Jump to content
IronTiger

Garden Oaks-area questions

Recommended Posts

I've been living near the Garden Oaks area for some months now and I wanted to ask a few questions about some of the things I've observed driving around and in Google Earth. I wrote these down a while back, so bear with me, because I am curious about these...

 

1. There was a building just south of Sears in its parking lot that was torn down in 2011. I assume this was a department of some sort (it wasn't the auto center). What was it? The garden shop...?

 

2. Was 7928 Shepherd always a strip club, or was it fast food?

 

3. On that note, what about 7720? The sign (rectangle with corners rounded off) looks a bit like a fast food, but the building is larger. There are two identical signs, one on I-45 and one on Shepherd. The front of it is taken by a "adult video" shop, the back an auto repair shop.

 

4. Shepherd and Donovan, SE corner. Until sometime in the late 1990s there was a large former retail building there (abandoned even in 1995, or at least serving another purpose). Was it a Woolco, Globe, Kmart, or Sage...or something else? [EDIT: Turns out it was a FedMart, though possibly a Globe prior]

 

5. At Tidwell and Rosslyn, there's a small, spooky building with several doors and air conditioning units. Seems like there were some carports converted to buildings inside. What were/are they? Single bedroom apartments?

 

6. There was a defunct Whataburger just west of Residence at Garden Oaks Apartments (formerly Crosstimbers Apts.), when did it close? (It was torn down by 2001 and is now townhomes after a long period of being a vacant lot)

Edited by IronTiger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've liked Garden Oaks since high school in the early 90s. I first discovered it because when I was 16 and a new driver, my mother didn't want me driving on freeways without her or my dad in the car, especially at night. On Friday nights I wanted to get out of the suburbs of Champion Forest and go into town, with one of my favorite places to go being the Landmark River Oaks movie theater on West Gray for indie/foreign films and Rocky Horror. Mostly used to eat at the Birra Poretti's on W Gray right next to the theater. Because of my mom's prohibition on freeway driving, I had to take Stuebner Airline which became Veterans Memorial all the way down until it kind of merged into North Shepherd, and then N Shepherd down under 610 N where it split into N Durham and N Shepherd, keep on N Durham over I-10 and on down until it merged back with Shepherd around Memorial Dr, and on down to W Gray.

 

Once I had gotten south of the auto salvage yards and passed St. Pius X High School, that's when I felt like I was "in town", and the old-looking but still nice houses in Garden Oaks and the midcentury-looking Sears caught my eye. As a suburban kid who hated the boring suburbs, I always thought it would be cool to live in an old 40s house there right on the edge of "in town".

 

I can't answer most of your questions, but the first one, I may be remembering this wrong, but I want to say there was a Conn's or similar appliance and electronics store there. I feel like that's where I bought the minifridge for my dorm right before I moved off to college.

Edited by Reefmonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Reefmonkey said:

I can't answer most of your questions, but the first one, I may be remembering this wrong, but I want to say there was a Conn's or similar appliance and electronics store there. I feel like that's where I bought the minifridge for my dorm right before I moved off to college.

It would've been a part of Sears or at least affiliated with it somehow...there was a Conn's next to 610 that closed around 2010, give or take a few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked at historic aerial photographs of the Sears and think I saw what building you mean. There is a small building directly south of the Sears, in its parking lot, it is there all the way through the 2010 aerial, but gone in the 2012 aerial. Definitely way too small to be a Conn's :rolleyes:. You know, it almost looks like...at the Memorial City Mall Sears, there is a small building off by itself in the parking lot (besides the auto center, which is much bigger), where you can get keys duplicated. I've always assumed it is affiliated with Sears, but it may not be. On the other hand, the building might have once been used by Sears and then abandoned by them and taken over by a key duplicating company. I wonder if the building at the Garden Oaks Sears was built along the same idea as the one at Memorial City Sears?

Edited by Reefmonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The building south of the main store was originally the bicycle and small engine (lawn mower) sales and service.  Look a bit south and east of the Sears Store, pre mid sixties and you will see the original Pine Forest Country Club, very swanky.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/7/2018 at 4:44 PM, Reefmonkey said:

I looked at historic aerial photographs of the Sears and think I saw what building you mean. There is a small building directly south of the Sears, in its parking lot, it is there all the way through the 2010 aerial, but gone in the 2012 aerial. Definitely way too small to be a Conn's :rolleyes:. You know, it almost looks like...at the Memorial City Mall Sears, there is a small building off by itself in the parking lot (besides the auto center, which is much bigger), where you can get keys duplicated. I've always assumed it is affiliated with Sears, but it may not be. On the other hand, the building might have once been used by Sears and then abandoned by them and taken over by a key duplicating company. I wonder if the building at the Garden Oaks Sears was built along the same idea as the one at Memorial City Sears?

