Houston’s Cradle of Culture, 1932

Among the things that have arrived in the Woodson this week are some issues of a defunct Houston magazine called the Gargoyle. This publication was launched in 1928 as the first real Houston city magazine and it survived into the mid-1930s. It was quite sophisticated and looked at trends in dining, entertainment and business in addition to providing a good deal of local gossip. The back cover of almost every issue was an ad for real estate in the up and coming subdivision of River Oaks — more about this later.

The magazine is always worth the time spent on close perusal. Every issue I’ve ever read was full of interesting little Rice tidbits that I would never find anywhere else, making clear the central role the Institute played in Houston’s life. So I was expecting to find something — but I wasn’t expecting something as spectacular as this:

gargoyle-map-may-1-1932-147

Click on it twice to zoom in and luxuriate in the minutiae. You’ll be glad you did. There’s a lot here that I will very carefully pick over in the next week or so.

Bonus: Be bold, y’all. Be bold.

img_5415

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8 Responses to Houston’s Cradle of Culture, 1932

  1. marmer01 says:

    Minutiae. You. Are. Not. Kidding. I’ve seen this before but never been able to see this much detail. You could do a whole month just on this image alone..

  2. Martha Cluett says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I hope you don’t mind if I shared this on the Let’s Be Honest: facebook group for Rice alum.

    Thanks for your work. This is one of the highlights of my day!

    Martha (McGranahan) Cluett

    On Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 4:44 PM, Rice History Corner wrote:

    > Melissa Kean posted: “Among the things that have arrived in the Woodson > this week are some issues of a defunct Houston magazine called the > Gargoyle. This publication was launched in 1928 as the first real Houston > city magazine and it survived into the mid-1930s. It was quite s” >

  3. jccooper says:

    Sadly I see nothing on the webs about Reginald Platt or the “Little Theatre”. I don’t think any of the current theatres are descended from it.

    Appears to confirm the race track seen in old aerials. All the aviation activity in the map’s recent past are also quite interesting.

    • Sherry Kitchell says:

      I remember the Alley Theater being in that area of Main Street sort of caddy-corner from Sears — I think that that 2Ks (ice cream shop extraordinaire) was nearby — it would have been near the southwest corner of Richmond (isn’t that called Wheeler there?) and Main Street. I’m sure you can check with the Alley to see if that is correct. Also, judging by the location of the map, I remember hearing the sound of auto racing at night through our south facing windows — of course, since the only air conditioning was from an attic fan (very efficient, I might add). I grew up near Braes Bayou in the 50s.

  4. loki_the_bubba says:

    I’m familiar with Old Main down there. And I do miss the mountains along the bayou. I think the last of them were wiped out in the latest widening of the bayou.

    But when did Griggs ever go that far west? It appears to end at what looks to be Fannin. What they call Griggs looks to be OST to me.

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