March 31, 2009

Gulf Coast Deco V, the empire strikes back??

lone star creamery co.
Lone Star Creamery Co., c. 1936

barker brothers studio
Barker Brothers Studio (Houston's leading interior designers), c. 1931

barker brothers studio frieze
settegast estate building full front view
Settegast Estate Building, c. 1939 (endangered)

settegast estate building
This building housed Houston's Orange Crush bottling plant from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. HISD owns the vacant building, which is on the proposed site of the new High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

humble oil & refining co. filling station no. 179
Humble Oil & Refining Co. Filling Station No. 179. c. 1930

looking up at canopy of humble oil & refining co. filling station no. 179
Its only surviving "sibling" can be seen here.

humble oil & refining co. filling station no. 179 detail
I've been yearningly (achingly) looking at the Houston Deco picture of this fantastic, vintage service station for at least a year now. I nearly made it by last time. But it's located in what is sort of a "bad" neighborhood, and I was unsure about whether or not I wanted to attempt a quick picture. This trip, I arrived in Houston, early in the morning, and it was fairly cold (30s). So I had this place (and pretty much the entire street) to myself. I was practically skipping. Good thing nobody saw me....

humble oil & refining co. filling station no. 179 and neon sign
It's astonishing either of these (the building or sign) are still there. I was giddy when finding both. "This is why I do this," I thought to myself. Note the Omega Man-esque quality of the street.

lee wright top quality automobiles neon sign
angled view of houston fire station no. 11
Houston Fire Station No. 11, c. 1937

no. 11
corner view of 1102-1106 yale st.
1102-1106 Yale St., c. 1936

side view of 1102-1106 yale st.
According to the Houston Deco page on this building, its historic names included: ABC Stores, Rettig's Heap-o-Cream, Henke & Pillot, Ivy-Russell Ford, and Eckerd Pharmacy. Rettig's Heap-o-Cream had at least one other Houston location of which I'm aware, and pictures of it can be seen here.

street view of heights theater
The Heights Theater, c. 1929, remodeled in 1935

heights theater neon sign

  • Gulf Coast Deco
  • Gulf Coast Deco II
  • Gulf Coast Deco III
  • Gulf Coast Deco IV
  • Gulf Coast Deco VI
  • Gulf Coast Deco VII
  • Gulf Coast Deco VIII
  • Gulf Coast Deco IX
  • Gulf Coast Deco X

    Amy said...

    The Heights Theatre is completely awesome. I wonder what it looked like before the remodel.

    Chris said...

    It is a beautiful, balanced little building. Aesthetically perfect, if that's possible. I wouldn't be surprised if there are pictures of it, pre-remodel, on the Internet, but I haven't found them. I do know a fire motivated the cosmetic changes.

    Amy said...

    If I had just bothered to Google, I needn't have wondered:

    I prefer the remodel to the Alamo style for sure! As of late 2008, it was for sale for a mere $1.3 mil.

    It's another great set of photos. The theater caught my eye first; now I have to go back and take a closer look at all the other old gems.

    Chris said...

    And I feel like a moron, because that's the very website which has inspired this entire photo-hunting quest I've been on for Art Deco structures in Houston. I guess I forgot about that picture of the Heights. Maybe it's because I'm not nearly as interested in Alamo style, either. I wonder if we could get a loan from any bank these days...