Houston Post HQ - Houston Chronicle Plant - photo from Wikipedia, in the public domain
I grew up in Houston, in a suburb called Spring Branch/Memorial. I lived in our house there from the time I was 18 months old until I left for college at 18...so it's the only childhood home I remember.
My Gramma Beth and Aunt Etta Jane lived near downtown, in a up/down brick duplex in an area called Montrose. It was definitely on the other side of town, so we didn't go there VERY often, but when we did we took the Southwest Freeway and we passed this big building. When Nancy and I were very little we would always shout toward the building, "Hello, Bill Cosby and Andy Williams!"
Why we decided those two folks lived in the Houston Post building (as it was then), I have no idea.
Heard today that Andy Williams had died, and this was the first thing I thought of: "Bill Cosby is gonna be lonely in that big place by himself."
Following that trip down memory lane, I did a Google Images search for my Gramma's house, which was sold after my aunt's death in the nineties to a couple who were opening a gallery in the downstairs and planning to live upstairs. 307 Sul Ross Street; we called it "307."
It is now a very upscale hair salon called Touch of Red. Interstingly, in a CBS news piece from Oct. 2011 about the salon, the building was described as an "old-school-house-turned-business."
Schoolhouse!? I called my dad to check this, and he said, no way. He told me that my great-grandfather bought it in about 1918 and lived there until his death in 1933; my great-grandmother continued to live there until she became bedridden and went to live with my grandmother at 1110 Marshall, a few blocks away. Later, my grandmother and aunt moved to 307. They lived upstairs and my aunt had an accounting firm downstairs...later my dad had a contracting business in that space with her. Both Gramma Beth and Aunt Etta Jane lived there until they died.
By that time, what had been a very prosperous Houston neighborhood was filled with crack houses and prostitutes...thus the big iron fence. It was NOT a good neighborhood then.
Here's a photo from the salon website. This is inside the downstairs (I presume), looking from the front door toward the sunporch.
I'd know that fireplace anywhere...
Okay, time to stop going down rabbit trails. Bill Cosby...you take care.