TRUDY? YOU OUT THERE? Write us..[God, I love the Web]Was it you?

And old Westbury Square homies: sign in please..more images of the square would be great.

Kind Regards

eric stuer

http://rhythmweb.com

Edited by stu

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MK, i enjoyed your post; some replies to some of your comments are below:

Dude, if you have that 1960 air photo of Westbury digitized, I would LOVE a copy. I'm an aficionado of the old neighborhood, big time..I have very few pics..

Here is a 1960 photo that MK made reference to in an earlier post of his about the location of an old airfield in Westbury. This came from a website about old air fields in the Houston area. This is of an area of Westbury South, where I bought my first house in 1961. You're looking south in the picture with South Main (Hwy 90A) running east-west across the top. Chimney Rock is the north-south street to the far left. Landsdowne (street my house was on) is the next street to the right running parallel to Chimney Rock. That's Meyer Speedway under construction at the top. W. Airport is in the middle of the photo, starting at the little curve in Chimney Rock. No Hillcroft yet.

WestburySouth-1960.jpg

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Actually, I thought that a revival of Westbury Square would contain a mix of chain stores and local businesses. Then again, Target already has a location in Meyerland and the Westbury Square Home Depot is not in the style of Westbury Square.

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MK, i enjoyed your post; some replies to some of your comments are below:

Dude, if you have that 1960 air photo of Westbury digitized, I would LOVE a copy. I'm an aficionado of the old neighborhood, big time..I have very few pics..

I'll put it up on my briefcase server later. It's much bigger than the small sample that

has the Sam Houston Airport area. I had clipped that pix from the larger one.

The actual picture covers from east of Post Oak, west to about Hillcroft, all the way north

past Braes bayou.

Yep, since you were born in 56, I am three years older than you. You were going into Johnston Jr. High as I was going into Westbury High. Too, I spent 9th grade at fondren, so I started meeting more Braeburn Valley people at that point, and didn't hang at Westbury quite so much. I started playing gigs in 9th grade, and pretty much roamed Houston at large after that. The band director at Fondren was a lady named Ms. White, and Randy May was the well known drummer there, so much so that they once had a drum contest in his honor, while he was still a student. He went on to invent an internal miking system and some other innovative marching band equipment that has sold very well for Pearl. A student of Joe Raynor, he played his butt off. (probably still does.) Lives in Huntington Beach.

Randy May kinda rings a bell, but I didn't really know him..

So MK: you were a drummer at Johnston? Was a guy named Perkins was still the band director?

I guess he left before I got there. When I was there, it was Mr. Mueller <sp> ?.

At Westbury, I'm getting a vapor lock of the brain, but I think it was Mr. Munson,

or something like that. ??

From what I have heard, he is still alive, and still playing.. I was in band at Johnston with at least 10 drummers, but I can't remember many of them. Mark Keener was one of the better ones..I remember Marty Knoll now too, now that you mentioned him, and there was a guy behind me, on Belrose maybe, named Doug Landry, whose dad also played professionally..they had a blue sparkle Slingerland kit that I still remember watching them take apart and clean one day.

I think I remember that Doug Landry. And I went to school with a Doug Landry, but maybe a different

one. At Johnston, I ran cross country, and a Doug Landry was one of our runners..

You are right. There were a lot of musicians in the Southwest part of town back then. Quite a few kept playing. Houston was a great place to grow up a musician in the 60's and early 70's. Gigs and bands everywhere in those days.

I studied with Jack Dudney back then, a big band drummer who played with the Ed Gerlach orchestra, and then after 3 or 4 years, with Hap Fulghum, who lived in Bellaire and played with the Houston Symphony. (his son, Joel Fulghum, apparently is a top drummer down there nowadays. Haven't met him.) At one point Jack and Hap had a drum teaching studio together, right across West Bellfort from Westbury Square.

Yep, I knew of him, and knew his sons real well. Went to school with one of them.. One of his other

sons that I knew played geetar. Danged if I can remember their names now.. Seems one

was a Jack, "jr?", but forgot the other ones name.. The older one was in the same grade I

was, and in some of my classes. But I never took lessons from his dad.. Used to walk past

his shop all the time, as it was around the corner, pretty close to where the old record and tapes

was.. I took private lessons when I first started in 4th grade, "Merriam KS.", but never took

private lessons during jr.high or high school.. I moved here from KS in Nov 69, and was in

the 7th grade.

