Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Reefmonkey

Kuykendahl/Louetta Intersection in the 80s

Recommended Posts

The last time I was up in this part of town, during Harvey when I evacuated up to my parents' house, I was shocked by how much this intersection has changed. When I was a kid living in Cypresswood in the early 80s (we moved to Champion Forest in 1985), this intersection had the nearest grocery stores, and served as a kind of "town center" for the nearby neighborhoods. It sadly seems fairly run down now, with the turnover in types of businesses definitely going downmarket. Here is what I remember being there c. 1984:

 

There were farms of the northeast and northwest corners.

 

Northeast corner had a grocery store we almost never went in, I think it was a Minimax? I can't remember the other stores in this complex at that time, but I know by the time I was in high school there was a photographic film developing store in the center, because I had a friend with an after-school job there.

 

Northwest corner was anchored by a greenhouse-style Kroger that was our usual grocery store. I remember it had a little cafe inside that was fairly popular. I feel like there was also a video store further down the strip, and an Eckerd's pharmacy. There may have been a Chinese restaurant and a Mexican restaurant in there, but we never ate at them, as Chef Chan's was right outside our neighborhood, and so good, and our favorite Mexican was Las Brasas, on Kuykendahl south of 1960, across from the Bammel gas field. Back to the southwest corner of Louetta and Kukendahl, I remember in the middle of the Kroger parking lot there was one of those 1-hour photo processing booths that looked like a toll booth, was it a Fox Foto or a Fotomat? Another place I remember in the strip was Rainbow Popcorn, which sold all different flavors of popcorn, from pizza and sour cream & onion, to rootbeer and bubblegum. They also had a business hand-painting 2-gallon tins with whatever you wanted on them, and then filling them with bags of their popcorn. They were very popular for birthdays and graduations - last time I was at my parents' house I saw the one my older brother got for his graduation from Haude Elementary in 1984.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was there over the holidays, eating at Wing Stop. Yeah, the area seems to have gone down, reminds me of what shopping centers along Veterans Memorial south of FM 1960 used to look like. Are you thinking of the Kroger on the southeast corner of the road? Two of the other anchors have left this intersection, I think it was Randalls most recently on the northeast and I have no idea who was on the southwest where 24 Hour Fitness is. Meanwhile Strack Intermediate is looking as ghastly as ever, it's mind-boggling that such a building was ever constructed for children on this side of the Iron Curtain.

 

My "town center" was Louetta and Stuebner-Airline, which is treading water. The new Klein High School didn't come out as nice as I had hoped and I miss the old one. Maybe when the trees grow up it won't be so brutal. Food Town leaving isn't good.

 

Basically the whole stretch of Louetta from 249 to I-45 has gone downhill mainly due to relentless clear-cutting of trees.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 1/31/2019 at 11:18 AM, H-Town Man said:

I was there over the holidays, eating at Wing Stop. Yeah, the area seems to have gone down, reminds me of what shopping centers along Veterans Memorial south of FM 1960 used to look like. Are you thinking of the Kroger on the southeast corner of the road? Two of the other anchors have left this intersection, I think it was Randalls most recently on the northeast and I have no idea who was on the southwest where 24 Hour Fitness is. Meanwhile Strack Intermediate is looking as ghastly as ever, it's mind-boggling that such a building was ever constructed for children on this side of the Iron Curtain.

 

My "town center" was Louetta and Stuebner-Airline, which is treading water. The new Klein High School didn't come out as nice as I had hoped and I miss the old one. Maybe when the trees grow up it won't be so brutal. Food Town leaving isn't good.

 

Basically the whole stretch of Louetta from 249 to I-45 has gone downhill mainly due to relentless clear-cutting of trees.

 

That 24 Hour Fitness on the Southwest corner used to be the greenhouse Kroger I was talking about. Across the street on the Southeast Corner used to be another chain grocery store, definitely a Minimax: https://houstonhistoricretail.com/grocery/minimax/

 

18518 Kuykendahl Rd Spring, TX 77379 Wheat's Minimax

 

Shoot, I would have given anything to go to Strack, I went to the original Kleb building, which was just as much of a windowless block, but older (from 1967) and run down. They moved Kleb into its current building three years after I finished 8th grade. I started out at Haude, which was Klein's first "modern" elementary school (a windowless block with open concept classrooms), then went to Brill for 4th and 5th (another windowless block), then after Kleb I went to Klein, which was pretty rundown by the early 90s. My sophomore year we had to endure all the mud and chaos and detours getting between classes while they enclosed the Commons and built the Pavillion (one of my friends of the debate team came up with the name). I haven't been in the new Klein building yet. I was in Klein Cain this February (I am the volunteer coach for my daughter's middle school speech team and Cain hosted a tournament) and was overwhelmed by the interior of that school. It felt like a major airport terminal or a shopping mall. We'll probably be going to the new Klein  this fall for a tournament, I'm curious to see what it's like, but will be strange to be in my "alma mater" yet will be unrecognizable to me.

