Main Street

I’m off to find out whether my next grandchild will be a boy or a girl so I’m a bit rushed. (I don’t care, by the way.)

But this is just delicious. Rice off to the upper left.

What do you think? Circa 1960?



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27 Responses to Main Street

  1. Bob Swanson says:

    I’ll await the judgement of our resident car expert, but that station wagon in the lower right looks post 1960 to me.

  2. William Visinsky says:

    Incredible picture. A step back in time.

    Even more incredible is that the building dominating the right part of the picture was built in 1954 and is just now being re-purposed and re-opened in a wonderful renovation by Pearl Hospitality as a Westin Hotel. Opening as we speak.


  3. almadenmike says:

    Circa 1960 is certainly in the ballpark. It’s after the construction of the Bio & Geology buildings (1958) and before Brown College was built (1965).

  4. William Visinsky says:

    Cook’s Paints Billboard mentions 50th Anniversary so that puts it as 1963.

    “The paint factory was established in 1913 at 21st and Broadway in Kansas City by Charles R. Cook.” per Wikipedia


  5. Michael Bludworth says:

    …early ’60s for sure! That distant grain elevator is at Studemont and Allen Parkway. The buildings to the right of it is the old Jeff Davis Hospital! Awesome photo! …thanks for posting!

    • Please don’t say “old” Jefferson Davis Hospital. (I feel old enough without that!)

      I did my medical internship at the “new” Jefferon Davis Hospital out there on Allen Parkway.

      An “old” Jeff. Davis Hospital reportedly preceeded the “new” one, and may have been converted into the VD and Syphilis Hospital; we toured it as med students — NOT patients.
      I do NOT know whether it still exists.

      There was also a “railroad” hosital in that area (?the Southern Pacific). Some of the Baylor Medical Residences rotated through it. It may have been the “old” Jeff Davis Hosp.

      Tempus fugit, as did my memory.

  6. Terry Kilpatrick says:

    Wow, this photo takes me back. My father started teaching at Rice about 1947 or ‘48. I was born in 1953, and I rode up and down this stretch of Main St hundreds of times. I was going to guess this photo was about 1962, but then I saw someone has evidence that it is ‘63. The sign for Playhouse Toys particularly caught my attention. About 1961 I got my first Barbie there, and it was not my birthday or Christmas.

  7. William A. says:

    Brings back memories. It looks like the area when I was at Rice.

  8. Philip Walters says:

    Humble began rebranding their stations in Texas as “Enco” in 1962 according to the wkipedia (A weak resource) but Bill’s Cook paint date of 1963 is the strongest date tie

  9. Bryan Kelley says:

    1963 sounds right. Definitely before 1968 as the Christie’s restaurant had replaced the pizza sign and added a billboard by 1968 as shown in their timeline picks from their website.

  10. marmer01 says:

    The coolest thing in this picture is the long-lost Medical Center National Bank building in the center right in front of Medical Towers, which was designed by John Greeson with Brown and McKim and opened in late 1960. Hamilton Brown also designed First Christian Church on Sunset. The Pontiac wagon is a 1962. By 1963 the big Pontiacs had stacked headlights. I’m pretty sure the white sedan behind it is also a 1962 Pontiac. Those are the newest cars I see in a quick look. Down near the bottom of the picture is some kind of little foreign car, probably British, and an all-steel Willys Jeep station wagon.

  11. Robert Toone says:

    Love the old Tidelands Motel there on the corner. Does that Conoco/Shell station have $0.25/gallon gas on the sign ? That could be about right for 1960…

  12. Not in this picture (slightly farther down South Main Street) were Bill Williams’ Chicken Restaurant (best fried chicken in my memory), an Italian restaurant whose name I can’t remember, and Ye Old College Inn. I ate at Ye Olde College Inn only once (it was out of reach of most student budgets). Bill Williams’ was accessible. The Italian restaurant was in a price range that a student could afford. I went there the first time on a Saturday night (the colleges’ dining halls were closed on Saturday nights) with a friend from Weiss. I think it was in April of 1963. It was my first experience with “real” Italian food. Coming from southeastern Alabama, my closest contact with Italian food had come from a Del Monte can.

    I was faced with a plethora of choices. Knowing nothing about Italian food, I chose something I thought I could afford, “pasta con burro,” and was surprised to find that it was just spaghetti with a little butter melted on it. Nevertheless, it was good. I returned a number of times to sample other Italian dishes, but mostly alone, because I didn’t want to take a date there without knowing anything about Italian food. Finally, in my senior year, I took a date there. It was a good experience.

  13. Actually, not my first date. My first “formal” date. I had several dates before that — most of them to Rice functions, or just to Kay’s lounge.

    • What a coincidence!
      My first date was also Kay’s.
      But I remember her name as “Kay’s Bar and Grill”.
      What was it, George Randolph, Rice ’57, beloved bartender of said establishment.

      • Bob Toone says:

        Kay’s Lounge I thought. I used to wait tables at Ye Olde College Inn as the manager there was also the Faculty Club kitchen manager and I was head waiter. My wife and I had our wedding dinner at the Inn but could only afford one glass of wine per attendee.

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