Thursday, August 6, 2020

One-o-One Grove

The Amtrak platforms STILL stand on the other side of the railroad, but 101 Grove is totally gone.

Even fairly late into the planning process of this page, I had considered this making this a multi-subject post to cover the other buildings demolished at the same time, including 100 George Bush apartments, Equity Real Estate (which was built around 1997-ish), the Unitarian Universalist church, and 101 Grove. Of these, I only had real interest in covering 101 Grove and Equity Real Estate, except I lack any pictures of the latter and my experiences with renting an apartment with Equity were less than stellar.

I do remember Equity Real Estate (the building was built around 1997-ish), but I don't have anything nice to say about it, so as my mother would say, don't say anything at all.

One of the reasons I'm bringing up this is so I could also bring up LoTrak, which is one of the "hidden sub-pages" of the blog. Had it been constructed, 101 Grove might have died that much sooner.

101 Grove first opened as Jazzercise Exercise Studio in 1984, a warehouse-like building (I seem to remember it having gray metal siding), and I believe they held this into the 1999 until the Northgate McDonald's was reconstructed, without a basement. At this point, a huge Golden Arches sign was erected on the building, facing Wellborn, and the McDonald's Training Center was born, which also seemed to have been the main headquarters for the local stores. Unfortunately, in 2002, the local McDonald's franchise retired, and so went the McDonald's sign. A few years later, the building was completely renovated inside and out, with stucco, windows, awnings, and a mural on the north side. Initially named "One-o-One Grove", by 2007, it was the home of Ellis Custom Homes, but a few other tenants were there as well, including Larsen Insurance, and (as of summer 2007), P. Dallas Construction Co., though it was largely a one-man landscaping operation.

By 2019, the property had been bought by TxDOT and leveled, with the parking lot stub cut off and everything neatly removed. I returned in August 2020 to take these pictures, but as you can see, there's nothing left!

"Nothing remains...but memories!"

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Military Depot

You can barely make out the EAS (from Eastgate) here, but I think the shadow next to it was from Military Depot, not its predecessor tenants (May 2014).

Military Depot was on the short list in 2017 ("Season 3") and probably would have come after "At Home" on the Boriskie Ranch but as that post describes, things happened and it got shelved (it got close enough to have a post mostly written up). This post is intended to replace the the big Eastgate post.

105 Walton started out as a UtoteM, with a 1961 aerial appearing to show it under construction and a 1967 article mentioning it was going to 24 hour service (which must have been rare at the time, even 7-Eleven had only experimented with 24 hour stores in Dallas-Fort Worth and Las Vegas) and continuing to do so until the chain was bought and rebranded as Circle K in 1984. By the late 1980s, the convenience store changed hands to become Eastgate Food Store (Circle K's absorption of the outdated UtoteM stores ultimately proved to be a mistake, and by 1990 it would file for bankruptcy, with major market exits coming soon after). Some time around the early 1990s ('92-'93), Eastgate Food Store closed up shop entirely and Military Depot (which had previously been at Post Oak Mall) moved in soon after.

The 1992 date sounds right for the last time Eastgate Food Store saw the light of day, you can see it listed as part of this 1992 streetscape study:

There's also a green roofed building next to it that held a few tenants years ago, including Robinson Pet Clinic in 1989, but it's been vacant for a number of years now. The picture was taken in May 2014 with no activity since.

Here's another view of the sign, from May 2014.

Editor's Note: So Blogger is pushing out a new update that is due to go "full" in less than three weeks (as in, the old one no longer operational). It's slow, cumbersome to go through post archives, makes adding labels to posts much harder, et cetera.

The end result is that unless things change (unlikely), I'm going to move forward on an idea that until recently was a fairly drastic functionally shut down and move it to Carbon-izer in the style of my existing Waco page, except with a nicer layout, and some newly updated pages (an idea of updating almost every existing page was in the works). It means that while the blog format will be going away, the content won't...the Facebook page will continue to update, the Maps page will continue to update, and even the "comments" page might continue--though again, comments were a failure for the most part, and having a robust comments area like Columbia Closings or some of the retail blogs I still frequented when I created this site, would never happen.

Sadly, this also means that some other of the blog's features, like being able to locate all the buildings under a similar category, like all the [hotels and motels], will be gone. The new posts will be arranged by neighborhood and will be undated (besides, all the old posts, like 2013 and prior, are so extensively modified that they hardly resemble their original incarnations).

In the meantime, new pages will continue to appear on this site.

Sunday, August 2, 2020


Goodbye to a Northgate icon (Picture taken April 2020).

First mentioned in the long-outdated 104-115 College Main page (still up but being dismantled), I had personally never stepped foot in Sarge's, rather appreciating it as a Northgate staple that was part of Northgate itself. At this rate, Sarge's will probably be replaced with yet another nightclub that will just be an eyesore during the daytime.

Sarge's with its neighbors, 2013.

Operating from May 1984 to the end of May 2020, Sarge's was an army surplus store (at least originally) that operated as a Corps of Cadets supply store, including sabers and Corps boots (before TAMU also started selling them). From 1975 to until the early 1980s, University Frame Shop operated at 109 College Main. This store, same ownership as Theo's Gallery at Culpepper Plaza, featured, according to a 1980 ad, not only "custom and ready made frames" but also "New York graphic reproductions" and "limited edition prints & original art".

The building's earlier history (which dated back to the 1930s) is harder to determine. It seems that in the early days (late 1930s), Houston Street and College Main was named Bell (Bell Street?), with the Houston Street portion on campus taking the 1xx addresses and Northgate taking the 2xx addresses; however, other renumbering has taken place and placing the College Main businesses is difficult. Based on that information, it can be inferred that "Jones Barber" and "Wilson Beauty" operated here but more information needs to be acquired before an accurate chronology can be created.

Editor's Note: New comments page (for site as a whole) founded at the old redirect site as part of site upgrades.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Jack in the Box, Texas Avenue, Bryan

The Box is back after an extensive rebuild.

The sister store to the College Station Jack in the Box further down Texas Avenue, 2906 South Texas Avenue's Jack in the Box was built in 1977 (#675), before the chain's dramatic makeover that dropped the "clown head" speakers and started to push a more "adult", upscale menu.

While the picture at the aforementioned post looks like this one before rebuilding around early 2019 (picture taken in March 2020), the picture here is the one that the College Station one also looks like now. As of this writing, the most recent Google Street View shows the old Jack in the Box building.

The construction also ditched the entrance off of Villa Maria for a new one to Maloney, but it's a moot point since medians installed since 2016 on Villa Maria make access difficult anyway.

Editor's Note: Here's a quick outline of where this site is going in the immediate future. There's currently a list of subjects that are being written for the conclusion of "Season 4", which "began" in early 2019. ("Season 3" was the 2015-2017 post-launch, and "Season 2" was basically late 2012 on when the blog's purpose started to solidify). The wrap-up will include a closer look at the 200+ existing entries and which ones need to be updated.