Two more points. As for Dan Mitchell, the owner of Mr. Fantasy, I heard from Pierce he married a girl named DeeDee George from Braeburn Valley, and that he is living happily ever after somewhere in the Houston area. And as for Trudy Hilton, i never saw her after 6th grade, so I don't know whether she was the girl that lived at Westbury Square, but in 6th grade, she was indeed pretty, with wavy blonde hair..I don't remember her too well, other than that. TRUDY? YOU OUT THERE? Write us..[God, I love the Web]Was it you?

Might have been.. She did have blond hair. I'm about 75% sure it was probably her, and

the name is real close, and I'm almost positive the last name was Hilton. And her age

would have been about right too. She was a bit older than me.. Actually, I think I used to

know her younger brother, but not for sure if he was from the right Hiltons. She was a hottie

though.. Kinda like a model.. Swiveled heads about everywhere she went. If she was born

about 1953, that would make her about 20-21 in 73-74 when I worked there. Pretty close..

I was only 16-17 at that time.

MK

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Trudy was stunningly beautiful in 1971. She fits the description of the woman you knew at Westbury Square. She did graduate in 1971.

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I find it amazing that everyone seems to remember the hottie of Westbury 1971! That's great!

I posted in another thread that I have just purchased an aerial photo of S. Post Oak/Willowbend/Westbury at a place called Positive Image on Stella Link. I had a great learning experience looking through their photos and choosing one to buy. They aren't cheap ($60 for 11x14), but I'm going to frame the pic I bought as art, so it's not really that expensive either...

http://www.positiveimage.com/contact.htm

Keep the memories coming...

Jason

Trudy was stunningly beautiful in 1971. She fits the description of the woman you knew at Westbury Square. She did graduate in 1971.

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I posted in another thread that I have just purchased an aerial photo of S. Post Oak/Willowbend/Westbury at a place called Positive Image on Stella Link. I had a great learning experience looking through their photos and choosing one to buy. They aren't cheap ($60 for 11x14), but I'm going to frame the pic I bought as art, so it's not really that expensive either...

I have some historical aerial photographs I would like to post, but I have had no success in including imagery in my posting. Can anyone tell me how to get it in here, and what the size limit is?

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I have some historical aerial photographs I would like to post, but I have had no success in including imagery in my posting. Can anyone tell me how to get it in here, and what the size limit is?

From what I can tell, they must be somewhere else online and simply referred to by URL in this forum. When you mouse over the little icon picturing a tree above your replying space , it says 'insert image'. when you click on it, a little window arises asking for an URL. If you don't have a webspace upon which to put an image first, so you can refer to it in a message, send it to me, Charles, by email, and I shall send you the URL. You can then refer to it in a message.

as for the size limit, you may want to keep it down below 700 or 800 pixels wide for easy viewing, but by all means, send me the big one, and I shall resize it for us before putting it online..

I think this is the way to go. if someone else has more or different info, please post it.

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I have some historical aerial photographs I would like to post, but I have had no success in including imagery in my posting. Can anyone tell me how to get it in here, and what the size limit is?

Some of the more popular image sharing sites are photobucket, tinypic, and flickr. Just sign up and follow their instructions for uploading your photos to post here or elsewhere. Resize your pictures to the size most have done in HAIF. At one time there was a 500 KB size limit, I think.

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MK, i enjoyed your post; some replies to some of your comments are below:

Dude, if you have that 1960 air photo of Westbury digitized, I would LOVE a copy. I'm an aficionado of the old neighborhood, big time..I have very few pics..

I finally got the full 1960 westbury pix up on my briefcase.. "30 megs of room I get to post junk.."

I won't try to link it to here, as the file is about 1.5 mb, and you really want to see it at it's full res

to get the best detail.

I've tried to date it from

looking at it, and as close as I can tell, I think it was

taken in winter of 1959-60. One reason is our house was supposed

to have been built in 1959, and I do remember the original

A/C permit saying 1959, but I forget what month. In this

picture, our house looks to be done. Another clue is the

shadows, and angle. The picture was taken in the morning,

maybe 9-10 AM ??, and from the angle of the sun from the

east, I would judge winter. The sun is coming more from the

southern hemisphere, where as in the summer, the sun is

more from the due east, or even slightly north position.

So... My guess is winter 1959-60..

It's possible it could be W 60-61, but being they hadn't started

Westbury high yet, I'm leaning to W 59-60... Westbury high was

done in either 61 or 62 if I remember right.

