In 1891, the tract of land that was to become the largest planned community in the United States was purchased by O. M. Carter. It was located 2.5 miles from downtown Houston, and because it was situated roughly 23 feet higher than the surrounding area, it was named Houston Heights.
When I first moved to this changing neighborhood as a newlywed in 1989, I loved taking photos of some of the remaining historic homes. Because of the “other time” feel of the images, I started using B&W infrared film to photograph the homes and buildings in my gentrifying neighborhood.
When my husband and I moved into the Heights, this little gas station still had pumps, although they no longer worked. According to Anne Sloan and the Houston Heights Association, this English cottage-style building, located at 1402 Oxford Street, was the site of Shauer’s Gulf Station, which opened in 1928. Fred Shauer lived next door at 607 East 14th Avenue with his wife, Hazel, and ran the business until 1978. In his heyday, Fred had about 800 customers and sold more gasoline than any other Gulf station in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
“Early Fillin’ Station” is part of the Progress/Progresso exhibition, currently on display at Silver Street Studios through June 25.