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Houston In The 1940s


57Tbird

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These are a couple of remarkable pictures that I think you would be interested in viewing. These were shot in 1958 by the father of an old high school classmate of mine. He gave me permission to share them with you. From these photos, he made hand-drawn maps that pin-pointed the location of various buildings and other landmarks of that era.

th_Houston1958-II.jpg

th_MedicalCenter2-1.jpg

Edited by 57Tbird
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Very revealing photos, very sharp.

There was also a ton of downtown parking in 1958 as well. In fact, it appears to be more in volume than today. Of course, that may be because most structures appear to come with their own lot, making the amount of parking space wider spread.

The single-unit homes near the Med Center look a lot denser than perhaps today, although it appears that the density of trees wasn't as high so perhaps these neighborhoods are probably as dense but appear to be less so because the trees are thicker and more mature.

Thanks for sharing.

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Great pictures!  Thanks! 

A few more from the same period:

abJan.jpeg

akClosing.jpeg

abJan.gif

Med Center 1964

aeJun.jpeg

In your third picture...is that the old Conoco Building, on the right, with the weatherball on top? I had forgotten about that one.

I see the Astrodome in the background of hte Med Center-1964 shot. It must have still been under construction then. I had the pleasure of attending the first game played there in April, 1965. Saw the Astros play the Yankees in an exhibition game. What a magnificent structure it was for its time. I was awestruck when I entered it for the first time. Who would have thought "The Eighth Wonder of the World" would be "obsolete" 40 years later?

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  • 1 month later...

hey all,

i was wondering if any of you knew anything about the series of duplexes (all identical) that are located in the santa rosa neighborhood between telephone rd. and reveille. they are on the north side of moline street, and there are a total of about eight or ten red brick homes. i was also told they might have been housing for ellington field folks...

thanks!

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i was wondering if any of you knew anything about the series of duplexes (all identical) that are located in the santa rosa neighborhood between telephone rd. and reveille. they are on the north side of moline street, and there are a total of about eight or ten red brick homes. i was also told they might have been housing for ellington field folks...

I dunno...could have been.

Sam Houston Gardens (in/by Meadowbrook) was built in '40 by the US Gov't to house the military.

It might have been just the developer anticipating the need for affordable housing when the GI's starting returning from the war.

I think Santa Rosa was developed in 1945. Maybe they had a government incentive program for builders?

Or maybe he just wanted some multifamily housing in the subdivision?

Okay so I probably didn't help much.

Are there any little old ladies in the neighborhood that you can grill? :D

So did you move into one of those duplexes?

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I dunno...could have been.

Sam Houston Gardens (in/by Meadowcreek) was built in '40 by the US Gov't to house the military.

It might have been just the developer anticipating the need for affordable housing when the GI's starting returning from the war.

I think Santa Rosa was developed in 1945.  Maybe they had a government incentive program for builders?

Or maybe he just wanted some multifamily housing in the subdivision?

Okay so I probably didn't help much.

Are there any little old ladies in the neighborhood that you can grill?  :D

So did you move into one of those duplexes?

back in the 40's is when multifamily housing started to pop up in houston. There are similar blocks in several neighborhoods where multifamily dwellings were permitted. Patricia Manor, an early apartment complex from the 40's, is still in full operation in Pecan Park.

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  • 7 months later...
abJan.gif

If you look at the far right building, the thing on top is the Weather Ball that indicated the weather forecast by using different color lights. This was discussed here recently.

This photo looks like the area where I remember seeing a Levitz furniture store. Is Levitz still in Houston?

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  • 1 month later...

G'Day 2 the H2 {Historic Houston} Forum.

I have located a photo of the Civic Cntr. and surrounding landscape {prior to itz current clutter} that I'dd like 2 share w/y'all.

http://texashistory.unt.edu/permalink/meta-pth-5865:200

If ya will take a peek @ the 2nd photo {scroll down} it should appear. I do hope that it iz not to dark as I have several Q's to ask, but wanted everone to 1st give it a look see.

The source of the photo is a book title "Houston A History & Guide" written by the writer's project of the WPA in '42. The book w/itz complete text/photos iz available online @ the link as noted above.

Will return in a few hours after composing my Q's. Hope U all enjoy the historic photo{s}.

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Sum follow up Q's.

1. Reading from left/right I believe the E/W str's in the photo are McKinney, Walker, Rusk curving right to x the Bayou.

2. From top/bottom I believe the N/S str's are Bagby, Smith & Louisana.

3. @ the top left in the distance is that the old Jeff Davis Hosp @ 1801 Buffalo Dr.?

4. Just to the left of CH along Bagby {approx. 1000 Blk.} is a small Bldg that appears to have a dark hole in its entrance. Would this be the old Fire Alarm office?

5. To the S/E of CH appears to be {1926} wing of Julia Ideson Bldg {w/Tx history collections} of HPL, correct?

6. To the right of Music hall appears to be a 4 bay Bldg. Would this have been old Fire Sta #1 where DTA now sits?

7. To the right of the FS & across Rusk is a high rise Bldg. Can anyone ID it?

And finally would y'all be able to ID {w/names & address'} any/all of the remaining Bldg's that are clearly visible in this photo?

