…the house at 322 Washington Street began its life in 1901 on the near north side at the SW corner of E. Elmira and Lexington Streets as a two story, gabled yellow brick Victorian. In the 1940’s, Worthy Wolff operated his restaurant and night club in the house. In 1951, to make way for the Pan Am Expressway, the brick was removed and the structure was cut into four sections and moved to Washington Street. At the new location, it was reassembled, stuccoed over and given a Mediterranean look. If you’ve walked by the house lately, you will see that it has gone through yet another transformation – back to its Victorian look of a hundred years ago.
…the big flood of 1921. When the water finally began to subside, our whole family, with my baby brother Joe in the baby carriage, walked along the river all the way downtown to see the damage. There was all kinds of debris floating down the river; furniture, lumber, even a piano bouncing along in the water. Bridges were crumpled. Houston Street was several feet under water. On the way back, we stopped at our grandparent’s house on North Street, which is now a part of Hemisfair Park. They lived next door to Riebe’s Mortuary where flood victims were lined up on the porch.
…in the mid 1930’s when there was an ice cream parlor on the corner of S. Presa and Callahan Streets where Sandy’s Beauty Salon is now. They had many flavors to choose from and we felt it was such a treat for our dad to take us there and treat us to an ice cream cone of any flavor of our choice.
…when parking problems in the neighborhood were caused, not by First Friday but by the Food Stamp Office housed on S. Alamo. Back then, everyone eligible for the program had to get in line once or twice a month, missing work for the day, to receive their allotment. This one office served the whole city.
…if you remember when Walter just had one house.
In response to April’s “Old Timer” feature:
Bill Cogburn’s story about the burning of the Maurer-Fry Houses on Madison brought back the vivid memory of being awakened to screaming sirens and a flaming sky. The awareness of what was burning was immediate – we had all feared that those houses would be lost.
I made it to my porch just as Eddie Polk came rushing thru the front gate. I’m recalling that he had a mop in his hand but maybe I made that up. Our house’s first major improvement, a new cedar shingle roof, had just been completed. Eddie, at the time, was the only insurance man in town willing to insure our “wreck”. He was sweating his decision to insure us and willing to climb up and douse sparks to protect his business and, in the process, our house. What a unique neighborhood it was.