Friday, October 23, 2009

Houston Streets 17--Lindale Park

Today was my day off from work, the weather was unbeatable, so I got on my bike and explored. I hit Lindale Park today.

Lindale Park trip map

This neighborhood is just inside the Loop and just east of I-45. The main drag is Irvington. The neighborhood is about 50 years old, full of moderate-sized bungalows. I'd describe it as a well-kept working to middle-class neighborhood, strongly but not exclusively hispanic. The bungalows come in different styles. A really common style is like this one.

typical bungalow 1

Here is another version--almost the exact same house, in fact.

typical bungalow 2

One feature I like about these brick bungalows is the entryway. A lot of them have the brick arch over the door, then projecting out a second brick arch, and then a third. It makes it look like the doorway is radiating towards you. You see similar doorways on the bungalows on Alabama near TSU.

Here's an especially beautiful one on the corner of Irvington and Fairbanks.

Beautiful bungalow Irvington @ Fairbanks

I like how the light reflected off the front stoop makes the inside of the "radiating arch" glow. I'd love to own a house like this--too bad it's right on Irvington (which too busy for me).

I saw a variation on the "radiating arch" where instead of an arch above the door, it was a straight rectangular design.

square door bungalow

Not all the bungalows are brick houses. Quite a few are mostly wood, and then there are some with "fake rock" exteriors. At least I think the rock is fake. Here is a wood bungalow that is Shaker-like in its simple, unadorned beauty.


Here's one on Gale that someone decided needed a little color.

Purple house on Gale

In addition to this style of bungalow, there are also small ranch houses in Lindale Park. I didn't take any pictures of them, though; they're just too boring.

This is a neighborhood that is gentrifying. In some cases, this means that people are doubling up on lots--either buying two adjacent lots and building a big house, or buying lots on either side of the block, so they have addresses on two streets. That appears to be what Mr.Campos did here.

La Hacienda Campos on Graceland

As far as I can tell, La Hacienda cuts through from Gale to Joyce.

An extreme example of this is this house on Fulton that goes all the way from Gale to Joyce.

On Fulton between Joyce & Gale

It looks like this guy bought four lots to build his dream home. The question is, why did he build such an inappropriate house here? (I won't ask why he built such an ugly monstrosity, since ugly monstrosities are the average rich Houstonian's default choice for a dwelling.) It is so out of scale with anything in this neighborhood, and he put it right on Fulton, a major street with lots of businesses. On the other side of Joyce from it is a cheap apartment building. Just up the road are a tire repair shop and a tortilla factory. Was he a dude from the neighborhood who struck it rich and decided to build his dream home in Lindale Park, where the old gang could see it?

That was not the weirdest house I saw. On Moody, just west of Hardy, I saw this strange house.

Moody near Hardy facade 1

OK, not typical for the neighborhood (although this was, I think, technically outside Lindale Park), but not inherently weird. But look at this view and pay attention to the second floor.

Moody near Hardy facade 2

The windows (and maybe even the door) on the second floor are fake. The front of this house is literally a facade. I wonder what could be the motivation for this deception. Obviously it isn't going to fool anyone.

I only saw one old-school mod house in the neighborhood, on the corner of Elser and Cavalcade. I think this house looks great--it would be perfectly appropriate for Memorial.

Modern Cavalcade @ Elser

There was one other contemporary house in Lindale Park, and it is still under construction. It's the Greer House on Woodard, and it was designed by the hugely talented Brett Zamore.

Greer House on Woodard

Zamore is a Rice architect who has gotten a lot of attention for his low-cost modern designs. His most famous house is the "Shot-Trot" in Eastwood, and the Greer house seems to basically be a supersized version of the earlier, iconic structure. Zamore is an architect I admire a lot, and this is a beautiful house.

Just down the street is another new house (at least it looks new).

mansion on Woodard

This house is out-of-proportion for the neighborhood, but it avoids being a McMansion, I think. It's charming and has a real relationship with the street (the wrap-around porch is really nice).

Lindale Park has been around for 50 years according to the sign in front of the Lindale Park Civic Club.

Lindale Park Civic Club on Joyce

This building is a meeting hall that can be rented out for parties, banquets, etc. It's nice that the civic club has a permanent space for neighborhood events.

Generally the lawns of Lindale Park were typical Houston--well-cut St. Augustine grass. I liked this artfully wild lawn at the corner of Gale and Helmer.

garden at Helmer @ Gale

Lindale Park's businesses are mostly on Irvington, Cavalcade, and Fulton. Locals can wet their whistles at Rick's Den on Cavalcade, which has these two nice graffiti pieces on its back wall.

Rick's Den on Cavalcade @ Cochran rear

And speaking of murals, I love this one on the Matamoros Meat Market #3 on Irvington.

Matamoros Meat Market Irvington @ Canadian

The focal point is the guy in the straw cowboy hat holding a nice cold beer. I love how the two hotties in bathing suits are starring at him with apparent desire. The girl in the bikini could be thinking, "Sure, he's 20 years older than me, but he is muy guapo. Si, guapo y rico!"

Finally, after my ride through the neighborhood, I was famished. I ate here:

Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe

This restaurant is on Irvington at Cavalcade, and food was delicious. I give it my highest recommendation.

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Blogger Slampo said...

Think Lindale Park is well more than 50 years old. I had relatives there I can remember visiting almost that long ago & the place seemed old then. The style of the cottages suggest maybe just pre- or just post-WWII, maybe older. But whatever, it's an interesting place. Enjoy your tours.

10:57 PM  
Blogger  Robert Boyd said...

Hmmm... Maybe the Lindale Park Civic Club needs to update their sign. Or maybe they are like those people who, at a certain point, freeze their stated age at "29".

5:34 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My gosh, this was an extensive tour, you earned that taco fix!

I've eaten there, also highly recommended.

Great job. Such a complete tour with delightful commentary and insight.

Gonna keep riding along on your bike tours.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job! I live on Avenue of Oaks and my bungalow was built in 1925. Get this! Lidale Supplement (Bound by Irvington and Robertson) is older than Lindale Park (called the brick side)
Try Aracyle's taco truck parked at the car repair shop on Irvington!!!
My neighborhood is amazing!!

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My parents bought the house at 308 Fairbanks NEW in 1948. My Mother lived there until here death in 1999. That area was once a golf course. One of the major developers was a businessman named Roy Stolz. He lived next door to us. It was a great place to grow up.

10:28 PM  

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