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Old building in Harrisburg near Brady's Landing

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In old Harrisburg, there is an abandoned building that looks like an old school or office, probably 1940s. It's at 8200 Cypress, at the bridge to get to Brady's Island. I haven't been able to get much info online. Does anyone know anything about it?

20170704_092148.jpg

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The oldest street view (2007) images show less decayed driveways and yard signs with apples on them - and more importantly no "for lease" sign

Next streetview is 2011: the basement windows are freshly boarded up, with chains on poles installed to prevent access to the driveways.  There's now a no trespassing sign

 

In 2013, the building achieves its current look - all windows are boarded up and there is a "for lease" sign up.

 

There's an abandoned road that runs in front of it "Frio street".  It shows up as continuous on historical aerial's map https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer

Aerial photos from 2004 show a few cars parked in front of it.

It looked to have been in active use in the 60s, and has been there since at least 1957

 

It looks like the current owner is the Port of Houston, as listed in HCAD and on the leasing sign

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Sanborn maps call it a U.S. Engineering Department office.  There is a mention of a U.S. Engineering Department office in Harrisburg in a 1939 Houston Chronicle.  The U.S. Engineering Department was responsible for dredging the channel.

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Also: (click the pic to go to Patrick Feller's Flickr page for this image.  He has a few others, too)

US Engineering Department (Corps of Engineers), Frio and Cypress, Houston, Texas  0530101454

 

Edited by marmer
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The Corps of Engineers (which absorbed the United States Engineering Department) closed this Harrisburg office in 1955.  The Army held on to the lease until 1966, and there was then an effort in 1968 to get the building donated to the city (which may well have happened) as a Brady's Landing Park museum or historic Harrisburg site building.  I don't think much came of that.

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Frio is basically an alley, and is driveable, at least in my little car. We drove down it coming from Glendale Cemetery, it goes past the back side of the building, the front faces the island.

 

Thanks for the info, everyone!

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One of the articles I found about this mentioned that there was a launch operator on the staff here.  That would explain why the building faces the bayou, if a lot of their work was done on the water.

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