Houston – 51 years ago and now (part 2)

Downtown Houston, Texas mid 1960s

The photo above is from some time around 1965, the summer that I spent in Houston, Texas, with my mom and her new husband, Harry.  We lived in a second floor apartment in an old dilapidated apartment building about 10 blocks from where this photo was taken on Main Street looking to the northeast.  When I stumbled across this photo online several months ago, it was amazing how familiar it looked.  The view down Main Street (below) is almost unrecognizable from what I remember from 51 years ago.

The tall building on the left is the 44 story, 606 ft (185 m) Exxon-Mobil building.  I knew it as the Exxon building. I didn’t know at the time, but, apparently, it had been completed just 2 years before my visit. It was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it was completed, but was surpassed in 1965 by a building in Dallas. One of the neat features of the building was the observation area at the top.  I went up several times that summer.  The “high speed” elevator made quite an impression on a youngster from a Nebraska  town that had few buildings large enough to need an elevator.

The skyscraper on the right side of Main Street is the 410 ft (125 m) One City Centre, originally called First City National Bank Building. Completed in 1960, it was the first modern office building constructed in downtown Houston.

The image below is from Google Street View (2015 image), taken from a similar vantage point as the top photo.  Main Street now has tracks for light rail. It hardly looks like the same city.  The Exxon-Mobil building and One City Centre can both be seen. The top photo is from a camera using a telephoto lens, which results in some perspective distortion. One City Centre is five blocks further away than the Exxon-Mobil building.  The bottom photo has less perspective distortion (magnification)  so that One City Centre seems even further away.Main Street, Houston, Texas, Google Street View, 11/16/2016

america, american history, commentary, perception, photography, texas, vintage images

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  • Hilary Nov 18, 2016

    Hi Mike – good you were able to ride to the top … skyscrapers at that stage of the 20th were relatively new … cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…Herbs, Spices and Herbalists – part 5: ParsleyMy Profile

    • Mike Nov 18, 2016

      I wish I had photos from the observation platform, but I don’t. It’s the only one I’ve been to in a tall building, though we’ve been up a few structures designed specifically for offering higher views of areas, such as Reunion Tower in Dallas.
      Mike recently posted…Eyes of the Great Depression 140My Profile

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