Rice Hotel Laundry

Most of the things that I found in the box labeled “Campus Construction Negatives, 1964-68” (first mentioned here) are pretty much what you’d expect to find in a box so labeled. Not everything, though. Archives can be weird places.

These images are both fascinating and hard to explain. It’s the laundry facility for the Rice Hotel in the summer of 1965. Here’s the exterior:

Rice Hotel laundry neg 2

And the interior, complete with workers:

Rice Hotel laundry neg summer 1965

What puzzles me about this is that, while the history of the Rice Hotel gets pretty convoluted, I’m almost certain that we didn’t own it in the summer of 1965 (although I do believe we then owned the land on which it stood). Also, I have no clue where this facility was (is?) located.

Just for fun, here’s the parking lot, full of glorious cars:

Rice Hotel laundry  neg 3

Bonus: A couple shots of the inside of the Rice Hotel, which I’m fairly sure were taken at a time in the ’70s when we did own the building. Lots of napkins to wash in that ballroom.



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17 Responses to Rice Hotel Laundry

  1. Whit Matteson says:

    The cars in the parking lot, in both shots, look more like 1955 than 1965!

    • Ummm, no. Notice the two early-60’s Chevies and the one early-60’s Ford in the second picture. Also an early-60’s Greenbrier Chevy van and about a 1961 Chevy pickup in the first picture. Many cars are from the mid-to-late 50’s, true, but these are probably low-income folks who didn’t buy new cars. That modern building was by Hugo V. Neuhaus, Jr. and was not far from the Ship Channel. The Laundry moved there in the ’65-66 period from their old downtown location near the Rice Hotel.

    • Richard A. Schafer says:

      Not 1955. There’s a ’57 Chevy in the first picture. But I agree it’s unlikely to be 1965. I don’t see any cars from the 1960s in either picture.

  2. mjthannisch says:

    I agree with Marty. There is also a 1954 Mercury.

    Brought back memories though. My cousin Lester Thomas Thannisch, a lobbyist, stayed at the Rice Hotel whenever he happened to be in Houston until his death in 1967. Turns out he used to be one of Toni Payne’s boyfriends. (small world). Mrs. Payne for those who might not remember her was the secretary at Lovett college. Since Thannisch is such a common name (48 or so in th USA), she figured out pretty quick that he must of been my cousin.

  3. Robert says:

    Looks like a 64 Ford Galaxie 4 door in 2nd car photo.

  4. Grungy says:

    The original laundry building filled the block where the Bob Lanier Public Works Building stands now. Haven’t been able to find the 1966 building, yet. Depending on how the author meant “near the Ship Channel”, it could have been quite close to downtown, which I would expect.
    Marty – did you see this?

  5. grungy1973 says:

    May have found it: 1441 Lathrop St Houston,TX
    This should resolve to the approximate street view of the first photo:

  6. Grungy is right. 1441 Lathrop. Dated as 1966 by Neuhaus and Wingfield. The building still stands and is still in use although it has been painted blue and a metal building has been glommed onto the front. It’s in the Houston Architectural Guide for 1999 but not the most recent edition.

  7. loki_the_bubba says:

    Can you track down one of those hampers in the second picture and put it and the one from the Tidelands into the archive?

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