Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Current State of this Blog

Welcome to Brazos Buildings & Businesses, which I ran from roughly 2010 to the end of 2014 as a history blog on the Bryan-College Station area. It features information on historic buildings and others.

I have now turned my intentions to Carbon-izer, and I am currently looking to either receive some guest posts, or to trade the site off to new hands altogether. Please write a comment or send an email if interested. A "bonus" to anyone who decides to re-start it gets access to cancelled posts (a large post on Evans Library, the Cushing Memorial Library, the Annex, and more were planned--wanna know why Evans has that "dip" in the second floor?) and additional photos unpublished.

Do you want to help revive the site? Speak up. The email's still active, and so is the Facebook page.

However, because circumstances have prevented me from actually leaving the area, I wanted to make one more stab at the site. Not because I wanted to truly revive it to its "glory days", so to speak (at least the closest it came to its glory days) but mostly to re-do a few things for consistency, breaking up a few of the longer pages (some attempt was made at the Texas Avenue page), and adding a few pages that I might have wanted to do before. I've been getting a ton (ton being a relative word, of course) of visitors via Facebook and I kind of want to satisfy that group. I still get at least 2000 visitors a month, whereas in the summer months when updates were plentiful, I would get over 3000.

There's some "post updates" going on, and I'm also doing a system of "quasi-new" posts that are based after breaking up (or in rare cases, merging) posts.

Some of the things I originally proposed doing included:
- Break up compilation posts even further (The Far South Point of Texas Avenue, Northgate: University Drive, a few others)
- Add a few ad-focused posts as I've done before. While these are popular, they're the first to get ripped off (old advertisements of course)
- Completely outsource some of the grocery store posts. This would also make the University Square article flow a lot better, for instance.
- Freshen up some pages with updates and photos for consistency
- Integrating it with

Things I wouldn't do included breaking into my stash of University Drive East photos, restarting any cancelled posts, new enormous projects, etc.

Any and all of these is depending on how much I want to do things here (some of them could end up happening without *new* content). It could make a more attractive site to hand it off to someone else, which of course hasn't happened yet.

The ideal course of action is that I pick a successor to the site, finish my duties here, give them access to photos and posts, and slowly reduce my presence to a mod as the site continues. In the meantime, keep an eye out on the Facebook page for updates.

But seeing as how a "site successor" hasn't been chosen yet, I'm going to do the next best thing: make a sequel of sorts. That's right, there will be a "sequel" to this site!

Introducing The Roads of Bryan-College Station! Right now, it's very limited, but I intend to add more information as it continues.

New posts of sorts are below this one...

Friday, September 25, 2015

108 College Main

Courtesy Project HOLD. Sadly, those funky oversized handlebars don't exist anymore.

Dusting off something from a longer post all in favor of integrating into that new "directory" project discussed previously, the space that is "Foundation Lounge" today (which was "Foundation Room" until maybe 2012 or 2013) was a long series of shops and restaurants that I have yet to fully document.

The earliest record I could find for this building was a store called White Auto Store at this spot in 1972.

In the early 1980s, this was a store called The Drafting Board, an engineer's supply shop (reminder: there were less computers than today), which lasted from 1980 to at least 1984 (formerly "News Office Supply", according to a 1980 phone book).

Later on it was called A&M Steak House by c. 1989 (hamburgers, apparently). After that was shortly another store, Condom Station (at the zenith of Northgate's decline). I'm not sure how long it lasted, but it wasn't long.

"We've Got You Covered" is what the small text says.

This was Dead Lazlo's Coffee Pub in 1995, which lasted a few years too. A newspaper article I read (I don't have it with me but if it turns up, I'll cite it) mentioned that Dead Lazlo's was owned by Sweet Eugene's House of Java which is still alive today. Given how crowded Sweet Eugene's gets, if they still owned a coffeeshop here on Northgate under any name, it would do spectacularly well.

Copacetic (or Copasetic, I've seen it both ways) Café in 1998, and Foundation Room later (which has even more recently changed to "Foundation Lounge"), but not before briefly becoming a bar called The Groove in the mid to late 2000s, which had live music. The Groove was around as early as 2004 (citing The Eagle archives) and as late as 2007 (Google Street view and a restaurant report card). The Foundation's current ƒ logo used to be a Comic Sans-esque "G". Not counting the name changes of Drafting Board or Foundation Room, that's been 8 tenants over the years, but there's probably more...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Jimmy Jackson's Exxon

The landmark Exxon sign has stood here for over three decades.

This is the first new post in many months, but it's not a truly new post, it's just an old post "edited for syndication", and was originally part of The Far South Point of Texas Avenue (which is no longer, as the post has been rewritten), one of the last posts, which itself was originally supposed to be a part of "Texas Avenue: The Main Street of the City". Anyway, "Jimmy Jackson's Exxon" opened in 1983 at Miller's Lane (FM 2818 before it finished expanding to the highway) and Texas Avenue, this Exxon has a massive sign that was clearly grandfathered in as College Station would not allow such a majestic structure anymore like that, this Exxon was a full service stop built catty-corner to the Kmart on the edge of town (well, it was the edge back then) with a self-service car wash, garage, and convenience store.

Selling out to "Franky's" in 2001 (aka Frankie's), I actually managed to make contact with Jimmy Jackson's daughter (Mr. Jackson sadly passed away in 2013), but could not locate any photos of the gas station in its heyday. There was a second Jimmy Jackson gas station, which was sold and torn down well before his death, it was the Eckerd (now CVS) at the corner of Villa Maria and Texas Avenue.

In reality, the sign isn't quite so massive as it appears from further 2818 (mostly due to the hills), but something tells me that it was designed to be seen from the bypass when it was built (at least going northbound). As of this writing, I don't seem to have a picture of the actual "Franky's" convenience store, but it seems to have been altered from its original form anyway. I also get the feeling Franky's is kind of sleazy anyway (it was one of the ones pointed out by KBTX as having synthetic cannabis before a variety of laws cracked down on that).

2801 Texas Avenue South

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Kyle Field

The history of Kyle Field would be kind of difficult to write, since it has been heavily modified over the years, and because Kyle Field is so iconic, there's a million better sources than my somewhat derived blog. But the most iconic part of Kyle Field, the west end, constructed as we knew it in 1979, is no more. It has been less than 24 hours as of this writing when the west side was imploded. You could feel the earth shake as concrete pillars hit the ground.

Editor's Note: Read this.