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Houston Monorails


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  • 11 months later...

Instead of dredging up old topics, i thought i'd share these photos here...I found these while browsing through some older volumes of the Houston review:

IAH sky taxi:
mr001.jpg

the trailblazer (tested at arrowhead park):

mr002.jpg

mr003.jpg

a downtown rendering:

mr004.jpg


The Houston review of history and culture
University of Houston. Center for Public History
Published by the Houston Public Library Board, 1979-97

Edited by sevfiv
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This one was not at IAH - it was what is now Hobby. In 1966 (the date in the photo) IAH was still several years away from opening, and Hobby was called Houston International Airport.

of course...i meant HIA dern it :blush:

Edited by sevfiv
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  • 8 months later...

The arrpwhead park monorail was totally different from the Fondren road monorail (see my description in the previous posting). To get to the car I had to walk on the rail itself, wrapping my arms around the girder that the car road on-so the car was above and sitting on the rail, rather than under the rail, as in the pictures of the arrowhead park monorail. So there were two different prototype monorails and three altogether, county the hobby airport monorail.

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  • 2 months later...

Re: Monorail at Hobby

This was built as sort of a 'demo', to, hopefully, sell to Houston for mass transit. Pretty forward thinking for the time, really. It was set up just around Hobby, with plans to someday go downtown. My dad said he could not remember the developer that built it, but he rode on it once, as it was in his district. The guy was hoping for something like the L in Chicago. And we all know what happens when they try to do stuff like that in Houston!

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  • 1 year later...
The Google Images/Life magazine collection also has some color photos of the monorail available for viewing.

Oh yeah! Found them with a "source:life houston monorail" Google Images search.

I didn't realize that there were old Houston photos in the Life Magazine collection that were undated. I probably missed some good ones in that other thread because I just did search after search of "source:life houston 19xx".

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Inspired by the Houston monorail topic, I put together a little video.

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=drcDfyfs7IU

Very well done; have been looking for pictures related to this for some time; don't know if they

have been recently posted to haif topics on this however.

how can I search youtube for your other houston memory videos - i saw one today about majestic/lowes.

PS if you know of any footage or pics related to the gateway swimming pool and skating rink, circa

50s or 60s, please let us know.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 years later...

It wasn't the taxi driver's union that killed the Hobby monorail. Unions aren't that strong in Texas, even the Teamsters. It was the Taxi Company - Yellow Cab, which until very recent times enjoyed a monopoly on cab service in Houston, thanks to the Houston City Council members on its "campaign donation" payroll.

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Interesting book. I had no idea that there was once a monorail in 1956 on South Main and Kirby (1/4-mile test track) because this was a proposed site for the 1962 World's Fair. "But the people of Houston did not want to look like Chicago or New York City. Eight months later it was removed by popular demand and moved to the Texas State Fair in Dallas."

 

 

I never knew that Houston was a proposed site for the 1962 World's Fair. We could've had a Space Needle!

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I never knew that Houston was a proposed site for the 1962 World's Fair. We could've had a Space Needle!

 

That would have been so appropriate for this city - even more so than for Seattle. At 605 feet the Space Needle would now be dwarfed by many buildings here. San Antonio's Tower of the Americas is 622 feet and, I believe, still the tallest structure in Bexar County.

 

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I wonder if having a 605 foot Space Needle would have affected the heights of the buildings built here...

 

If you mean, would developers, designers, and building owners honor the height by avoiding building above it I doubt it. I believe the only thing that keeps Houston from having a 100+ story building is economic reality.

 

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  • 2 years later...
On 3/5/2006 at 3:12 PM, sevfiv said:

Instead of dredging up old topics, i thought i'd share these photos here...I found these while browsing through some older volumes of the Houston review:

IAH sky taxi:
mr001.jpg

the trailblazer (tested at arrowhead park):

mr002.jpg

mr003.jpg

a downtown rendering:

mr004.jpg


The Houston review of history and culture
University of Houston. Center for Public History
Published by the Houston Public Library Board, 1979-97

fgdfg.JPG.3eb146d8b05b5e1d97f2cdbd382117b6.JPGThis snapshot of a film/video clip is of the monorail being installed at Hobby Airport, then called Houston International Airport

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  • 2 years later...

There was plenty of talk about this notion when I  First moved to Houston in 1977. Mostly I remember the plan to connect both airports with $$$ set aside. By the time I moved back to Houston in 1979; guess the plans had changed because those earmarked funds were used for something else.

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Sainted MayorBob (Lanier), suburban developer and previously a highway department commissioner, successfully used the "toy" argument when running for his first term.  The claim was that monorail is Disneyland technology.  Somehow, the counter argument that Disney's business model includes efficiently moving large numbers of people around in order to make a buck was never really raised.

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  • The title was changed to Houston Monorails

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