Lots of interesting things..

Westbury Square, or any of the shopping center, bank, etc

is there yet, but it looks like they had just started laying

out the square. Westbury High is not there, but the watertower

is. Note the faint remnants of the old Sam Houston airport.

You can faintly see parts of the runway, and the entry road.

Domain Privee over on old main is still pretty intact as

it was, and you can still see the "star" out in the yard.

Note how it looks like Old Main used to go farther west across

the tracks.

Note.. No freeway.. Post Oak was still the main drag in at

that time. Note the property with trees, houses, roads,

etc n/e of where Meyer Park would be. Is that the old

Meyer place you all are talking about? I guess this is

how it used to look, if it is.. Quite a spread...

The Westbury Centerette at Bellfort/Chimneyrock seems to

be there.. Ditto for the U-totem building on Bellfort..

No jack in the box yet...:/ Remember that jack used to live

at Bellfort/Chimneyrock instead of Bellfort/Post Oak..

Used to be a Baskin Robbins, etc next to U-totem.. The

guy that used to live across the street ran a barber

shop there too.. The building now known as foodarama seems

to be there. The old bowling alley at Post Oak/willow seems

to be there. I think Post Oak Bar-B-Q also.. Actually, I

knew a guy that worked there in jr hi about 1970-71, and

even then , that place had been there like 30+ years

according to what the old owner had said.

So I guess it was there going way back to the prairie days..

Meyer Speedway is there. But no Hillcraft at that point..

They had just started building over the airport..

You can see S.Willow and Gasmer were both there, and they

are also old streets going back to at least the late 30's,

early 40's. They are shown on the 1942 planning map.

Note the prairie north of Johnston jr hi.. Would be houses

there soon. The bayou looks pretty full.. Might have rained

the night before..?? Note the racetrack looking thing near

Main and Hiram Clark..Wonder what that was.. Looks about the

same size as the running track at Johnston...

At that point, the double lane W.Bellfort ended at Mullins.

I know a couple of people that lived on Bellfort at that

point.. I showed him this picture and one had said that some

of the houses, included theirs, had been "model" homes when

that place started.

One still lives there. "The two lived next door to each other."

Note the almost utter lack of trees at all the new houses.

Ours was bare too. Of course, now the trees are quite tall,

and gives the place a lot different look from the air.

The building that held the old 7-11 at Belrose/Burdine

seems to be there. But no Texaco station across the street yet,

nor the Gulf station that would be next door, next to the yet

to be fire station. No apartments yet either..

The last to be built in that area would be the Westbury Square

town homes which would be built when I moved here in 69.

They had just started framing those out when we moved here

and were probably done in 1970 sometime. They were real nice

when they were first built. And it was all open. If you lived

in those townhouses, you could walk around the courtyard

sidewalks around to where it met with the square, and bingo,

you were in the square. Also, that was the route I took to

and from school everyday. Of course, now it's all fenced in,

with gates, etc.. The whole place is basically ruined from

what it used to be. Now it's no different than any other

run of the mill gated apt complex..

Back in the old days, living in the square, or even the townhomes

connecting it, was kinda like living in old Europe..

That was the whole idea from the beginning. Note the way

Village Inn was designed kind of like an old English pub..

Parker School is there, but not the pool yet..

Of course, Godwin and Godwin park were still open land,

and ditto for Anderson School, and Hager park. You can see

how they seemed to have left room for both of those, and

probably was planned into the sub from the beginning.

What I would really like to see is older pix of the same

area from say the 30's and 40's, early 50's.. I'm also looking

for more history of the ownership, etc of the land back then.

I assume most was for farming, rice fields, etc.. I'd like to

know fer instance exactly who owned the land I'm sitting on

back in the old days.. Was it part of a large spread, or maybe

a smaller tract.. Only the shadow, and maybe the courthouse,

archives, etc know fer sure..

I haven't bothered going to any of those yet..

BTW, I hope the word wrap doesn't go flaky on me, and roll my

lines 300 miles long. Some of this I prewrote before I got

online, and just pasted it in..

Oh yea, the url is...

http://briefcase.wt.net/cgi-perl/ListConte...=public&id=

and the file name is "westbury60.jpg". I wish I could just direct link it without

having to go to the menu, but I'd have to put it on my web server, and

there ain't enuff room for it... They only give me a chinchy 5 mb for my

website.. :( I can barely run a usable website with that..

