50 years ago this week One Shell Plaza began its upward rise

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Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle

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PHOTOS: One Shell Plaza through the years 

In 1967 the 1.6 million square foot One Shell Plaza began as a square block hole, about 60 feet deep, bounded by McKinney, Louisiana, Walker, and Smith streets.

Click through to see the beginnings of one of Houston’s tallest skyscrapers…

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PHOTOS: One Shell Plaza through the years 

In 1967 the 1.6 million square foot One Shell Plaza began as a square block hole, about 60 feet deep, bounded by McKinney, Louisiana, Walker, and Smith streets.

Click

… more

Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle

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On May 27, 1967 a one-block area bounded by Smith, Louisiana, Walker and McKinney in downtown Houston is leveled for the construction of the 50-story One Shell Plaza. Gerald Hines Interests is the developer of the downtown skyscraper being built by W.S. Bellows Construction Co.  less
On May 27, 1967 a one-block area bounded by Smith, Louisiana, Walker and McKinney in downtown Houston is leveled for the construction of the 50-story One Shell Plaza. Gerald Hines Interests is the developer of … more

Photo: Curtis McGee, HC Staff

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Gerald D. Hines was featured on the cover of Engineering News-Record in 1969, the same year his firm built One Shell Plaza, still the tallest lightweight concrete building in the world.

Gerald D. Hines was featured on the cover of Engineering News-Record in 1969, the same year his firm built One Shell Plaza, still the tallest lightweight concrete building in the world.

Photo: Hines

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Gerald D. Hines, with E.G. Christianson and a model of One Shell Plaza. Christianson was the head of Shell’s Houston operations.

Gerald D. Hines, with E.G. Christianson and a model of One Shell Plaza. Christianson was the head of Shell’s Houston operations.

Photo: Hines

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Construction is underway on One Shell Plaza at 910 Louisiana sometime in 1967 or 1968. 

Construction is underway on One Shell Plaza at 910 Louisiana sometime in 1967 or 1968. 

Photo: Houston Chronicle

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From July 1970: “Becky Mosley and Winnifred Miller are among the first group of Shell Oil Company employees who have moved into the new One Shell Plaza Building. For the next four to five months, Shell employees from New York and various locations around Houston will be moving in on weekends and evenings to their new offices. In all, Shell will have about 2,000 employees in the building on floors five through 29 by the end of the year.”

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From July 1970: “Becky Mosley and Winnifred Miller are among the first group of Shell Oil Company employees who have moved into the new One Shell Plaza Building. For the next four to five months, Shell

… more

Photo: Curtis McGee/© Houston Chronicle

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From September 2, 1971: Downtown Houston skyline aerial view from the southwest. New buildings include the first unit of Allen Center, lower left; One Shell Plaza; Two Shell Plaza; construction of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, center; United Gas Building; and First City East. less
From September 2, 1971: Downtown Houston skyline aerial view from the southwest. New buildings include the first unit of Allen Center, lower left; One Shell Plaza; Two Shell Plaza; construction of the Hyatt … more

Photo: Owen Johnson, Houston Chronicle

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From March 26, 1972: “Trim straight lines of newer downtown buildings form a contrasting background for the spires atop the First Methodist Church Building, lower right. The newer buildings, towering above the older structure are left to right: The Sheraton-Lincoln, the United Gas Building, One Shell Plaza, Tenneco Building, the Houston Natural Gas Building and part of the Capitol National Bank Building. The angle from which the picture was taken makes the One Shell Plaza Building, topped by the antenna, appear smaller than some of the other structures. The building, in fact, towers 50 stories high and is the tallest in the city. The Tenneco Building, too, is reduced in size by the camera angle.”  less
From March 26, 1972: “Trim straight lines of newer downtown buildings form a contrasting background for the spires atop the First Methodist Church Building, lower right. The newer buildings, towering above the … more

Photo: Houston Chronicle, David Nance

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This portrait by Helmut Newton shows Hines flanked by two of his Houston landmarks, One Shell Plaza and the Bank of America Center.

This portrait by Helmut Newton shows Hines flanked by two of his Houston landmarks, One Shell Plaza and the Bank of America Center.

