Houston – 51 years ago and now (part 1)

In 1965, my sister and I had been living for several years with our grandparents in Nebraska.  In late May or early June that year, I traveled by bus to spend the summer with my mom and her new husband, Harry, in Houston, Texas.

Downtown Houston, then, looked much as it does in the photo below.  The bus terminal was somewhere near the foreground of the photo on the left side of the picture.  They didn’t have a car so we walked back to where they lived.  It wasn’t far, just a few blocks past the tallest building on the left, a second floor apartment in a dilapidated old building on Haley Street.

Houston Texas downtown skyline (abt 1963)

Last weekend, Karen and I visited Houston for the first time in 30 years.  We were there for the Houston International Quilt Festival, held at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The photo below was taken from a second floor convention center balcony.

The downtown area sure has changed since I first saw it as a 13 year-old.  The bottom picture was taken from a vantage point a few blocks to the left, but not too far from that of the top one.  (See the bottom comparison, which points out one building that is in both photos.)

Other than going from and back to the parking lot where we left the car to go to the quilt show, we didn’t walk around the downtown area at all.

As an introverted 13 year-old living in Midtown, I roamed these streets quite a bit.  I could get to just about anywhere downtown with a couple of short walks and a 15¢ bus ride.  The current convention center is about 1.5 miles from where we lived, less than a half hour walk for the youngster I was back then.

Mom worked as a waitress in a hotel coffee shop not far from where these pictures were taken.  There aren’t many images online from that period of time and I haven’t been able to identify if that building even exists.

That area of Houston, as I recall, was slated for some kind of urban renewal, which, from what we saw has long been done.  From Google streetview , the old apartment building is long gone, replaced by newer, nicer buildings.  The whole area has changed.

Two years after the 1965  summer visit, I returned to Houston to live with my mom, sister, and step-dad.  I left at the very end of 1971 when I joined the Navy.

commentary, life, photography, places, quilting, texas, towns, urban, vintage images

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  • Hilary Nov 13, 2016

    Hi Mike – nostalgic visit … but life changes so much – where I lived as a kid was in the country, now it’s part of conurbation London – with London airport well established, not even known back then.

    Cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…Gricer … Get Out and Push RailRoad … Adlestrop poem …My Profile

    • Mike Nov 13, 2016

      When I went back to live in Houston in the summer of ’67, we lived in the city a few miles south of the downtown area. In December, we moved to an old unincorporated neighborhood outside of Houston. The neighborhood is still much the same, except generally more rundown and still just outside the limits of Houston. A number of new housing developments have been built in the area, along with a lot of small businesses, but, overall, the area is still recognizable for what I left 45 years ago.
      Mike recently posted…Dear JaneMy Profile

  • Rummuser Nov 13, 2016

    Nostalgia brought out so well! I spoke over the telephone to a relative in Hyderabad yesterday and have agreed to go there early next year. That would be a nostalgic visit like this and I shall blog about it.
    Rummuser recently posted…India’s Demonetisation.My Profile

    • Mike Nov 13, 2016

      Great! I hope you have a wonderful trip and visit!
      Mike recently posted…Dear JaneMy Profile

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