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almadenmike

Identity of a building in a 1920 photograph

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Here is a portion of a 1920 photo looking north past Rice University's Lovett Hall. (The full photo was posted yesterday on the Rice History Corner blog: https://ricehistorycorner.com/2018/04/11/wm-rice-institute-houston-tex-1920/)

 

Might someone here identify the three-story building on the horizon, near the right edge of this cropped image?

27545122158_0aea6c20ff.jpg

Edited by almadenmike

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Could it be the Montrose Public School? It was on the block where HSPVA is now, West Main and Stanford, and that building looks like a school from that time period. The Montrose school was built in 1916. Using Google Earth, the angles look right. There were some pictures here on HAIF at one point, but the links are broken now.

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Thanks, Ross. It does look like a school building to me, too.

However, I see in this Feb. 23, 1919, Houston Post article (p.34, pasted below) that the Montrose School appears to be two-story, not three. Was there another one on that campus. (In several articles about the Montrose school, I see mention of an administration building, but I haven't (yet) found if this news photo shows that ... or other photos that specifically show that building or say if it's 3 stories high.)

1919-MontroseSchool-HoustonPost-23Feb-p34.jpg

Edited by almadenmike
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I searched all through the Sanborn maps for any possible building and there doesn't seem to be anything that fits the bill. 

 

I even tried to triangulate the location of the building from the photo you posted above and another Schlueter photo from the Rice History Corner posted on March 27

https://ricehistorycorner.com/2018/03/27/chemistry-building-construction-circa-1925/

https://ricehistorycorner.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/oversize-chem-construction-1925.jpg

 

Based on my amateur analysis, I determined that the building should be between two N/S lines formed roughly by Graustark and West Blvd and as far north as Richmond.

I redoubled my efforts in the Sanborn maps and the City Directories.

I searched the lists of schools and apartment buildings.  The Kinkaid School was there but it was one story and faced north.

There doesn't seem to be anything.  Also note that the 1924 Sanborn maps don't go west of Institute, so it might have slipped off the left of the map.

I wonder if maybe it wasn't around long. 

 

I decided to search for other Schlueter photos but I could not find anything else to really help.  I did find a photo of this unidentified building that could possibly pass as the subject building.  Unfortunately it has no location or identification.

http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/schlueter/id/207/rec/19

 

 

?CISOROOT=schlueter&CISOPTR=207&action=2

 

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On the 1944 Google Earth aerials, there are a couple of possibilities on Richmond West of Graustark. One is on the South side of Richmond at Graustark, and I can't find a reference in the 1940 City directory(starting there and trying to work backwards to 1920, since 1944 is the earliest phots), the other is on the North side of Richmond at Yupon, which was the Convent of the Good Shepherd. 

 

There is another intriguing property at Graustark between Castle Court and what is now the SW Frwy. It looks like a major residential property, and, again, I can't find a relevant entry in the City directory. I will keep looking.

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Ross -- Is this the Castle Court property that intrigued you? If so, I agree that the buildings at the 7 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions on the left side of that circle do look interesting. (1944 Google Earth Pro view below)
 

1944-Houston-CastleCourt-Graustark.jpg

Edited by almadenmike

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That's the one. It actually looks like it could be the house that's in another unidentified building thread. Another mystery.

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Okay so the property on Graustark at 59 seems to be the Pauline Sterne Wolff Memorial Home for Widows and Orphans.

A google search says the home was the first Jewish orphanage in Texas and her fund still seems to be around according to this post from 2015

http://jhvonline.com/jfs-senior-adult-service-wing-to-carry-benefactors-name-p19236-109.htm

 

"Pauline Sterne Wolff’s name is known through the many programs and facilities made possible by the foundation, a legacy that has profoundly impacted the city of Houston. Pauline Sterne Wolff died in 1921. The Wolff Memorial Foundation began with a $600,000-plus estate; $100,000 of the estate was used to buy land and build the Pauline Sterne Wolff Memorial Home in 1930. For decades, the home provided a safe and nurturing place for Jewish orphans to grow and flourish."

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4 hours ago, Ross said:

 ....One is on the South side of Richmond at Graustark, and I can't find a reference in the 1940 City directory(starting there and trying to work backwards to 1920, since 1944 is the earliest photos),....

 

 

South side of Richmond at Graustark was the Kincaid School built sometime in the mid-20s  unfortunately it was only one story

th?id=OIP.YhGF2_06MpQDb1rT14PQlwHaFB%26p

 

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The Wolff Home was at 1300 Kenwood, which is now under 59, according to the City Directory. So, one mystery solved.

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

The Wolff Home was at 1300 Kenwood, which is now under 59, according to the City Directory. So, one mystery solved.

 

That's gotta limit the walkability somewhat ;)

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14 hours ago, gmac said:

 

That's gotta limit the walkability somewhat ;)

It was next to a railroad, which is going to limit walkability in some regards. But really, I suppose one way to back up what the building was is tracing back the land history of the apartments north of the freeway. If the entire property was condemned and then split off and sold, then probably not, but if part of the land was condemned and the original owners sold out then it might be traceable. From what I found, the address of the apartments, legally, isn't on Castle Court but rather 4508 Graustark, but I can't find anything on that property prior to 2016.

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The State took the freeway land in 1956. The Pauline Sterne Wolff Memorial Foundation sold the land in the 60's to a harry Reed, who then sold it to John Jamail, who sold to John Jamail Builders. That happened in 1973 or so. The property then went to  Lomas and Nettleton, then to Lincoln Properties, etc. The apartment on the site now were built in 2016 or so.

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