If anyone wants to post it from another site, be my guest.. I got it

from the westbury civic club website... I tried to find it on there,

but couldn't ...I guess they don't have it anymore, or I couldn't

find it... I checked all their old archives... The page seemed to be

gone..

MK

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What a great picture. It's really strange to see Westbury's water tower and no school right next to it.

I lived in Marilyn Estates - the subdivision just west of Johnston. This picture must be 1959, because Kolter Elementary hasn't been built, and it was open when we moved there in October of 1960.

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That is a fantastic photo! Amazing to see what the area around my first house, in Westbury South, looked like just before it was built in the Spring of 1961. Many vacant lots. I was on the west side of Landsdowne, between Fontenelle and Firenza. We were really out in the boonies then. Had to go a Burger King on Post Oak, near WillowBend, for our first Whoppers. The races at Meyer Speedway on Saturday nights sounded like they were almost next door.

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Hello All

I went ahead and posted the Westbury '60 image on one of my servers. it is at http://rootmedia.net/images/westbury60.jpg . thanks for that MK (and Croberts, who had also sent me a copy) A couple of things:

MK wrote "The Westbury Centerette at Bellfort/Chimneyrock seems to be there.. Ditto for the U-totem building on Bellfort..No jack in the box yet..." Right you are, MK. I went back a couple of months ago, and that old pharmacy building with the bright blue mosaic tiles in the Westbury Centerette was STILL unoccupied, and still had the old soda fountain counter I remember cherry cokes at on the way home from from 7th grade at Johnston(I peeked in the window 2006, and it's still an old abandoned pharmacy.) I remember them building that Jack in the Box. They made a big deal on the radio about how you could actually get a burger by driving through the place; Jack was the 1st drive through. Jumbo Jacks were 26 cents; drinks were 10, 15, and 25 cents..

"At that point, the double lane W.Bellfort ended at Mullins." Yup; actually, it went four houses beyond Mullins, to where Landsdown would have met it instead. Mullins ran parallel, but did not go through to all the way to Willow Bayou; Landsdown ran from beyond W. Airport ALMOST to Bellfort, but for a couple of rows of houses which stood between. We used to hang out under that bridge at Willow Bayou and Landsdown after school at Anderson sometimes, skipping rocks on the water, fishing for crawdads, and stuff. I went back there this year, and went under that bridge to show the spot to my daughter, and the view is EXACTLY the same, uh, er, except for the gang grafitti, of course. It was almost but not quite like setting my watch back 40 years.

"The building that held the old 7-11 at Belrose/Burdine seems to be there. But no Texaco station across the street yet," - Ah, that old 7-11. Cokes were 8 cents when we got there, and 2 cents for the bottle. I remember playing as a kid in the excavation when they were putting in the tanks that would hold the gas at that Texaco. I also climbed up the ladder on the inside of that 'Westbury High' water tower too, once, and peered out from the little round porthole at the top of the stem.. It was a scary climb, but worth it, thinking back..

"What I would really like to see is older pix of the same area from say the 30's and 40's, early 50's.."

Apparently the airport was established at some point before 1943. here is an image circa 1949-51 which, as best I can tell, was about at what would be Landsdown and Ludington, across the street where Anderson Elementary is now. (Perhaps it was on the other side of the school, where the park is now.)

SamHouston_TX_40s50s_tower.jpg

Sam Houston Airport was bounded by what would eventually be South Main, Chimney Rock, West Bellfort, and Hillcroft. Here's a 1950 image of a fellow approaching the airport, to the northwest, about to cross over main street.

SamHouston_TX_50_approach.jpg

there's an annoted version of the 1960 map to show where the runways and 'tower' had been, but it is hard to read because of the small file size.. The tripod site where these pics are from is very interesting, if you haven't seen it yet: http://tinyurl.com/k67ld

anyway, thanks for posting. everyone send more if you can.

STU

DFW USA

Edited by stu

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This is making me question the reliability of HCAD's records, however: My house on Torchlight*, which, according to HCAD, was built in 1959, is in the picture, but one a bit farther down the street, which, according to HCAD, was built in 1958, is not. :huh: I was trying to see if I could help you date the picture any more precisely, but your guess is as good as (or better than) mine. 1959ish sounds about right.

