Ten Charmingly Strange Old Houston Postcards

Categories: Spaced City

You think you have it tough these days as a Houstonian, trying to sell your city as a tourist destination?

Try it back in the days before...ummm...before the Downtown Aquarium Family Fun Restaurant!!!

Thanks to the folks at cardcow.com, we can see what Houston used to highlight about itself. And some of it was pretty strange.

10. A gift shop!! In a stadium!!
No, the attraction here isn't that this appears to be a stadium gift shop that doesn't sell a single item of clothing, the attraction is those strategically placed seats in the foreground. Just to let you know you're in a stadium and all.


9. The Spaghetti Bowl?
Come to Houston!! See...a not very complicated arrangement of highway on and off ramps.


8. Downtown, As Lively As Ever
Aren't we always hearing about how downtown Houston used to be a happening kind of place? Even Cleopatra playing at the Loew's Metropolitan, not to mention a Woolworth's, can't shake off the ghost-town feeling. We're sure everyone's in the tunnel system.


7. Luxury Living
The Graustark Apartments, we are informed by the back of the card, offer not only the choice of furnished or unfurnished (we'll take "un" if this is what's on offer), not only air-conditioning, but....wait for it...."piped-in music." Sign us up!


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When the zoo looked like this-the heat in Houston was not as bad as it is now...and the seals did a helluva job entertaining....

Figgy Jones
Figgy Jones

"We need bold colors to catch the kids' attention these days, what with their transistor radios and all!!"

La plus ca change....


Based upon the construction stage of Jones Hall, I'm putting the Spaghetti Bowl card as a mid-1966 shot. And yes, we really did call it that back then. It's kind of hard to see, but the Pierce Elevated was also still under construction then - so to transit the downtown area from any direction, you had to get off the freeway onto the surface streets.


I remember calling the 610/59 interchange the spaghetti bowl when I was a kid.


I remember seal shows at the zoo as a child and that's the way it was. It isn't much different now, there is still a huge crowd of people gathered around the seal exhibit and the seals still perform the same snazzy tricks for fish. Shopping the downtown Woolworth was a special treat. The downtown area grew as I did and my father and grandfather both had a hand in that as iron workers. I laughed and had to agree with the comment about all the sinister looking pictures! Also I think I see some bird shaped UFOs flying behind that dirigible..


I *think* I remember that seal display at the zoo from when I was really little! And OMGosh! The Meyerland Mall! We used to shop there and yes, it was as depressing as it looks in the postcard! We used to go to the Oshman's in there and I eventually ended up working there at "Antique World" during high school and on my break from college.

Lee Riner
Lee Riner

It was the Mixmaster in Fort Worth, and my family always made scary ghost noises when we were on it. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....

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