Photo: Courtesy Of Gerald D. Hines

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One Shell Plaza stood as the tallest building in Texas for more than a decade until InterFirst Plaza (now known as Enterprise Plaza) debuted in 1980. 

One Shell Plaza stood as the tallest building in Texas for more than a decade until InterFirst Plaza (now known as Enterprise Plaza) debuted in 1980. 

Photo: Sam C. Pierson, HC Staff

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One Shell Plaza located at 910 Louisiana Monday, July 9, 2012, in Houston. 

One Shell Plaza located at 910 Louisiana Monday, July 9, 2012, in Houston. 

Photo: James Nielsen, Houston Chronicle

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One Shell Plaza located at 910 Louisiana Monday, July 9, 2012, in Houston. 

One Shell Plaza located at 910 Louisiana Monday, July 9, 2012, in Houston. 

Photo: James Nielsen, Staff

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About 3,400 employees from Shell Oil Co. began leaving One Shell Plaza headquarters in downtown Houston at the beginning of 2017, bound for digs in the Energy Corridor. New tenants are currently signing contracts to move in. 

Click through to see other buildings in Houston that weren’t as fortunate as One Shell Plaza and met the wrecking ball…

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About 3,400 employees from Shell Oil Co. began leaving One Shell Plaza headquarters in downtown Houston at the beginning of 2017, bound for digs in the Energy Corridor. New tenants are currently signing … more

Photo: Brett Coomer

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PHOTOS: The buildings that Houston has lost over the years due to age and progress

Stadiums, concert halls, swank hotels, hospitals, shopping centers, we’ve kept our demolition crews and construction companies very busy.

Click through to see more beautiful demolition photos….

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PHOTOS: The buildings that Houston has lost over the years due to age and progress

Stadiums, concert halls, swank hotels, hospitals, shopping centers, we’ve kept our demolition crews and construction companies

… more

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Shamrock Hotel

Pictured is a 1953 aerial of the Shamrock Hotel. It was built in 1946. 

Shamrock Hotel

Pictured is a 1953 aerial of the Shamrock Hotel. It was built in 1946. 

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Shamrock Hilton Hotel, 1985. 

Shamrock Hilton Hotel, 1985. 

Photo: John Everett, Houston Chronicle

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As bystanders watch, a wrecking ball does its devastating work on the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in the summer of 1987. 

As bystanders watch, a wrecking ball does its devastating work on the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in the summer of 1987. 

Photo: Buster Dean, Houston Chronicle

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Sam Houston Coliseum 

Vintage 1939 postcard showing the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston. 

Sam Houston Coliseum 

Vintage 1939 postcard showing the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston. 

Photo: Curt Teich Postcard Archives, Getty Images

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Sam Houston Coliseum, 1939.

Sam Houston Coliseum, 1939.

Photo: Houston Chronicle File

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The Sam Houston Coliseum in 1965 with some dudes called the Beatles from England onstage. 

The Sam Houston Coliseum in 1965 with some dudes called the Beatles from England onstage. 

Photo: HC Staff

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Sam Houston Coliseum and Houston Music Hall, seen in 1992.

Sam Houston Coliseum and Houston Music Hall, seen in 1992.

Photo: JOHN EVERETT, Houston Chronicle

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The corner of Bagby and Walker, where the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts stands Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, in Houston. The inset photo is the Sam Houston Coliseum which opened in 1937 and was demolished in 1998.  less
The corner of Bagby and Walker, where the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts stands Monday, Aug. 8, 2011, in Houston. The inset photo is the Sam Houston Coliseum which opened in 1937 and was demolished in … more

Photo: Nick De La Torre

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The Josephine Apartments

The Josephine Apartments, built in the 1930’s. 

The Josephine Apartments

The Josephine Apartments, built in the 1930’s. 

Photo: Karen Warren, Staff

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Demolition equipment flattened the Josephine Apartments, near Rice University, in late 2014. The complex, which was built in 1939, had eight one-bedroom units arranged in a U shape.

Demolition equipment flattened the Josephine Apartments, near Rice University, in late 2014. The complex, which was built in 1939, had eight one-bedroom units arranged in a U shape.

Photo: Marie D. De Jesus, Staff

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Foley’s in downtown 

A photo rendering of Foley’s iconic Main Street store in 1962.