 

There is a standalone Key Shop still in operation in the N. Shepherd Sears back parking lot. It has been in continuous operation there for close to (if not more than) fifty years. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, the key shop has been there since I can remember, so that's around 60 years - BTW - I love Lindale...lived on Ave of Oaks during the 50's.  Still looks good, as of 5 or so years ago.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't go by the Sears on Shepherd much these days (my mother practically lived there in the early 1960's) but I take delight in knowing the key kiosk, if you will, is still there. Does anyone know of a Fotomat* still in operation? That would be remarkable. :lol:

 

*If you are too young to know what a Fotomat is you can Google it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Specwriter said:

I don't go by the Sears on Shepherd much these days (my mother practically lived there in the early 1960's) but I take delight in knowing the key kiosk, if you will, is still there. Does anyone know of a Fotomat* still in operation? That would be remarkable. :lol:

 

*If you are too young to know what a Fotomat is you can Google it.

I'm 42, and remember very well my mom driving up to the Fox Photo booth in the middle of the parking lot of the Kroger on Kuykendahl and Louetta to pick up prints in the early 80s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2018 at 10:18 AM, IronTiger said:

5. At Tidwell and Rosslyn, there's a small, spooky building with several doors and air conditioning units. Seems like there were some carports converted to buildings inside. What were/are they? Single bedroom apartments?

 

This building and the one behind it appear to be part of an old "Motor Court" motel, the type you would find in many small towns in the 50s and 60s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Dagnabbit said:

 

This building and the one behind it appear to be part of an old "Motor Court" motel, the type you would find in many small towns in the 50s and 60s.

I would agree with that, and add that there are a number of examples in the Houston area, like the Admiral that's across the street from Spanish Flowers restaurant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ross said:

I would agree with that, and add that there are a number of examples in the Houston area, like the Admiral that's across the street from Spanish Flowers restaurant.

 

There's one in close proximity to Garden Oaks - the Tropical Motel at N. Shepherd and Janisch, about a quarter-mile south of Pinemont. I realize a lot of folks consider these types of places to be eyesores, but I have a fondness for them as they are among the few remaining vestiges of a postwar working/middle-class Houston. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

 

There's one in close proximity to Garden Oaks - the Tropical Motel at N. Shepherd and Janisch, about a quarter-mile south of Pinemont. I realize a lot of folks consider these types of places to be eyesores, but I have a fondness for them as they are among the few remaining vestiges of a postwar working/middle-class Houston. 

I go by that one on my up Shepherd to get to 45. There was another one, the Paradise Motel in the 8400 block of Hempstead, South of 11th until early 2016. There are some similar looking apartments at 1304 W 24th, I wonder how long they can last.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

 

There's one in close proximity to Garden Oaks - the Tropical Motel at N. Shepherd and Janisch, about a quarter-mile south of Pinemont. I realize a lot of folks consider these types of places to be eyesores, but I have a fondness for them as they are among the few remaining vestiges of a postwar working/middle-class Houston. 

 

10 hours ago, Ross said:

I would agree with that, and add that there are a number of examples in the Houston area, like the Admiral that's across the street from Spanish Flowers restaurant.

 

A better comparison would be the Azalea motel in the 7100 block of N.Shepherd at Millville street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Dagnabbit said:

 

 

A better comparison would be the Azalea motel in the 7100 block of N.Shepherd at Millville street.

 

That's a good one, and it looks largely original with little sign of ever having been remodeled since it was built. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/8/2018 at 6:15 PM, houwest said:

The building south of the main store was originally the bicycle and small engine (lawn mower) sales and service. 

 

 

That makes sense to me... with the Sears - Oak Forest/ Garden Oaks store (1949) on N. Shepherd having a detached garden bldg. I know the Sears - Main St. store (1939) had a detached auto center. I think it was once a garden center, too. I probably saw it on an old Sanborn map. It sat SE, right across the street. The Sears - Pasadena store (1956) had an attached but outdoor fenced garden type area to the right, with the auto shop in the rear. The key shop was a separate small booth located in front of the store, on the south side, by the right entrance doors. I remember it vividly. The colored keys always caught my eye. The catalog dept. was to the left, back side. I don't recall what setup the Sears - Harrisburg store (1947) had...think it may have been detached and close by. The Sears - Memorial City (1961) has/ had a detached auto center. The original 60's, heavy-looking but easy- gliding silver handled doors were still present in recent years. They may have disappeared in the last  medical center/ shopping mall remodel. The Memorial City Sears key booth was like the Pasadena store. It sat on the West entrance, in its own little booth. 

 

The Sears built dates may be approximate. I've included them mainly to see how the garden/ auto center design evolved.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could've been the Garden Center, as Shepherd's Auto Center was to the north of the building. Memorial City's Garden Center was attached. There's some old video floating around YouTube that does have a good shot of it, and that part later became the optical department, which had closed some years before the store went out of business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The retail building across the street from St Pius High School on Shepherd at Donovan was a Globe Shopping City. I know for sure because looking at my old Marian High School yearbook from 1971, the building marquee shows up in the distance in a stadium photo shot of a football game between the two schools. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...