Rice Village Aerial, 1948

Check out this beauty from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center at the Houston Public Library:

It’s a nice crisp shot taken in the fall of 1948, more or less directly over the top of the Village. I wouldn’t have been able to place it if it weren’t for the western edge of the Rice campus over there at the right. Both of these things are highly interesting. Views of that northwest corner of campus are few and far between and it would soon all be paved over. Zoom in on that area and you can see that there are still some woods on the far side of the diagonal shell road.

The Village looks so open but it’s basic shape is already recognizable. One thing that caught my eye is a white house just west of the corner of Rice Boulevard and Greenbrier. During the 1940s both Miss Pender Turnbull, who worked in the library, and Miss Ann Wheeler, who worked in the president’s office, had apartments in that building. I think it later became the Maryknoll House and is now the site of Hungry’s restaurant. I also think I can see Kay’s off in the distance.

Bonus: That’s a Tommy Lavergne photo.

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27 Responses to Rice Village Aerial, 1948

  1. Michael Bludworth says:

    Awesome! Thank you for sharing! Michael

  2. Sandy Havens says:

    Wonderful photo. I found the house we are currently living in.

  3. Marc Hairston says:

    I can see the old Village Theater on University with the toy store (or what would be the toy store later in the 50s) to the right of it. But what is the large square building on the northside of University just to the east of the University-Kirby intersection? That’s where I remember the Weingartens supermarket when I came to Rice in 1975. Was that an early incarnation of Weingartens or is this something else?

    • Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen 1982) says:

      I wondered that too. It may be a small department store, kind of like Palais Royal was in our time.

      • marmer01 says:

        The building to the left is the Weingarten, which opened to great fanfare in 1941. The building to the right is a Henke & Pillot store, which must have been clobbered by Weingarten’s because it was torn down in April of 1948.

  4. Deborah Gronke Bennett (BSEE Hanszen 1982) says:

    My last Rice off-campus garage apartment is just out of the picture on the lower right (5811 Morningside, between Shakespeare and Dryden). I didn’t realize how much of the Village was developed as late as the 1940’s. There are large open areas that I remember full of businesses in the late 1970’s. The post office isn’t even there yet. What a fascinating photo!

  5. dnorton2015 says:

    too bad about the passing Kay’s. what a place. But, I can’t place it in the photo.

  6. marmer01 says:

    If I have time I will go through it and add street names and block numbers. Maybe. But what is that cloistered building and that big dome up to the north on ?Greenbriar? about where the Southwest Freeway would be?

  7. James Medford says:

    The wooded area on the far side of the diagonal shell road is where Harris Gully met Rice Blvd., per this aerial from 1950.

  8. grungy1973 says:

    Fascinating image.
    So many billboards.
    I’d like to know what the domed structure is on the east side of Shepherd, between Alabama and Westheimer.
    St. Anne’s and the Alabama Theater are landmarks in this piece of the aerial shot:

  9. marmer01 says:

    Yes, and if that is Shepherd then, yes that is St. Anne’s. Looks like Christ the King is not built yet.

  10. grungy1973 says:

    Kay’s is the structure just to the left of the strip center at Bissonnet and Greenbriar:

    • grungy1973 says:

      Wish I could figure out how Mr. Medford is embedding the images inline.
      I’m looking at the source code, but I’d rather not create an indelible mess of HTML in here while getting it right.

      • James Medford says:

        The photo I embedded was from an earlier Rice History Corner post. I clicked on that photo and then copied/pasted the URL into the comment field.

        • grungy1973 says:

          No suspect outside URLs here!
          Perhaps if I put an image in my own WordPress page, it will deem it worthy.
          I tested the Tumblr “embedded image” code on my WordPress page, and it just came out as a mess of HTML.

  11. marmer01 says:

    Also, when I was at Rice, I went out once with a girl who lived at Maryknoll.

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