Foley’s in downtown 

A photo rendering of Foley’s iconic Main Street store in 1962.

Photo: Photographic Laboratories

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An exterior photograph of Macy’s department store in downtown, Jan. 3, 2013, in Houston. 

An exterior photograph of Macy’s department store in downtown, Jan. 3, 2013, in Houston. 

Photo: James Nielsen, Staff

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A series of explosive charges brings down the landmark the former Macy’s department store building in downtown Houston on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.

A series of explosive charges brings down the landmark the former Macy’s department store building in downtown Houston on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.

Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Houston Chronicle

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Ben Milam Hotel 

Ben Milam Hotel under construction, circa 1925. 

Ben Milam Hotel 

Ben Milam Hotel under construction, circa 1925. 

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Vintage 1930 postcard showing the view west on Texas Avenue. Store fronts and high rise buildings line the street The Ben Milam Hotel is on the right. Vintage automobiles and a streetcar are on the avenue.

Vintage 1930 postcard showing the view west on Texas Avenue. Store fronts and high rise buildings line the street The Ben Milam Hotel is on the right. Vintage automobiles and a streetcar are on the avenue.

Photo: Curt Teich Postcard Archives, Getty Images

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Trying to capture an image of history with their cameras, people look on as the more than 80 year-old 10-story Ben Milam hotel building at 1717 Texas St. that served as a home away from home for travelers arriving at Union Station was imploded Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Houston. The Ben Milam Hotel was built around 1926 by Houston attorneys John Crooker and R. Clarence Fulbright, architectural historian Stephen Fox said.  less
Trying to capture an image of history with their cameras, people look on as the more than 80 year-old 10-story Ben Milam hotel building at 1717 Texas St. that served as a home away from home for travelers … more

Photo: Johnny Hanson, Houston Chronicle

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The Savoy Hotel 

The Savoy Hotel was a 103-year-old building at Main and Pease that was demolished in 2009. It was the first high-rise apartment building in Houston.

The Savoy Hotel 

The Savoy Hotel was a 103-year-old building at Main and Pease that was demolished in 2009. It was the first high-rise apartment building in Houston.

Photo: Randy Pace

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Workers begin the demolition of the smaller addition to the Savoy Hotel at 1616 Main Street in downtown Houston Friday evening October 2, 2009. 

Workers begin the demolition of the smaller addition to the Savoy Hotel at 1616 Main Street in downtown Houston Friday evening October 2, 2009. 

Photo: Nathan Lindstrom, For The Chronicle

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The Incarnate Word Academy

The Incarnate Word Academy, designed by famed Texas architect Nicholas Clayton in the late 1800’s, seen here in 2015 just before it was completely leveled. 

The Incarnate Word Academy

The Incarnate Word Academy, designed by famed Texas architect Nicholas Clayton in the late 1800’s, seen here in 2015 just before it was completely leveled. 

Photo: Cody Duty, Staff

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The Incarnate Word Academy is seen as crews prepare to tear it down, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, in Houston.

The Incarnate Word Academy is seen as crews prepare to tear it down, Tuesday, March 17, 2015, in Houston.

Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle

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The AstroHall

The Reliant Astrohall held the RV and Camper show for the last time in March 2002. It was demolished to make room for extra parking at Reliant Park.

The AstroHall

The Reliant Astrohall held the RV and Camper show for the last time in March 2002. It was demolished to make room for extra parking at Reliant Park.

Photo: Steve Campbell, Houston Chronicle

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Workers with D.H. Griffin of Texas remove the remains of the west wing of the Reliant Astrohall in the shadow of the Astrodome and Reliant Stadium in April 2002.

Workers with D.H. Griffin of Texas remove the remains of the west wing of the Reliant Astrohall in the shadow of the Astrodome and Reliant Stadium in April 2002.

Photo: Karl Stolleis, Houston Chronicle

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Lamar Hotel 

This photograph taken in 1945 of the Lamar Hotel, with Metropolitan and Loew’s theaters, is characteristic of the work of the late architect Alfred C. Finn. 

Lamar Hotel 

This photograph taken in 1945 of the Lamar Hotel, with Metropolitan and Loew’s theaters, is characteristic of the work of the late architect Alfred C. Finn. 