I agree about the accuracy... rather inaccuracy... of the HCAD dates. They have my old house listed as built in 1964. It was built in 1961...the year I moved in. The house of my old neighbor across the street from me was built in 1960. HCAD has that right, and it is not in the picture. I checked the HCAD build dates of some of the other houses in my neighborhood that are in the picture, and they are listed as built in 1958, which might be a little early. So I agree with the dating of the photo.... 1959-early 1960.

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Hello All

I went ahead and posted the Westbury '60 image on one of my servers. it is at http://rootmedia.net/images/westbury60.jpg . thanks for that MK (and Croberts, who had also sent me a copy) A couple of things:

MK wrote "The Westbury Centerette at Bellfort/Chimneyrock seems to be there.. Ditto for the U-totem building on Bellfort..No jack in the box yet..." Right you are, MK. I went back a couple of months ago, and that old pharmacy building with the bright blue mosaic tiles in the Westbury Centerette was STILL unoccupied, and still had the old soda fountain counter I remember cherry cokes at on the way home from from 7th grade at Johnston(I peeked in the window 2006, and it's still an old abandoned pharmacy.)

I notice the old original "westbury centerette" sign with the clock is still there. That sign was probably

there in 1959. It's pretty old.

\

We used to hang out under that bridge at Willow Bayou and Landsdown after school at Anderson sometimes, skipping rocks on the water, fishing for crawdads, and stuff. I went back there this year, and went under that bridge to show the spot to my daughter, and the view is EXACTLY the same, uh, er, except for the gang grafitti, of course. It was almost but not quite like setting my watch back 40 years.

We had a "bayou" that ran along the rear of the houses across the street. It was pretty much

our playground back when we were young. I remember once we dug a large underground

fort alongside the bayou with a tin roof on it. We used it for a while until the first huge rain.

It was then a nice deep wading pool... :/ I used to catch little fish, minnows, etc, and throw em

in my aquarium along with my other storebought fish. They seemed to get along ok.. They had

guppies, etc in that bayou..

"The building that held the old 7-11 at Belrose/Burdine seems to be there. But no Texaco station across the street yet," - Ah, that old 7-11. Cokes were 8 cents when we got there, and 2 cents for the bottle. I remember playing as a kid in the excavation when they were putting in the tanks that would hold the gas at that Texaco. I also climbed up the ladder on the inside of that 'Westbury High' water tower too, once, and peered out from the little round porthole at the top of the stem.. It was a scary climb, but worth it, thinking back..

I climbed up in that thing one time.. Not sure I remember the porthole though..

"What I would really like to see is older pix of the same area from say the 30's and 40's, early 50's.."

Apparently the airport was established at some point before 1943. here is an image circa 1949-51 which, as best I can tell, was about at what would be Landsdown and Ludington, across the street where Anderson Elementary is now. (Perhaps it was on the other side of the school, where the park is now.)

SamHouston_TX_40s50s_tower.jpg

Sam Houston Airport was bounded by what would eventually be South Main, Chimney Rock, West Bellfort, and Hillcroft. Here's a 1950 image of a fellow approaching the airport, to the northwest, about to cross over main street.

SamHouston_TX_50_approach.jpg

there's an annoted version of the 1960 map to show where the runways and 'tower' had been, but it is hard to read because of the small file size.. The tripod site where these pics are from is very interesting, if you haven't seen it yet: http://tinyurl.com/k67ld

Yep, I'm the one that supplied some of that stuff. IE: the annoted pix, and the approach pix in the

old AG aircraft. That plane was built at that airport by Anderson Greenwood. They eventually got

into the valve, etc biz.. So I guess it would qualify as a Houston product.. :)

I'd lived here since 1969 and didn't know that airport was there until a few months ago. I then

did a search and ran into that guys "abandoned airfield" site. He originally guessed Sam Houston

airport as being east of chimney rock. It was by using the old Westbury pix, and also street

maps, that I came to the conclusion it was really west of chimney rock. I sent him the info ,

and he updated the site with the new location. I'm curious... What makes you think the

airport buildings in that pix are close to Landsdown and Ludington? Is it something you see?

I was thinking those were of the buildings just off the entrance from south main, but am

not actually sure.. One reason that annoted pix is hard to read is because I compressed it quite a bit

to save file size. The original I have is much easier to read.

MK

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Hi,

Thanks so much for reposting that pic for everyone. I found my house! It's great to see the way my neighborhood used to be. My house borders S. Post Oak, but it's interesting to see how much distance there used to be between my lot and the street. Now it's the lot, a wall, a sidewalk and then 6 lanes.

