Lauren Meyers, archivist of would-be Houston, digs up an earlier plan for a building at 4500 Bissonnet, on the corner of Mulberry St. in Bellaire. That’s the vacant property long in the possession of legendarily delinquent Wilshire Village landlord Jay H. Cohen, where Matt Dilick, the man who now apparently controls it, is planning to build a 2ish-story stucco mild-West meets retail-Tuscan strip center and sell off the rest of the land.
Back in 1946, Cohen’s father, who had developed the Wilshire Village Apartments on West Alabama and Dunlavy 6 years earlier, planned a 122-home subdivision on the 30-acre strip between Avenue A (now Newcastle St.) and Mulberry St. with a partner. And at the southern end of the property, facing Richmond Rd. (now Bissonnet St.), a sweeping, low-slung modern structure spanning Howard St.: the Mulberry Manor Community Center, designed by Houston architects Lloyd & Morgan.
Meyers quotes a Houston Chronicle report from September 1, 1946:
The proposed community center, which would cost $250,000, will be constructed provided the city of Bellaire adopts a zoning ordinance which would allow commercial construction in the area. The fight over the zoning plan recently provoked widespread strife within Bellaire’s city council. The ordinance will be voted upon September 7. . . .
The proposed community center would include spaces for a super market, general store, auto agency, beauty shop, electrical appliance store, and other stores. It has been designed as a Western modern type, and the over-all design resembles an airplane with one wing clipped off - that is, the bird’s eye view of it. Planners of the project say they are hopeful of completion of the entire project in about seven months.
- Mulberry Manor [arch-ive]
- On Bissonnet near Newcastle: More Pieces of the Wilshire Village Package [Swamplot]
- Wilshire Village coverage [Swamplot]