Happy Holidays! And a fine 2015!
Ima was born 133 years ago this coming July.
I hope she would be pleased that she's now on an Audible Book, just out in December.
Get it on Amazon, Audible Books, or iTunes.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Saturday, December 20, 2014
On January 23, 1925, an advertisement in the Houston Chronicle promised that River Oaks, Houston’s newest residential development, would be a fine place for wildlife, “one that will not be polluted with gasoline fumes and the furry and feathered creatures will not be frightened by the roar of motor cars.”
This was a reasonable hope in 1924, when live oaks and loblolly pines were the only residents of River Oaks. Jungles of underbrush furnished homes for snakes. Wild violets shared the land with oceans of mud. When the first lots were offered for sale, the developers ordered two truckloads of rubber boots so that prospective buyers could tramp around in the muck.
Individual lots at 64 by 100 feet went for $2,000. For that, in the 1920s, you could live in River Oaks.Hmmm.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
“Country Club Estates,” they called it. A 1,100-acre piece of land three miles west of Houston’s downtown. The Hogg brothers and Hugh Potter saw a planned residential park, a haven for affluent homeowners in a city of 250,000 people where zoning was a pie-in-the-sky idea.
A model of urban planning, the new community would have wide, winding streets intersected by only three cross-streets. There would be parks and cul-de-sacs, and all the utility wires would be laid underground. That was in 1924!
In July, ground was broken on River Oaks Boulevard, the first street in the new subdivision. At the north end was, and still is--the River Oaks Country Club. At the other end, across Westheimer, Lamar High School was built in 1937. Jokesters were fond of saying that River Oaks Boulevard was the only street anywhere with two country clubs--one at each end!
River Oaks, once just a muddy road, would become Houston’s premier residential neighborhood, home of the rich and famous.
But in 1924, property on that dirt road on the outskirts of the city was a hard sell.