Monday, November 11, 2019

Hiatus (again)

I don't know when I'll finish the Post Oak Mall post, but I hope it will be good!

I had intended to stick with a Sunday/Thursday schedule, but I can only do so much where this site flips from being a hobby to being a chore, and if I want a decent Post Oak Mall article, that requires a bit of work. Some recent metrics indicate that almost no one visits the new pages, and my ~10 month effort to turn around the site (including updating stuff, putting more work into Facebook, and adding over three dozen pages) has done little in terms of traffic.

Many of the things I had wanted to do have been accomplished, separating the Walmart and Blue Baker posts and doing a number of one-offs that I had wanted to see, but at this point, there's not too much on the horizon. I intend to put more work into Carbon-izer and expanding content, including on Houston. The hiatus doesn't mean limiting work on "unupdated" articles, so things may re-appear on the Index in the coming weeks.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Plantation Oaks Apartments


For many years, Briarwood Apartments composed half of the former Plantation Oaks. Click on it to see the full resolution!

Back at Harvey Road once again, we're skipping directly from Kona Ranch down to Plantation Oaks (on account of either no information available or already covered). Plantation Oaks was built in 1972--before Post Oak Mall, before anything on Harvey Road worth mentioning, possibly even before what is now Earl Rudder Freeway opened. Plantation Oaks Apartments was initially an enormous apartment complex bisected by Scarlett O'Hara Drive and bounded by Rhett Butler Drive to the west (the theming not subtle), but by 1980, the western half section was sold off with a minor renovation done to turn it into Briarwood Apartments. True to many of the trendier apartments in Houston (or even College Station), it included a nightclub, Zacharias' Green House.

In 2018, the apartment complexes (neither in particularly good shape, judging by reviews) were re-combined under new ownership and renamed as Castlerock Apartments, which only listed a year before becoming The Grand 1501. The picture above is for Briarwood from 1980 (the Plantation Oaks ads from that era aren't nearly as interesting, and a color one from 2005 can't scan properly) and originally appeared on the old City Directories page from Carbon-izer.com, this blog's parent site.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Red Line Burgers at Texas Avenue

This car wash is built on the remains of a small hamburger restaurant that despite making an impression on me, didn't even last a decade.

Before continuing on the Harvey Road series (which will be restarted next week), there's a quick stop on Texas Avenue that I've wanted to cover. One of the "College Station of the 1990s" features that I do remember was a small hamburger restaurant across from Parkway Square (which, by the way, is the most popular page on this blog)...Red Line Burgers at 2401 Texas Avenue.

The restaurant has long been a mystery, since I only remember it being boarded up before being wrecked for Shammy Express Car Wash in the early 2000s (which around 2014 renovated into Drew's Car Wash), you can see the pre-Drew's on Google Street View.

Only did a 2014 visit to the Dallas area spark my memory as I realized a small hamburger stand was almost the exact one I'd seen in my memories. Sadly, the aforementioned Red Line is now a memory itself, having been closed the following year and demolished for a 7-Eleven, but it did last long enough to make it to a Yelp review.

Further looks into the restaurant that predated Shammy/Drew's showed that Red Line built the College Station store around 1993, and was based out of San Antonio (though by 1990, there was no Houston stores, if they ever had any). Even by the early 1990s, they were having some trouble keeping stores, this Corpus Christi Caller Times article about a food truck taking the name has a photo of a closed Red Line in Corpus Christi in the early 1990s.

The picture in this post is taken by the author, October 2019.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Circle K on Harvey Road

Taken October 2019.

This (603 Harvey Road) was a Diamond Shamrock originally (or within three years of building the station in 1986), and only in the mid-2000s did it become Valero due to a conversion by Diamond Shamrock's new corporate parent, Valero Energy. It recently updated its logo and convenience store (becoming a Circle K instead of Corner Store, as it was under Valero).