Jason

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My family up until recently (the past 5-10 years or so) has been pretty involved in the Westbury area. My mom worked at the candle shop when she was in high school back in the mid to late 1970s. My paternal grandfather owned and operated his business in one of those offices along West Bellfort. Both of my parents lived on Spellman right past the intersection of West Bellfort and Chimney Rock. My aunt and uncle used to own the medical practice on the opposite corner of that intersection. They sold it and I don't really know what's become of it. I often get to hear my parents talk about the square. It's neat to see more of what I've heard so much about.

Edited by lofiunico

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Wow!! What a great thread here. I have joined the site today after stumbling upon this conversation while searching for Johnston info. We moved to the Willow Meadows area in 1963. We lived on Silverwood and went to Red Elem, Johnston and then zoned to Madison. Since I was in the class of 74, I must have known MK since I was in the Johnston Band as well. Some of the names are bringing back images of school and baseball buddies. Someone mentioned cross country track which I tried along with my friend David Peverley. It was a disaster. We would stop in the bayou drain pipe and smoke untill the group came back and we would join them for the trip "home".

What an amazing picture you brought to my attention (westbury60). Thank you all for sharing memories of an area that is so hazy in my memory banks. It is bringing those memories into focus and starting to add a little color.

If anyone remembers a Dark Green 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible in the area, it was mine.

Jon Miller

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Question for those of you in the Willowbend/Willow Meadows/Westbury area around the time of building the 610:

What was the traffic like during construction of the 610? What were the main streets people used before and during that time? I'm guessing Post Oak was "the main drag" as someone had said. It would be cool to hear more about that as my house borders S. Post Oak. Maybe the fences weren't sound walls as they are now and you might remember the 50's Modern houses on the right as you crossed Willow Waterhole going toward Willowbend Ave. That's where we live...

Jason

Wow!! What a great thread here. I have joined the site today after stumbling upon this conversation while searching for Johnston info. We moved to the Willow Meadows area in 1963. We lived on Silverwood and went to Red Elem, Johnston and then zoned to Madison. Since I was in the class of 74, I must have known MK since I was in the Johnston Band as well. Some of the names are bringing back images of school and baseball buddies. Someone mentioned cross country track which I tried along with my friend David Peverley. It was a disaster. We would stop in the bayou drain pipe and smoke untill the group came back and we would join them for the trip "home".

What an amazing picture you brought to my attention (westbury60). Thank you all for sharing memories of an area that is so hazy in my memory banks. It is bringing those memories into focus and starting to add a little color.

If anyone remembers a Dark Green 1969 Shelby GT500 convertible in the area, it was mine.

Jon Miller

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In 1956 I moved to redstart in Willow brook??. I remember that the houses were small, and not really ranch style, though what they were escapes me. They had some interesting design elements. Mine had a patio and a partially flat roof with gravel on it that came off on the patio when it rained. The house was small, and in 1959 we moved to Arboles in westbury.

Most of the fencing was redwood lattice, which turned out to be a bad idea. It did not weather well, and looked ratty after a couple of years.

Post Oak must have been the biggest n-s road in sw houston at the time of construction of 610. I remember the Zindler mansion was torn down to build the freeway (Marvin Zindlers family owned a chain of clothing stores, Zindlers).

Post oak south of braes bayou was rural like, and in westbury there was a large nursery and a dynamite bar-b-que place. When they built 610 it initially did not enterface well with post oak, but in the late 60s or 70s they built the current post oak ramp.

The sound wall you mentioned I do not remember but I was last there in 1979.

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Hi,

Willowbrook does have mostly small but nice homes. Still, I think that it is a good little area, like Westbury, for people who want to buy a house close to town but can't afford Meyerland (yet?). I hope that good people continue to find this area instead of moving WAY out of town, but as stated before, it's hard to want to live here faced with the idea that if you have kids they will someday go to Westbury High with its reputation as it is right now. And that's a sad catch 22 for Westbury (seems like Sharpstown is probably in a similar situation).

Thanks for the info. It's easy to forget that Willowbend was the edge of town back then and interesting to think of Post Oak as a rural type of road like a Farm to Market road.

