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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 1:36 AM
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HOUSTON - Where history sleeps

Had enough Houston yet, SSP'ers? Hope not.





Welcome everyone to Washington Avenue.











You wouldn't know it at least from this stretch of Washington, or at night when the Ed Hardy T-shirt sporting crowd comes out to party, but this is quite an old part of the city of Houston.





Before the pubs and their parking lots, there was always somebody and something else here before it.















At one point in its history this whole part of town was all but forgotten about in an era of suburban flight and expansion outward.





Today, history gets made here on Washington. Every day will be history in the future.



I like to make beer history.





















































So let's take a little stroll into a part of Houston's past that new residents and condo developers will never change....









Here lies George Hermann. Yes, that George Hermann for whom the park and hospital are named.





There are others - if they have a street or a park or something like that around town named after them, chances are this is where they are today. Not the streets or the parks, but their namesakes.











There are also memorials to people who aren't necessarily buried here, and in some cases....



....might have never been recovered. All of the people named here died in the Grandcamp and High Flyer explosions in Texas City in 1947, which also killed some 500-600 others (they really don't know how many) and destroyed a good portion of my hometown as it was back then.

There will be more on this subject sometime in the future.











History has faded in a lot of places in Houston, but it's still there if you look hard enough.













And then, of course, there was something in this place before the cemetery.























So more people are moving in where many others came long before it.



More stuff gets built...











...sometimes built right on the doorstep of ancient - by Texas standards anyway - neighborhoods like Old Sixth Ward.









Every big city was a small town at one point, and usually the small town neighborhoods grow up with the rest of the city.













But there are always exceptions, always an outlier. This is one such place.











I think Sabine Street is the last of the old brick roads here. Maybe it's a sign of things to come?





Old and new right next to each other isn't too rare a sight along this section of the Washington corridor.





Other than more growth and development, something else is coming soon...





You guessed it - summer. And no matter who's come and gone and what buildings have gone up or come down, summer feels the same on the Texas coast.





There will probably be more skyscrapers and touristy stuff.



There most definitely will be more people moving in from every which way.





They will probably say this city has no history, since they weren't around for it, and they haven't seen it.





Sometimes it takes a little exploring to find it.



40-50 years ago a lot of American cities had this idea of "urban renewal" that involved bulldozing entire inner city neighborhoods for stuff like public housing projects. Around that same time was when Houston was transitioning from a regionally important city to a major one on a national level.





And now it is transitioning into a major world city, so who knows what comes next?







More infill and efforts to bring more life into old downtown - which was once the entire city and its outskirts? Or more sprawling development on what we reckon as the outskirts today? Probably so on both counts.





What they build today - come 70 years from now, will our descendants fight among themselves as to whether preserve the past or go forward with progress? Probably so as well.











Today, of course, will by tomorrow had its name changed to yesterday.



And sooner or later we'll all be history.







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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 1:45 AM
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sweet. i was exploring the Washington Ave residential a few weeks ago; had a good time at the Social on a sunday night 4 years ago.

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Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 1:56 AM
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Looks like some nice urban districts in there!
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 2:01 AM
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I think this is your best thread ever. Not many people get to see the historical side of Houston. As for Washington Ave itself, as I grew up I knew it only as an avenue to avoid at all costs. Looks like it's getting rejuvenated. I hope the surrounding neighborhoods can be preserved.
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 2:10 AM
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I can't help but notice that in the beginning of your photography, it felt and looked like you were in a city in another country. Then towards the middle, you reminded us that Houston was in the South but then towards the end, you ventured to something gulf coast or New Orleans liked. Very unique.

I wonder what my Aunt who is Cuban would say after seeing a Cuban and Mexican restaurant.

Good job, jfre.
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 4:54 AM
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el ray is my favorite place in houston!
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 1:40 PM
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You forgot Howard Hughes.
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 1:44 PM
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nice! your pics really capture the atmosphere well - my pits are sweating from just looking at these
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 10:09 PM
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Exceptional tour and I for one of not tired of seeing Houston! Great work
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2010, 11:26 PM
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spring has apparently sprung there.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 1:34 AM
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great thread. this is the best photography i have seen from you. everything was nice and crisp. a little more artsy then normal but i like that. the transition down washington was good.

speaking of history. i saw some retro brownstone condos going up over there by the police dispatch. they were kinda hidden away but all had roof top balconies with perfect views of downtown. you'd dig it.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 3:39 AM
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Thanks everyone.

Yeah, I got a little experimental with a few shots that were either just kind of bland on their own or I've done a million times already. Mixing it up a bit.

This is also the first thread I've posted on here that I did editing on every shot, though most were just subtle (mostly a little extra contrast).

Yeah Joe, I saw a welder up there on one of those rooftop balconies and I was thinking of the views up there. And it's true - a walk down Washington shows a lot of transitions from one environment to another, but most any lengthy walk in Houston will give you that. Which is why I like doing it the way I do.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 5:47 AM
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Originally Posted by dktshb View Post
spring has apparently sprung there.
Spring in Houston begins in the later part of January.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 9:11 AM
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I think this is your best tour yet. I like the way you've kept all the things that make your tours so good, though - like the fact that you post all your pictures in chronological order, and post pictures of the humdrum and everyday as well as the interesting details. It makes it feel like a proper walk, just looking at the pictures, rather than just a photo tour.

Your one-line commentary is also great.
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Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 2:27 PM
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Great set, anything in mind for your next walk?
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2010, 4:33 PM
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I'll just have to see what comes up. I had originally planned to go up from Old Sixth to First Ward, but then I came up on the cemetery and thought it was as good a day as any to take a walk around in there.

Sometimes I go out, just pick a starting point and improvise from there.

Woodland Heights/First Ward and Eastwood/Harrisburg are two I'd like to get done before summer's in full swing, although I will probably get out and do a shoot or two even then. I'm no wuss.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 2, 2010, 10:03 PM
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This one was exceptional.
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 2:55 PM
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Bump!
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Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 3:11 PM
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Disorderly yet functional. Kind of like it.
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2012, 4:55 PM
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Glad to see this one was revived since I missed it 2 years ago.

Love those little wood-sided bungalow-type houses -- very Gulf Coast.

Cubans must love this...

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