 

Agreed on Louetta, my mom has been fighting that in the area for 20+ years, her biggest victory was convincing Kickerillo to give up the land for Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. And Spring-Cypress and 2920, when I left for college in 1994, they were both still country roads with farms and even a few 100 year old farmhouses, now they're 21st Century Levitttown.

Edited by Reefmonkey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

That 24 Hour Fitness on the Southwest corner used to be the greenhouse Kroger I was talking about. Across the street on the Southeast Corner used to be another chain grocery store, definitely a Minimax: https://houstonhistoricretail.com/grocery/minimax/

 

18518 Kuykendahl Rd Spring, TX 77379 Wheat's Minimax

 

Shoot, I would have given anything to go to Strack, I went to the original Kleb building, which was just as much of a windowless block, but older (from 1967) and run down. They moved Kleb into its current building three years after I finished 8th grade. I started out at Haude, which was Klein's first "modern" elementary school (a windowless block with open concept classrooms), then went to Brill for 4th and 5th (another windowless block), then after Kleb I went to Klein, which was pretty rundown by the early 90s. My sophomore year we had to endure all the mud and chaos and detours getting between classes while they enclosed the Commons and built the Pavillion (one of my friends of the debate team came up with the name). I haven't been in the new Klein building yet. I was in Klein Cain this February (I am the volunteer coach for my daughter's middle school speech team and Cain hosted a tournament) and was overwhelmed by the interior of that school. It felt like a major airport terminal or a shopping mall. We'll probably be going to the new Klein  this fall for a tournament, I'm curious to see what it's like, but will be strange to be in my "alma mater" yet will be unrecognizable to me.

 

Agreed on Louetta, my mom has been fighting that in the area for 20+ years, her biggest victory was convincing Kickerillo to give up the land for Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. And Spring-Cypress and 2920, when I left for college in 1994, they were both still country roads with farms and even a few 100 year old farmhouses, now they're 21st Century Levitttown.

 

Well hell, we walked the same footsteps. I went to Brill and then to old Kleb, moving into new Kleb in 8th grade. Never went to Haude though. I thought all those schools were nicer than Strack, maybe because Strack was two stories and thus more bruising to the eye, and didn't have a pretty campus around it like old Kleb did. I actually liked the character of old Kleb and Klein, which seemed kind of like a little village in contrast to the new fortresses that have been built there. It was nice to walk outside between classes.

 

I appreciate your mom's hard work.

 

Yeah, Spring-Cypress used to be a nice drive. So was Louetta for that matter. It's crazy how it has all changed. I'd give a pretty penny to be able to drive back there one day and see Gerland's staring across Stuebner at Safeway and its little shopping center with wood-shingle roofs, Gulf gas on the other corner and everything west of the Klein Career Center nothing but trees...

 

Edited by H-Town Man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Well hell, we walked the same footsteps. I went to Brill and then to old Kleb, moving into new Kleb in 8th grade. Never went to Haude though. I thought all those schools were nicer than Strack, maybe because Strack was two stories and thus more bruising to the eye, and didn't have a pretty campus around it like old Kleb did. I actually liked the character of old Kleb and Klein, which seemed kind of like a little village in contrast to the new fortresses that have been built there. It was nice to walk outside between classes.

 

I appreciate your mom's hard work.

 

Yeah, Spring-Cypress used to be a nice drive. So was Louetta for that matter. It's crazy how it has all changed. I'd give a pretty penny to be able to drive back there one day and see Gerland's staring across Stuebner at Safeway and its little shopping center with wood-shingle roofs, Gulf gas on the other corner and everything west of the Klein Career Center nothing but trees...

 

Strack definitely looked brutalist on the outside, but I remember going to speech tournaments there in 6th-8th and thinking the inside seemed nicer, I guess because it was only 10 years old as opposed to 20. And up to that time I had never gone to a two-story school, which seemed cool.

 

Klein was definitely a much nicer school my last two years than my first two years. The Commons, Pavillion, and courtyard between the two, the Hi Rise, pretty much everything south of the original building, was pretty nice. I was kind of surprised that they tore down all that stuff that wasn't that old, when they could have just torn down and rebuilt the main building. But I guess that open campus with walking outside wasn't secure enough in this day and age.

 

Once I got my license, I used to joyride all around "up in the country" as I called anything north of Louetta, and I had my favorite "country roads." I'd take Old Louetta up to Spring-Cypress and then over to Huffsmith-Kohrville Rd, and then maybe turn on Boudreaux Road, and all that felt like the rural South at that time. I'd also take Louetta to North Eldridge Parkway, and head south on Eldridge, and it was nothing but dense pine forest as far south as Cypress-North Houston Rd. My girlfriend and I would pull off the road at the bridge over Cypress Creek and make out under the bridge. Shocking how built up that is now 25 years later.

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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...