Thursday, November 15, 2018

1344 Yale

1344 Yale Street

This building was a former bakery operation (as of the early 1980s directory, listed as "Heights Bakery" though it's possible it was something originally), with a large three-point sign located at the corner that has faded off completely. As of this writing, the building is scheduled to become a wine bar/shop called "La Grande Rue" and a restaurant called "Savoir". Their websites are (also as of this writing) almost identical. According to HCAD, the build date is 1930 but Loopnet says 1950. However, the building does not seem to be on Google Earth's 1944 view but is on 1953, which suggests 1950 is perhaps the actual build date. More information can be seen on the Houston Architecture Forums.

Picture above is from May 2018 (by the author); picture below from Loopnet before renovations began.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Tommie's Restaurant & Club

5850 Highway 6 North

Advertisement from the Houston Post, June 1985. The 5850 Highway 6 address is no longer in use, but the building adjacent to the modern Captain D's may have been part of Tommie's at one point at time, or even was a larger building before being reduced later. (Aerial photography makes this difficult to determine).

Thursday, November 1, 2018

290 / Beltway 8 Demolition - Taco Bell

15950 Northwest Freeway

This is the third of at least three posts on a small collection of fast food restaurants which the author has taken a personal interest in, to be further explored in a future post on the Northwest Freeway site (this link will be updated soon to reflect that). Along with McDonald's and Wendy's, a Taco Bell was also among the three fast food sites and others on the south side of Highway 290 to be leveled for road widening. According to HCAD, the Taco Bell was built in 1993 and had red, green, and yellow striping outside. Like the other restaurants it closed around fall 2012, and was demolished within months of when these pictures were taken in March 2013 by the author. (The above photo is one of the only ones I have of the building, and the photo below shows the back of the restaurant). Previously, these photos appeared on Carbon-izer and Brazos Buildings & Businesses.

Street View of Taco Bell still in operation

Thursday, October 25, 2018

2100 Memorial

2100 Memorial Drive

Memorial Drive once was the busiest road in Houston during the 1960s prior to the opening of the Katy Freeway, but the road was removed from the freeway plan by the early 1950s and the Holiday Inn opened in 1969 (according to Harris County Appraisal District), within months of Katy Freeway opening. As a result, the hotel (already only one way to access the front of the hotel) was left with terrible access points no matter the access.

The hotel, referred to the "Civic Center" Holiday Inn or the "Memorial Plaza" Holiday Inn (sources vary), had 13 floors (likely labeled "ground" and floors one through 12), and less than 300 rooms1. It was also operated directly by Holiday Inns of America Inc. itself rather than being a franchised operation. Details are unavailable if it changed hands before it closed permanently in 1986, and by 1989 it was already considered to be converted to housing for the elderly, though renovation and reopening plans fell through.2

In 1998, the property reopened as 2100 Memorial, and was at some point repainted burgundy from beige. The flooding and subsequent fire control damage from Hurricane Harvey nearly closed 2100 Memorial until courts ordered the building to stay open and make repairs. Pictures taken in October 2018 by the author.

1. Sources vary on the rooms. The 1970 Hotel & Motel Red Book says 297 but an article in the Houston Post reported 271.
2. Various articles found through NewsBank.