I don't know when the soundwall was built, but it's forgettable. Right now it is an issue for us because it is very inadequete for 6 lanes of heavy truck traffic, and big trucks are a main vehicle on S. Post Oak. I think it was put in in the 80s. There are many places where it has been crashed through by cars (drunks mostly). It's up to the owner and their insurance to put the wall back up (not the city). What has ended up happening (probably due to owners' lack of insurance) is that you will get a wood fence where there was a sound wall, so it's kind of a patchwork. Concrete, wood, concrete, different wood, etc... To me, it's obvious that this is the face of our neighborhood and something should be done to beautify it. That means money.

I could go on and on about it, but I'm going to stop here!

Jason

In 1956 I moved to redstart in Willow brook??. I remember that the houses were small, and not really ranch style, though what they were escapes me. They had some interesting design elements. Mine had a patio and a partially flat roof with gravel on it that came off on the patio when it rained. The house was small, and in 1959 we moved to Arboles in westbury.

Most of the fencing was redwood lattice, which turned out to be a bad idea. It did not weather well, and looked ratty after a couple of years.

Post Oak must have been the biggest n-s road in sw houston at the time of construction of 610. I remember the Zindler mansion was torn down to build the freeway (Marvin Zindlers family owned a chain of clothing stores, Zindlers).

Post oak south of braes bayou was rural like, and in westbury there was a large nursery and a dynamite bar-b-que place. When they built 610 it initially did not enterface well with post oak, but in the late 60s or 70s they built the current post oak ramp.

The sound wall you mentioned I do not remember but I was last there in 1979.

Edited by Willowisp

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I remember after the oil embargo in the 1970s, when regular went from 29 cents a gallon to $2.50 a gallon, everyone wanted to move "inside the loop". I expect that will happen again, only this time, gas prices are unlikely go down that much. My best childhood memories are from living on redstart, and the houses, though small, were in many ways, jewels. I hope that this time, willowbend will seem to Houstonians to be close to town, and you will experience a boom. If they build the wetland marshes off gasner (sic) for willow water hole, you will have a lot of preserved open space nearby. Cant say anything about Westbury high though.

My 1921 topo shows that there are no roads between brays bayou and s. main, nor are there any west of the n-s rr track to the east of you. Neither willow waterhole nor brays have been channelized yet. There is only 1 house shown west of willow water hole and south of Brays.

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I think you mean the nursury and Bar-B-Q that was

on Willowbend just east of the RR tracks. I remember that

Bar B Q place from when we moved here. We went there

a few times, but eventually it burned down. Post Oak Ranch

Bar B Q is still on Post Oak. They have some pretty good

stuff too. PO ranch has been there a long time. Next

time I'm in there, I'll see if anyone knows when if first

opened. I remember the old owner from the 60's-70's,

and then he sold it to a guy named Moses. He was there

probably through the 80's, 90's. I'm not sure, but think Moses

might have recently sold it to someone else, but I'm not sure.

I remember the Willowbend Bar -B Q having loads of

cowboy artifacts hung up in the dining room.. Hummm..

Now that I think about it, I think the Bar B Q land itself

became a nursury.. At the moment, I think it's unused,

but I'd have to double check. I drive by there quite often.

MK

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Post oak south of braes bayou was rural like, and in westbury there was a large nursery and a dynamite bar-b-que place.

When I lived in Westbury South in the early 60's, there was a nursery on Gasmer, just west of Post Oak, and a bar-b-que place at the southeast corner of Post Oak and Benning. Are those the ones you refer to?

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When I lived in Westbury South in the early 60's, there was a nursery on Gasmer, just west of Post Oak, and a bar-b-que place at the southeast corner of Post Oak and Benning. Are those the ones you refer to?

Yes, the nursery was huge, and the bar-b-que place was great, it had wonderful fries and chopped beef sandwiches. I believe that there was also a bowling alley and a burger king on that stretch of post oak, and the burger king must be one of the originals. I think the firm (based in miami) started in 65 and that is about the time that we started eating whoppers.

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Yes, the nursery was huge, and the bar-b-que place was great, it had wonderful fries and chopped beef sandwiches. I believe that there was also a bowling alley and a burger king on that stretch of post oak, and the burger king must be one of the originals. I think the firm (based in miami) started in 65 and that is about the time that we started eating whoppers.

I think you're right about that Burger King being one of the originals. I had never heard of them before that one opened. My regular Sunday evening trek was Landsdowne to W. Airport to Chimney Rock to Gasmer to Post Oak to Burger King, just north of Willowbend. Mid-60's... a Whopper was $.35.

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