Houston Now & Then

Mashing the city's past and present.

We meet again for the fourth installment of vintage Houston mashed with its present-day locations. Here is another look at how much Houston has changed and how its deep-rooted history won't fade.

One of the best examples of change is Main Street. Gone are the movie theaters of the 1920s and in are the northbound and southbound tracks used by the Metro Light Rail — reminiscent of times when trolleys dominated downtown travel. You can still hear the church bells ring every hour from the First United Methodist Church, located at 1320 Main at Clay. Boasting more than 100 on-tap brews, the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, at the corner of Main and Capitol, still serves drinks at the same location that used to house one of the best soda fountains and candy counters in town when it was the S.H. Kress & Co.'s 5-10-25 Cent Store.

Further down Main Street, Rice Stadium seems frozen in time since being built in 1950 on the campus of Rice University, a stopping place for John F. Kennedy's "We choose to go to the Moon" NASA speech as well as Super Bowl VIII in 1974.

Bob Seales Auto Co — 1517 Milam Street at Leeland.
Standing at the current location of the Exxon Building, the Bob Seales Auto Company dominated the corners of Milam and Leeland as well as Travis at Leeland. It might have even been known as Bob Seales corner, but there isn't much history about him. You will see Bob Seales "Used Cars" in the next installment.
photo by Abrahán Garza
Bob Seales Auto Co — 1517 Milam Street at Leeland. Standing at the current location of the Exxon Building, the Bob Seales Auto Company dominated the corners of Milam and Leeland as well as Travis at Leeland. It might have even been known as Bob Seales corner, but there isn't much history about him. You will see Bob Seales "Used Cars" in the next installment.
Greyhound Bus Station - 1500 Texas at LaBranch.
Located one block from Union Station, this Greyhound Bus Station was moved and demolished in the 1980s and is currently a parking lot.
photo by Abrahán Garza
Greyhound Bus Station - 1500 Texas at LaBranch. Located one block from Union Station, this Greyhound Bus Station was moved and demolished in the 1980s and is currently a parking lot.
Plaza Hotel - 5020 Montrose.
Opened in 1926 as the Plaza Apartment Hotel, this was Houston's first hotel to provide accommodations and suites for permanent residents, and operated until the 1980s. It was completely renovated in 2006 and is now office and medical space.
photo by Abrahán Garza
Plaza Hotel - 5020 Montrose. Opened in 1926 as the Plaza Apartment Hotel, this was Houston's first hotel to provide accommodations and suites for permanent residents, and operated until the 1980s. It was completely renovated in 2006 and is now office and medical space.
Moulin Rouge Burlesk Exotics - 315 Milam Street in 1975.
Currently the location of the Kim Son Parking Garage, across from Market Square.
photo by Abrahán Garza
Moulin Rouge Burlesk Exotics - 315 Milam Street in 1975. Currently the location of the Kim Son Parking Garage, across from Market Square.
City Hall Reflection Pool - City Hall 808 Bagby.
This photo from the 1960s is a calmer look at today's dramatic skyline. It also shows that you could see three city blocks away before Shell Tower One became the tallest building in the city in 1971 and blocked the view.
photo by Abrahán Garza
City Hall Reflection Pool - City Hall 808 Bagby. This photo from the 1960s is a calmer look at today's dramatic skyline. It also shows that you could see three city blocks away before Shell Tower One became the tallest building in the city in 1971 and blocked the view.
Sembera's Furniture - 4661 Telephone Road.
Claiming to be "Houston's most beautiful furniture store," this home of quality furniture stands vacant today just outside the 610 Loop. It was last used as a discount store for damaged grocery products.
photo by Abrahán Garza
Sembera's Furniture - 4661 Telephone Road. Claiming to be "Houston's most beautiful furniture store," this home of quality furniture stands vacant today just outside the 610 Loop. It was last used as a discount store for damaged grocery products.
2015 Thomas.
The Sunset/Southern Pacific Hospital touted itself as "the largest and only fireproof railroad hospital in the south," and is now part of the Harris Health System.
photo by Abrahán Garza
2015 Thomas. The Sunset/Southern Pacific Hospital touted itself as "the largest and only fireproof railroad hospital in the south," and is now part of the Harris Health System.
Rice Stadium - 6100 Main Street.
Rice Stadium seems frozen in time since it was built in 1950 on the campus of Rice University. Preserved since the days of John F. Kennedy's "We choose to go to the Moon" NASA speech as well as Super Bowl VIII in 1974.
photo by Abrahán Garza
Rice Stadium - 6100 Main Street. Rice Stadium seems frozen in time since it was built in 1950 on the campus of Rice University. Preserved since the days of John F. Kennedy's "We choose to go to the Moon" NASA speech as well as Super Bowl VIII in 1974.
2504 Bissonnet.
The Venetian Blind Shop has been holding down the fort at 2504 Bissonnet since 1952.
photo by Abrahán Garza
2504 Bissonnet. The Venetian Blind Shop has been holding down the fort at 2504 Bissonnet since 1952.

Another example of restoration is the original United States Post Office Building, located at 901 San Jacinto. It ships out new recruits and specialists on a daily basis as a Military Processing Center. The City Hall reflection pool at George and Martha Hermann Square park has its own urban legend: It has been said that according to George Hermann's will, people are allowed to sleep in the park. Honoring that wish, the city attorney's office stated in a 1987 article that police are not to arrest anyone sleeping in the park; however, the Parks Department says that people are not permitted to sleep there.

 
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5 comments
Schitt.Rumpney
Schitt.Rumpney

I got a Houston Now & Then question: I drove down Richmond Ave toward Montrose Blvd last week and I noticed a lot of cars in the front parking lot of the old TALK of The Town (littlr red 420 that burned and closed. The bldg has a neon "open" sign and name says Talk Of The Town lll. Whats up? I thought they closed and werent reopening. I am glad to see them back and plan to stop by next week end.

_abrahan
_abrahan

@USTPoliSciProf thnx for the tweet! Its Garza, though.

Fulmer
Fulmer

@HoustonPress It's great that you named @Vic_n_Anthonys best steak house. We appreciate it. FYI: They serve prime rib eye, not prime rib.

USTPoliSciProf
USTPoliSciProf

@_abrahan Doh! Damn my autocorrect. Sorry about that!

 
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