Monday, August 29, 2011

Comm. Building Permits College Station in the Late 1980s

This is removed from the Index and only serves as a resource to what links here.

We rarely get stuff this neat: this is a list of commercial buildings for the late 1980s (taken from a city-produced master plan guide from circa 1990).

No idea where the other 1985 permits except for Scott & White, and that's probably the older building on University, and the Hampton Inn...which is probably the one next to Applebee's. It's likely the Theatre is the Brazos Fellowship building (it was a three-screen theater off of Southwest Parkway), but I can't know for sure. I do know where Aggieland Printing was, up until about 2001, it was located in a little maroon building right about where the water tower driveway is.

The 1986 permits include 7-11 (which replaced a gas station-turned-bar), but it's not a 7-11 anymore, which is a shame: I do enjoy Slurpees, and ICEEs (found at a few gas stations in town, and Target) aren't the same, as they mix syrup and ice, while Slurpees is frozen syrup continually blended (it's true).

Kentucky Fried Chicken is probably the one at Southwest Parkway and Texas, renovated a few years ago.

Whataburger is almost certainly the one on Dominik, which places it as being relatively new before a fire gutted it in the early 1990s (it has since been repaired).

Mazzio's I have unpleasant memories of, it's where Harvey Washbanger's is. The change-over happened in the late 1990s.

1987 brought Putt-Putt Golf (which closed about five years ago or so, dying as "Brazos Valley Golf and Games"), an "Exxon Shop", which I'm guessing is modern-day Franky's (or the Valero on Holleman, or even the Highway 30 ones), and Wal-Mart, which secured its permit that year and was up and running by 1988. I don't know about the go cart track, wasn't Pooh's Park, which was on its way out by that time.

1988 brought Loupot's (probably the Southgate location), Taco Cabana (near Barnes & Noble), Circle K (which is where Texaco is, near Walmart, a funny story on that one, we'll discuss it later), CC Creations (moved), Shamrock (Diamond Shamrock?).

1989 brought "Nancy's Cookies", "Jud's", and "Western Auto". Western Auto is probably the current Advance Auto Parts on Harvey, which is what all Western Autos are now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Southgate Chevron

I snapped this picture from the bus, taken sometime around 2013. The Reveille's sign can't be seen from this angle.

This building, home to Texas FilmWorks since late 2023, was for decades a gas station, originally opened in the 1960s as the Southside Gulf Service (300 Jersey, later 300 George Bush Drive), and converted to a convenience store (Reveille's) sometime around the late 1980s (that's what Brazos CAD suggests) with the Chevron name being bestowed in the early 1990s due to a merger. In 2011, I got the below picture that shows the Gulf station and the surrounding area (due to the city reorganizing the Project HOLD server from which I got it from, I can't find the original link and who that is) circa 1985.

Click for larger size/higher resolution.

It's great seeing the George Bush (er, Jersey) stoplight as it was...the "old style" of College Station stoplights (before they were all replaced or upgraded), complete with the old railroad crossing (a cantilever railroad crossing...but where's the crossing gate?), and all those trees, too: this must have been before the area around Olsen Field was developed, and a time when you could probably still see the I-GN right of way on both sides.

Somewhere on Project HOLD there's a picture of the gas station at night, though I can't link directly to it because PH keeps breaking the links. Later on, it updated once to the newer 2005 design (didn't roll out fully until the late 2000s), and has always been Reveille's (convenience store) at least since the mid-1990s (if not further back). In early 2017, it was de-branded as "K.D. Timmons Co. Inc." (a local fuel supplier and the only one of its kind, though it kept the Chevron colors), and by July 2018 permanently closed, remaining abandoned for the next five years or so.

UPDATE 02-25-2019: Rewrite incorporating 2018 update, new title
UPDATE 01-04-2024: More extensive rewrite and adding current tenant.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Campus Theater

A much, much, better version of this 1989 shot is found here. This version is from TexasEscapes.

The Campus Theater opened in Northgate in 1940, on the corner of Boyett and University at what is currently 217 University Drive. It was the first theater in College Station, and ended up lasting a very long time. Done in an art deco style and with a single screen (it had a balcony and cry room, too!), it survived sometime into the mid to late 1980s as competition forced it out of business (or maybe the Schulmans, which owned and built it, closed it in '85, along with their theaters in downtown Bryan. Makes sense in the timeline).

After the theater began to deteriorate, around 1995 it finally reopened as Shadow Canyon, which soon after gave it a dreadful makeover by covering over much of the building in wood to give it a country-western theme, and that's been the type of tenant of it's been ever since. Shadow Canyon did well initially, but it faltered (according to a now-dead Battalion link, they had started charging a cover and used gimmicks like wet t-shirt contests to gain attendance).
From this article, it officially closed in December 2004 though it played host to the Northgate Music Festival in early 2005.

Next up was Midnight Rodeo, which still has locations in San Antonio and Amarillo (an Austin location has closed since 2013). But the College Station location did not last nearly as long as Shadow Canyon, as it opened in early 2006 and closed by summer 2007 (it was supposed to be a five year lease, and a number of other dance halls owned by the same company closed around the time, such as one at the Katy Mills mall in the Houston area).

Daisy Duke's (country western) opened in early 2009 which was a country-western dance hall. As you can see from a Panaramio picture below, it's obviously the same building from above, but horrible things have been done to it (sorry I lack a better picture).

From Panoramio user "rahulatiitd". Note the "YON" barely visible from Shadow Canyon's old signage.

So the building was clearly mauled, but it got worse. In spring 2013, Daisy Dukes took advantage of the upper level the original building had and opened rooftop seating right above the marquee, with seating and televisions. This was not only ugly but also raised the question if the circa 1940 roof clearly not designed to support tons of people would collapse one day (then again, these sorts of things were done with all sorts of redundancies). By November, it was renamed to Duke's, and by summer 2014 changed hands to The Tap's owners. Prior to this time, there was a lot of drama with the Dallis family including squatting in the Café Eccell building, DUI arrests, and the fact that a former manager of DD's (and an estranged brother, at least publicly) was arrested for something more major, and while initially The Tap talked about the space becoming "No Name Saloon" (which was just a temporary name and never actually on the marquee, the closest to that being when they were changing signs). In the end it just remained a dance hall with a trashy reputation (and by fall 2014 it had officially become Boulevard 217).

Boulevard 217 closed after fall of 2015 and another dance hall, Shiner Park, opened for fall 2016. With the exceptions of the upper level area created in 2013, all of the incarnations have barely changed anything exterior-wise, and the longest lived bar here post-theater was Shadow Canyon, which also was the only one who put real work into the building.

Perhaps after Shiner Park bites it, there could be something else that restores the facade of the Campus Theater's facade, and even if it still remains a nightclub, could be something that the Northgate area could look forward to.

Rewritten June 2020 to account for new bar, weeding out old links.