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Humble Oil Building (Now Exxon Mobil) History


jb4647

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My grandfather worked for the Humble Oil Co from 1927-1972. He worked for them in Longview, TX until 1960 when they transfered him to Houston. His son, my dad, took these photos of the Humble Oil Bld construction on 800 Bell between 1960-1963.

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Notice the downtown YMCA in the background:

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 years later...
This is from the inside of a brochure touting the then-new Humble Building in 1963. Yep, a few things have changed.

Thanks for sharing this unique photo. I took my girl friend (now wife of 40+yrs) up there around this time. I recall the pay telescope jammed "on" so we got lots of free viewing time. Hey! Ten cents was a lot of money back then to a teeny-bopper.

The photo is a little fuzzy, but in the south view I can make out the South Main drive in theater screen as well as the Playland Park roller coaster. Best I can tell, the demolition of the race track grandstands had already taken place at the east end of the coaster. The large structure in the upper right must be the HL&P plant, but I may need a second opinion on that.

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The photo is a little fuzzy, but in the south view I can make out the South Main drive in theater screen as well as the Playland Park roller coaster. Best I can tell, the demolition of the race track grandstands had already taken place at the east end of the coaster. The large structure in the upper right must be the HL&P plant, but I may need a second opinion on that.

4PROP... Second opinion here. If the HL&P facility you refer to was the one near the intersection of South Main and Hiram Clarke, I think the structure in the upper right is too far away to be it. The HL&P plant would be just above and a little bit to the right of the South Main Drive-In screen you pointed out. I don't think it's visible in that photo, but your eyes are far better than mine.

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That freeway is 527; you can tell because it runs parallel to South Main before curving to the SW. Erik Slotboom's book says that 527 and the first section of the SW Freeway were opened at the same time (7/26/61) and that 527 was considered a separate spur even then (118-119). He shows that the section of the SWF that crosses Main didn't open until the early '70s.

Edited by FIREhat
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These are some really great photos! Pretty Cool!

My Dad's father, Cecil Burdick Sr., worked for for the Humble Oil Company (later Exxon) from 1927 thru his death in 1972 at the age of 62. Much of that time was spent in Longview, TX. In 1960, Humble re-located him to Houston as they constructed the their new headquarters on Bell. This construction was well documented by both my father & grandfather. The first photo in the set is of the original Humble bld in 1958. It is now the Marriott Residence Inn. The rest of the photos were taken between 1960-63.

I've put the link to the photos here:

http://photobucket.com/humble

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  • 10 years later...

It's actually the 1801 Main Street Building.  Not sure what it's original name was but do know it underwent a renovation in the early 2000's  This photo is actually from 1965, I used to live in The Houston House Apartments and know it was constructed in 1965.

Edited by EspersonBuildings
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23 hours ago, EspersonBuildings said:

It's actually the 1801 Main Street Building.  Not sure what it's original name was but do know it underwent a renovation in the early 2000's  This photo is actually from 1965, I used to live in The Houston House Apartments and know it was constructed in 1965.

What was the big short building with the white top in the background? Looks like it took up a whole block.

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47 minutes ago, hindesky said:

What was the big short building with the white top in the background? Looks like it took up a whole block.

 

The one to the left of the Humble Building(I'm old school, my Grandfather worked in the previous Humble building on Main)? That's the 800 Bell parking garage, and it does take up the entire block. It used to have an Exxon station in it until they had to replace the storage tanks, and it was simpler to just eliminate the station.

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1 hour ago, hindesky said:

I'm talking about the building I circled.

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Yep, that's the 800 Bell parking garage. One block West and one block South. I think it has 2 underground floors and 5 above ground, but don't hold me to that.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

The building under construction at 1801 Main was Houston Bank and Trust, built in 1957. It has had several names since then. I think it's Amegy Bank now. It built a new parking garage a few years ago, which generated a lot of talk and photos here on HAIF.

 

Edited by FilioScotia
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  • The title was changed to Humble Oil Building (Now Exxon Mobil) History

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