Monday, September 1, 2014

The Waning Days of Diamond T Stables

About a year ago, I wrote about Alta Vista Christian Academy, which included a bit about the west part of Rock Prairie Road and mentioned this one. A few years ago, the land went up for sale on this one, and I knew I had to act fast: because a month ago or so, the city had revealed Equinox subdivision. And that's when I took these pictures. To date, I don't know when Diamond T opened (before '95). The storage component looks like it will be spared, though.

3270 Rock Prairie Road West (Gandy Road)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Nightlife at Doux Chene Apartments

See those stairs leading up to the second level in the main office building? That's the focus today here. (Google Maps Picture)

First off, this is not an apartments review site. Nor is the title supposed to be some sort of snarky joke. Most of the content here is long out of date. If you came via Google looking for information regarding the actual apartments as they stand today, move on. Or not. I could always use visitors here. So, Doux Chene Apartments (I think it's pronounced "doe shane", though I'm not entirely sure, and the translation is "sweet oak") is one of your typical run-down apartment complexes from the 1970s, except it's more than that.

First off, Doux Chene was designed to be trendy, trendy enough that they would actually advertise themselves as "country club apartment living", and trendy enough to be the first true mixed-use building in the City of College Station.

From circa 1974 to late 1970s, it was "Mansard House". Mansard House, despite being the upper level of an apartment complex on the edge of town (sure, why not?) was one of the really nice places in town. Live entertainment, seafood, lobster, lamb, and more were all on the menu.

This was the kind of apartment complex Doux Chene used to be, and apparently wasn't one of a kind...the Chateaux Dijon apartments, known for when George W. Bush lived there in the early 1970s, was also the same theme and layout, but unlike Doux Chene, managed to upkeep itself quite nicely.

By 1980, while Doux Chene was still successful, Mansard House had closed and was replaced with Studio 2818, an actual discotheque.

Source: personal collection

Later night clubs included Dallas: The Night Club...

...and finally, Scandals.

Most of these are sadly relatively undocumented, only whispers across forums and other sources, including stories of ladies' nights with male strippers, with men being let in after the women had several drinks. Perhaps it's better that some of the craziness that went on is better left unsaid (I'm sure there were many regrettable nights).

Doux Chene of course is also a rather unlucky apartment complex, such as a tornado in 2006 striking a building, necessitating its demolition, or the fact that the building caught fire some months later due to improper wiring (it's also worth noting that anytime I read about an apartment complex fire, it used to be that there was a good chance it was Doux Chene).

If there are any restaurants/clubs I missed, or you have any memories of them, please write in the comments.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Alas, Luby's

For several years prior to closure, the sign had read "Luby's Drive-Thru"

Today's post isn't filler, it's something I actually have content and information for, the late Luby's Cafeteria in Bryan, Texas. Opening in February 1977, it opened at a time when cafeterias were more plentiful, but much like the clientele they tend to service, they've been dying off. No more Piccadilly Cafeteria stores exist in Texas, and even Luby's has been closing far more cafeterias than they've been opening (one opened in Cypress c. 2005, so it may not be a lost cause). Unfortunately, I have no photos of Luby's when they were opening and operating, because it was a Luby's, and the Luby's closing took many by surprise. It closed in April 2014 after a few decades of opening by a mystery owner, which turned out to be Café Eccell, after the drama surrounding it at Church and Wellborn Road, which opened in August 2014 after renovating it.

But Luby's is the one with the history behind it. A full page ad had been taken out for its opening, describing the restaurant that didn't have waiters or waitresses.

"You'll feel good about Luby's... selection... Everyone likes what they get, because everyone chooses their favorites. Snappy fresh fruits and crisp garden salads. Hot and hearty entrees. Piping hot vegetables. Home baked rolls and breads. And the taste-temptingest selection of homemade desserts you've ever seen."

Enjoy the pictures I took in and around the restaurant shortly after closing, taken May 2014.

4401 South Texas Avenue

Editor's Note: Hey! If you didn't already see it, check out the updated "McDonald's at Northgate" page.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Few Demolished Southgate Area Houses

Back in spring 2011, I noticed that there were old homes at the northwest corner of the Welsh and Holleman intersection (catty-corner to the Checkers, of course) being razed for smaller, student-oriented-looking homes. Unfortunately, in my rush to screen shot the Google Maps Street View, I didn't accurately write down the address numbers even seen up there, but they were run-down duplexes nonetheless at this address. It would've been pretty cool if I could do a photo address map like does, but oh well. That's just the way things are.

I had made this post back in 2011 but didn't publish it, publishing it only now to get it out there, and to fulfill part of the purpose of this blog never really explored: to add houses, too. However, there's not a whole lot of houses (maybe a few) that are really notable of being added: there's a house in the Southwood Valley area with red pipes and other stuff, but that's about it.

The "raze and rebuild" trend has been accelerated in recent years as gentrification pushes south, but this is what I captured.