Not too long ago, I attempted to make a great Texas Avenue post that would cover, slowly but surely, the entire Texas Avenue, cutting out some parts, but still, the road was 10 miles, and even before I got to University Drive, the post I was creating went out of control, and I had to break it up into smaller posts. So this is what we get today.
Sadly, even this isn't what I had hoped for, but it's more complete than what I had originally.
Yes, for a time, you could drive straight from Nantucket Drive to the Wal-Mart parking lot and back without making a single turn or getting on the highway.
Since the Highway 6 bypass was built in the 1970s, prior to around 2006, there was an intersection here with the southbound one-way traffic from the bypass intersecting with Deacon. To the south was Texas Avenue turning into an entrance for Highway 6 south with the northbound lane going from Highway 6. To the south at Deacon was a two-way frontage road that paralleled Texas Avenue up to Wal-Mart and became the southbound Highway 6 frontage road for the section south of Texas Avenue.
Around 2006, that all changed, and the set-up was altered. The road that paralleled Texas Avenue was cut off at an apartment complex, and the two lanes from Texas Avenue went to the frontage road south (now all one-way) or the highway. There's a number of businesses here, but let's focus on a few that stick out (that we haven't covered yet: Sunset Gardens we covered a while back).
And of course, there's a lot of other things I won't cover that are in this part of the road, including a collection of trailer homes, a few small homes, a U-Haul, a funeral home, an office building, and an O'Reilly Auto Parts.
Jimmy Jackson's Exxon
Opening 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 last year), but could not locate any photos of the gas station in its heyday.
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, not unlike a Burger King (now Pizza Inn) at Mangum and 18th (to be seen from the Northwest Freeway, which is more or less impossible now due to the construction of new ramps).
The picture for the sign and the self-serve washing stations is at the top of the page.
At the northeast corner of Deacon and Texas Avenue (as in, right before you get off for the highway) is a Burger King, which opened 2007 (early 2007, I believe) to replace the one at Culpepper Plaza, which was torn down and replaced with a Chick-fil-A. Burger King here replaced a Diamond Shamrock gas station.
Burger King at Texas Avenue and Deacon, May 2014
Across the street is a Wings-N-More restaurant, owned by Mark Dennard. The restaurant could alternately be called Mark Dennard's Original Wings-N-More due to the presence of a franchised Wings-N-More in Houston, but since they renamed to BreWingz, that really doesn't apply anymore. They also own a party room and even a car wash closer to Longmire.
Wings-N-More at Texas Avenue and Deacon, May 2014
Wings-N-More's location here opened sometime in the latter half of the 1990s, it was previously (and I sadly don't have a picture with me) a real estate office, blue roof, a Century 21 office in 1989 but vacant by '95. Wings-N-More kept the large sign post at the Deacon and Texas intersection and the building itself (it expanded). I always thought that was a strange plan--usually it's a real estate office that moves into a restaurant space, not the other way around. But this is College Station, the occasional strange thing that can pass.
Across the street is the old frontage road. We have Ashley & Co., which seems to have some discoloration on the roof. Smoke damage? Mold? I don't know. This used to be Petal Patch (and briefly a bakery, I've heard after that). Looking down the street, we see a variety of other businesses that have stayed pretty constant, including a chiropractor's, a pool store, and a paint store.
Ashley & Co., May 2014
Looking down the street
This has remained constant enough that Sunset Gardens, which burned down in the 1980s, is still around.
There's a small strip center here, just east of Park Place Plaza, Homestead Place (originally Shiloh Place). Since it has suites and not addresses for most of the shopping center, it's difficult to find what was there. I remember that prior to 1998, the College Station Public Library was actually here for a while, and some old phone books indicate a smaller Mr. Gatti's here as well (running concurrently with the Northgate and Bryan locations, and not directly associated with the disaster up the road in a few decades from when this one was around). There's another strip of this shopping center that has the sign (very '80s) but I don't have a picture of it (it's where Brown's Shoe Store is). Last summer I saw a picture of the CSPL facade along with what the facade looked like then. I don't have a picture of the facade of the original Homestead Place (blue facades, stonework) but I know I saw a photo last summer, complete with the library in its spot.
The original library wasn't especially cramped but it was small. It didn't have an electronic card catalog, and when it finally got one in the new location, they were on green and black monitors that were already laughably ancient even in the late 1990s. I think they were finally replaced in the mid-2000s.
Left side with former Park Oak Paint, a vision center, and a nail salon. May 2014.
Right side with 40 Tempura and the martial arts place that used to be near Albertsons.
While again, this is filler, this is partially to clean up the blog and make it for a bit better reading, but if you're just joining us, the Sbisa article has been updated again with new photos and information.