Grand Central Station, 1941

Not Rice at all, but this is how people got here for a long time. From Neil Brennan’s scrapbook, this is the old Southern Pacific station, in the northeast part of downtown where the now empty Barbara Jordan post office sits:

New Houston station 2 Neil Brennan 1941070

And here’s what you saw when you stepped out the door:

New Houston station 1 Neil Brennan 1941069

Bonus:

L1020068

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15 Responses to Grand Central Station, 1941

  1. Leoguy says:

    His photos are classics. You should publish a book.

  2. Melissa Kean says:

    They really are. He had an amazing eye. More to come . . .

  3. The Houston skyline lost a lot as the Esperson building became less and less visible.

  4. Lovett Hall 4th floor?

  5. mjthannisch says:

    I agree with Phillip, and note the Gulf building doesn’t have the Gulf sign yet.

  6. Brings back a lot of memories. My dad worked for SP for 50 years, and both my grandfathers worked there. In fact K.C. Marshall was the Superintendent until his death in the early 40s. The man with the briefcase resembles him.

  7. loki_the_bubba says:

    Wasn’t that on the northwest part of downtown? The station on the east side was Union Station.

  8. marmer01 says:

    Beautiful building. Shame we lost it. When pondering Houston’s Amtrak “station” I am reminded of eminent architecture critic Vincent Scully’s comment about the demolition of New York’s original Penn Station in 1963: “One entered the city like a god. One scuttles in now like a rat.”

  9. mjthannisch says:

    Miinute Maid park is just to the east of downtown. Is that what you mean.

    I am curious, how many of you have actually taken a train to or from Union Station?. I want to say the last time we came in was about 1966 when Houston was fogged in and they dropped us off in New Orleans and gave us tickets to to to Houston by train.

    Another odd question: Either Union Station or the Trailways bus station had toilets that you flushed with a foot pedal, looked like a break. Does anyone out there remember which it was?

    • Richard Miller (Hanszen '75 & '76) says:

      The Texas Chief came into Union station so I used it several times to go back to Oklahoma City (cheaper than flying, less crowded and since I did not have a car then …)

    • I used to ride the Rock Island Twin Star Rocket from Union Station to Duncan Oklahoma to go visit my grandparents. (The Rock Island Line is a mighty fine line-Route of the Rockets) After the Rock ceased operating the Twin Star Rocket I rode the Santa Fe Texas Chief up to Paul’s Valley Oklahoma. I always thought the Rock Island had better service, but that may be because they let me ride in the cab of the locomotive once when I was an unaccompanied minor. I hated the long delays in the Dallas yards where the train picked up the Pullman cars. Union Station went through many changes while I was growing up. The wonderful open hall with its wooden benches got walled off and eventually there was just a dingy corner with a dropped ceiling that served as the passenger depot toward the end. I’m glad the hall got saved when Minute Maid park was built.

      Sadly I never rode out of the SP station.

      I hope that Houston is finally discovering that it does have some architecture worth saving, and appreciating. There is still a lot of beauty hidden under layers of “modern” junk facades.

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