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The Lamar Hotel and adjacent C&I Building on Main Street are demolished in downtown Houston, April 14, 1985. A corner of the hotel was left standing to contain the debris during demolition. 

The Lamar Hotel and adjacent C&I Building on Main Street are demolished in downtown Houston, April 14, 1985. A corner of the hotel was left standing to contain the debris during demolition. 

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Hotel Cotton

1936 photo of Hotel Cotton at 804 Fannin. 

Hotel Cotton

1936 photo of Hotel Cotton at 804 Fannin. 

Photo: Bob Bailey Studio/Bob Bailey Studio Archive

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Spectators and demolition crews witness the Montagu Hotel, originally the 1913 Hotel Cotton, collapse on the corner of Fannin and Rusk as it’s toppled Sunday morning in downtown Houston on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2008. (Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle) less
Spectators and demolition crews witness the Montagu Hotel, originally the 1913 Hotel Cotton, collapse on the corner of Fannin and Rusk as it’s toppled Sunday morning in downtown Houston on Sunday, Jan. 20, … more

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The old Downtown YMCA

Residents had been living in the Downtown YMCA, 1600 Louisiana, since 1941. The facility and its residents were moved to make way for a new YMCA facility in 2010.

The old Downtown YMCA

Residents had been living in the Downtown YMCA, 1600 Louisiana, since 1941. The facility and its residents were moved to make way for a new YMCA facility in 2010.

Photo: JOHNNY HANSON, CHRONICLE

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Max Salazar of Cherry Demolition Co walks back to his track hoe after taking a break from tearing down the former YMCA building on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, in Houston. 

Max Salazar of Cherry Demolition Co walks back to his track hoe after taking a break from tearing down the former YMCA building on Wednesday, May 11, 2011, in Houston. 

Photo: Cody Duty, Houston Chronicle

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Jefferson Davis Hospital

Vintage 1940 postcard showing the Jefferson Davis Hospital, with an inset view of the Nurses’ Home. (Photo by Lake County Museum/Getty Images)

Jefferson Davis Hospital

Vintage 1940 postcard showing the Jefferson Davis Hospital, with an inset view of the Nurses’ Home. (Photo by Lake County Museum/Getty Images)

Photo: Curt Teich Postcard Archives, Getty Images

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Jefferson Davis Hospital on Allen Parkway, January 1967 

Jefferson Davis Hospital on Allen Parkway, January 1967 

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Implosion of Jefferson Davis Hospital on Allen Parkway in 1999. (Richard Carson / Houston Chronicle)

Implosion of Jefferson Davis Hospital on Allen Parkway in 1999. (Richard Carson / Houston Chronicle)

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Spectators line up along Allen Parkway to watch the implosion of the 62-year-old Jeff Davis Hospital Building, a Houston landmark, early Saturday morning, May 15, 1999. The 12 story Hospital was the site of the first open-heart surgery in the United States and fell in about 10 seconds after the detonation of 600 pounds of explosives. The Hospital and an adjoining seven-story administration building was razed to make way for a four-story 369-unit apartment complex.  less
Spectators line up along Allen Parkway to watch the implosion of the 62-year-old Jeff Davis Hospital Building, a Houston landmark, early Saturday morning, May 15, 1999. The 12 story Hospital was the site of the … more

Photo: Richard Carson, Houston Chronicle

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Colt Stadium

Colt Stadium in foreground with Astrodome construction in background, early 1960s.

Colt Stadium

Colt Stadium in foreground with Astrodome construction in background, early 1960s.

Photo: Houston Chronicle

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The Astrodome is seen from Colt Stadium, home of the Colt 45s baseball team. The Colt 45s became the Astros and played in the Astrodome. Colt Stadium later fell into disrepair and was shipped to Mexico. 

The Astrodome is seen from Colt Stadium, home of the Colt 45s baseball team. The Colt 45s became the Astros and played in the Astrodome. Colt Stadium later fell into disrepair and was shipped to Mexico. 

Photo: Houston Chronicle

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Houston Main Building

M.D. Anderson’s Houston Main Building 

Houston Main Building

M.D. Anderson’s Houston Main Building 

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Pictured is the implosion of M.D. Anderson’s Houston Main Building on Jan. 8, 2012. It opened in 1952 as the regional headquarters for Prudential Insurance Company. Prudential sold the building in 1975.

