Since the Allen Brothers sold the first lots on Buffalo Bayou, Houston has been a city on the move….ready for change. This “forget about yesterday” attitude makes it an excellent place for entrepreneurs to come and start, or start over and find success.
The downside, of course, is that old historic structures don’t typically get preserved here unless they can serve some sort of purpose.
The downtown area, just south of the large skyscrapers and Minute Maid Park, has for years been a mix of houses from the late 1800′s and cool old brick industrial buildings from the first 3 decades of the 20th century.
Lately, however, all of the above is being bulldozed and replaced with town homes. And while I can certainly understand this (these new town homes are mere seconds away from the downtown oil company offices, Minute Maid Park and the new soccer stadium), it still makes me cringe a bit to see a solid old brick building with an intricate facade bulldozed.
This first location is at the intersection of Navigation and Commerce, just to the immediate south of downtown Houston. The old Navigation Street underpass is a great old Depression era structure, still in use…still in great shape with a view of downtown just to the right.
Almost all of the industrial buildings still standing in the “now” photo are slated for demolition. So this view will even be dramatically different just a few years from now. The only common building I can find in the two photos is just to the right of the underpass.
Note how the downtown skyscrapers have spread to the west in the photos.
(vintage photo: Houston Chronicle, Bayou City History Blog)