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1. Correct

2. Correct

3. Yes

4. Don't know

5. Correct

6. Don't know.

7. Vitually everything in this photo is now gone, except City Hall and the library. Houston Coliseum was razed, and the Hobby Center has replaced it. The open area to the north of City Hall and the reflecting pool is now Tranquility Park, with underground parking. North of that area is the US Courthouse. The lowrise buildings in the bottom center is now an old highrise that the City bought and uses for office space. Of course, one block north of that is B of A Tower. One block south is Shell. The houses behind City Hall is now City Hall Annex.

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DMac..took quite a while to figure out your acronyms....English might help next time

Sum follow up Q's.

1. Reading from left/right I believe the E/W str's in the photo are McKinney, Walker, Rusk curving right to x the Bayou.

2. From top/bottom I believe the N/S str's are Bagby, Smith & Louisana.

3. @ the top left in the distance is that the old Jeff Davis Hosp @ 1801 Buffalo Dr.?

Your first three observations are correct. i'm not sure year when named changed to Allen parkway. Hospital was built in '36 and I know in the 20's it was still Buffalo Drive

4. Just to the left of CH along Bagby {approx. 1000 Blk.} is a small Bldg that appears to have a dark hole in its entrance. Would this be the old Fire Alarm office?

5. To the S/E of CH appears to be {1926} wing of Julia Ideson Bldg {w/Tx history collections} of HPL, correct?

6. To the right of Music hall appears to be a 4 bay Bldg. Would this have been old Fire Sta #1 where DTA now sits?

7. To the right of the FS & across Rusk is a high rise Bldg. Can anyone ID it?

And finally would y'all be able to ID {w/names & address'} any/all of the remaining Bldg's that are clearly visible in this photo?

For #4, i just spoke with my dad who's a 40 yr plus fire department veteran and he said you are correct on the old fire alarm office. He even had the hundred block by memory.

you're right on #5

on #6 he that was the old #2 station fire station. He added that it sat at an angle compared to the other buidlings. He didn't look at pic but pic confirms his knowledge.

As for remaining buildings, this is Houston so they are not standing from what i can tell. Pic is blurred as well. I have some black and white Bob Bailey photos boxed somewhere of city hall during this era. i will have to hunt for them. Below is a link to some archived Bob Bailey photos.

Bob Bailey Photos

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Sum follow up Q's.

1. Reading from left/right I believe the E/W str's in the photo are McKinney, Walker, Rusk curving right to x the Bayou.

2. From top/bottom I believe the N/S str's are Bagby, Smith & Louisana.

3. @ the top left in the distance is that the old Jeff Davis Hosp @ 1801 Buffalo Dr.?

4. Just to the left of CH along Bagby {approx. 1000 Blk.} is a small Bldg that appears to have a dark hole in its entrance. Would this be the old Fire Alarm office?

5. To the S/E of CH appears to be {1926} wing of Julia Ideson Bldg {w/Tx history collections} of HPL, correct?

6. To the right of Music hall appears to be a 4 bay Bldg. Would this have been old Fire Sta #1 where DTA now sits?

7. To the right of the FS & across Rusk is a high rise Bldg. Can anyone ID it?

And finally would ya'll be able to ID {w/names & address'} any/all of the remaining Bldg's that are clearly visible in this photo?

4. That is the Fire Alarm Building. Here's a better picture.

FireAlarm.jpg

7. That is the old Harris County Jail and Criminal Courts Building. It was the second one at that same location. It is now the rear section of Bayou Place. The tree is still there.

OldJail.jpg

To identify the other buildings, this might help. It is part of a map of downtown from 1940 that shows every building and store at the time.

SEdowntown.jpg

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Wow. Look at all the residential home lots and apartments. I guess these are the ones that the Pierce Elevated destroyed and many consider part of the old 4th Ward?

I had heard there was a hospital near there too but never knew the exact location or name (Memorial)...Quite a few car lots and filling stations too.

Great Find. Thanks!

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Wow. Look at all the residential home lots and apartments. I guess these are the ones that the Pierce Elevated destroyed and many consider part of the old 4th Ward?

The Pierce Elevated would be outside of the area of the map. A lot of the residences were destroyed for expansion of Sam Houston park, Allen Center, and other development. Interesting that Smith dead-ends at Polk.

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7. ...The lowrise buildings in the bottom center is now an old highrise that the City bought and uses for office space.

This building was formerly known as the Electric Tower. It was constructed by HL&P and opened in 1968. As an aside, did you know that the sunken areas between the building and sidewalks were paved to resemble the gravel in a Japanese garden?

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Heh, I saw the old Woltman Furniture , I want to say they still have a place on Westheimer, in the middle of Montrose, I took a nice sleeper chair and a half over there to be re-upholstered not too long ago.

Just remembered that it was Waldman & Co. NOT Woltman. Oh well !

Edited by TJones
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6. To the right of Music hall appears to be a 4 bay Bldg. Would this have been old Fire Sta #1 where DTA now sits?

Re: #6, old FS #1 was torn down for the expansion of the Music Hall.

The most recent #1 is where DTA now sits.

[Danny,

I am still trying to locate info on Industrial Home. My cousin has a vaque memory of his dad talking about it when he was at DePelchin. I'll let you know if I find anything on it.]

B)

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