A Peek Through the Trees at Main Street, Early 1950s

We’ve recently had some lads in the Woodson digging around in old track photographs. This has, of course, given me an opportunity to do the same thing. It’s been something of a revelation as I’ve been able to get a better look at the old field house that faced out on Main Street until 1950. Today’s picture, though, is interesting precisely because the field house is gone and we can get a smidgen of a peek out onto the street:

Runner with Ye Old College Inn mid 50s016

I do not know who the runner is.

The first thing to catch my eye was Ye Old College Inn, visible through the trees and the chain link fence (!). That temporary looking fence has me wondering a bit, as does the clear outline of the old building, whether this was taken relatively soon after demolition. The other thing I notice is the scaffolding on the corner of Methodist Hospital. If I recall correctly, that building opened sometime in 1951. Also of interest is the smaller building at right, which seems to be roughly where the BRC is today. To me it has the general feel of a filling station but I really have no knowledge about this at all. As always, any thoughts are welcome.

Bonus: These guys were all taking turns posing with the bull and bear statues in front of the Jones School yesterday. It was a charming sight.

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8 Responses to A Peek Through the Trees at Main Street, Early 1950s

  1. Don Johnson says:

    I zoomed in on the “gas station”. You may not be old enough to recognize the Gulf sign hanging in front of it. Gulf was a brand of gasoline in the “old days” and the sign is certainly familiar to me!

    • Melissa Kean says:

      Well, you are of course significantly older than me!

    • marmer01 says:

      Gulf was a fixture in Houston until the 1980s when it merged with/became Chevron. The name seems to be reappearing in a limited way — there are two Gulf stations on the 288 feeder road at Yellowstone and one by Hobby Airport on Telephone Road.

      • joecwhite says:

        My great-uncle, Francis Dawdy, went by the nickname “Gulf”, because he would always give directions downtown by reference to the Gulf Building (now JPMorgan Chase Building), which had a giant Gulf sign on the top.

  2. Bill Johnson '57-'58 says:

    I believe I remember a chain link fence along Main Street from 1953 to 1958. I would walk to the Shopping center, to the pizza shop and to Williams Fried Chicken. The Old College Inn was TOO expensive. The fence always looked out of place and not high class.

  3. John Wolda says:

    Not sure but runner looks like Richard Stone who lettered in 1956.

  4. marmer01 says:

    The Library used to have a bunch of Polk city directories. These were cross-referenced by address and very good for tracking down old businesses. I think they are at LSC now. For the really old stuff there are Houston City Directories online at the Houston Public Library (actually I think its HMRC) site. The newest one is 1926.

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