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Keep Houston Press Free
4

Houston In The `70s: Still Not Good Enough For Snobs

We stumbled across a

Time

magazine

article

from 1970 with a startling headline: "Houston Seeks The Refugees."

Times have changed.

But maybe not -- the "refugees" in question were big corporations and their workforces, apparently eager to escape "the problem-plagued urban areas of the Northeast."

Houston was seeking to attract them with such baubles as the brand-new Greenway Plaza project and also by a proposed office-apartment project slated to cost nine billion dollars in today's money.

A few weeks ago, Texas Eastern Transmission Corp., the gas pipeline giant, spent more than $55 million to acquire 46 acres on the edge of downtown Houston. In association with Brown & Root, the big construction company, Texas Eastern intends to build a $1.5 billion office-and-apartment development.

That would have been one helluva office-apartment complex.

In terms of things staying as they ever were, Time offered this caveat to Yankees thinking of making the move to Houston:

To live on a moderate scale, according to the U.S. Labor Department, a family of four needs only $9,212 annually in Houston, compared with $11,236 in New York City. Houstonians note other benefits: cleaner surroundings and a less hectic style of living. What they fail to mention is the city's less than salubrious climate; in July and August the humidity is exceeded only by the 100° temperatures. Politically, Houston's conservatism could irritate some younger executives, and the city's cultural life, while commendable for the Southwest, pales beside that of New York or Boston.

We love that "while commendable for the Southwest" description of the city's "cultural life."

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