Pictured is the implosion of M.D. Anderson’s Houston Main Building on Jan. 8, 2012. It opened in 1952 as the regional headquarters for Prudential Insurance Company. Prudential sold the building in 1975.

Photo: Nick De La Torre, Houston Chronicle

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Stewart Building 

Stewart Building, 403 Fannin in downtown Houston. 

Stewart Building 

Stewart Building, 403 Fannin in downtown Houston. 

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Stewart Building implosion, July 15, 1973. (David Nance / Houston Chronicle)

Stewart Building implosion, July 15, 1973. (David Nance / Houston Chronicle)

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Stewart Building implosion, July 15, 1973. (David Nance / Houston Chronicle)

Stewart Building implosion, July 15, 1973. (David Nance / Houston Chronicle)

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Robertson Stadium

A full house crowds Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston as NFL football returns to the Bayou City in the form of a scrimmage between the expansion Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys, Friday night, August 2, 2002. less

Robertson Stadium

A full house crowds Robertson Stadium at the University of Houston as NFL football returns to the Bayou City in the form of a scrimmage between the expansion Houston Texans and the Dallas … more

Photo: SMILEY N. POOL, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

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A UH fan snaps a keepsake from the final game at Robertson Stadium in November 2012. 

A UH fan snaps a keepsake from the final game at Robertson Stadium in November 2012. 

Photo: Smiley N. Pool, Staff

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Remnants from Robertson Stadium is seen during its demolition on December 10, 2012. (Cody Duty / Chronicle)

Remnants from Robertson Stadium is seen during its demolition on December 10, 2012. (Cody Duty / Chronicle)

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Robertson Stadium will be demolished to begin construction on a new stadium that will open in time for the 2014 season.

Robertson Stadium will be demolished to begin construction on a new stadium that will open in time for the 2014 season.

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Buff Stadium (later named Busch Stadium) 

Buff Stadium was the site of minor league games for the Houston Buffs, a St. Louis Cardinals farm club. It was renamed Busch Stadium in 1955. It was later demolished in 1963.  less

Buff Stadium (later named Busch Stadium) 

Buff Stadium was the site of minor league games for the Houston Buffs, a St. Louis Cardinals farm club. It was renamed Busch Stadium in 1955. It was later demolished in … more

Photo: Houston Post

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Busch Stadium on May 28, 1956. 

Busch Stadium on May 28, 1956. 

Photo: PETE VAZQUEZ, HP Staff

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Aerial of Buff Stadium, opening day, April 11, 1928. St. Bernard Street (now Cullen) can be seen behind right field. The stadium opened on April 11, 1928, with a 7-5 Houston Buffaloes victory over the Waco Cubs. Up to 15,000 turned out for that game, the largest single gathering for a baseball game in Houston at that time. less
Aerial of Buff Stadium, opening day, April 11, 1928. St. Bernard Street (now Cullen) can be seen behind right field. The stadium opened on April 11, 1928, with a 7-5 Houston Buffaloes victory over the Waco … more

Photo: Houston Chronicle

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Busch Stadium, in 1963, formerly known as Buffalo Stadium. The stadium was the scene for many Houston Buffs baseball games. Only outline of once plush diamond remains. 

Busch Stadium, in 1963, formerly known as Buffalo Stadium. The stadium was the scene for many Houston Buffs baseball games. Only outline of once plush diamond remains. 

Photo: DAN HARDY, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

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The Houston Sports Museum was located in the Fingers Furniture store at 4001 Gulf Freeway (which was the site of the former Buff Stadium). 

The Houston Sports Museum was located in the Fingers Furniture store at 4001 Gulf Freeway (which was the site of the former Buff Stadium). 

Photo: Michael Paulsen, Staff

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Old Houston Chronicle building 

Houston Chronicle building at 801 Texas Avenue, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Houston. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )

Old Houston Chronicle building 

Houston Chronicle building at 801 Texas Avenue, Thursday, June 19, 2014, in Houston. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )

Photo: Karen Warren, Staff

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801 Texas, seen in the spring of 2016. (Ken Fountain)

801 Texas, seen in the spring of 2016. (Ken Fountain)

Photo: Ken Fountain

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