Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Color photos of Houston in the late 1950s

Last week Chronicle local history blogger J.R. Gonzalez uncovered several fascinating aerial color photos of Houston from around 1959 or 1960. This is what the campus of the University of Houston looked like at that time:
                                                                                                                                                           Houston Chronicle File

The old Science Building, the Ezekiel Cullen Building, the Roy Cullen Building and what must have been a brand-new Heyne Building are located around the old reflecting pool and are still recognizable today. The rest of the campus, of course, looks completely different. Even what is now the M.D. Anderson Library in the background has been extensively expanded and remodeled. Notice how it used to be possible to drive through campus between Entrance 1 and Entrance 14.

Also, and as a nice follow-up to the 1957 home movie I wrote about last month, is this a picture of what was then Houston International (now Houston Hobby) Airport:
                                                                                                                                                                 Houston Chronicle File

Nowadays I think of Broadway Boulevard as the street that "goes" to Hobby, so it's rather striking to see what things looked like before it existed. The apron around the concourses is stained black from all the oil that the piston propeller aircraft of the day leaked. Of course, those old concourses have long since been demolished and the airport looks completely different today.

J.R. also found pictures of an early Texas Medical Center and of the Southwest Freeway under construction. The pictures are a particularly vivid reminder of just how much Houston has grown and changed over the past half-century. Very cool!

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