Two Westbury Square Buildings Are Coming Down Now

Demolition of Westbury Square, 656 Westbury Sq., Westbury, Houston

Westbury Square, 656 Westbury Sq., Westbury, HoustonYesterday demo crews began tearing down 2 buildings at Westbury Square, the once-quaint pedestrian shopping district at West Bellfort and Chimney Rock that in recent decades has been overtaken by a combination of bigger-box retailing (see the Home Depot lurking in the background of the photo at left) and neglect. Long-dilapidated Buildings 1 and 5 at 635 Westbury Sq. are being removed under an agreement with the city after a longstanding battle over a “repair or demolish” order, according to the Westbury Area Improvement Corporation. But owner Alfred Antonini still has 9 other 1962-vintage buildings standing on the property, according to appraisal district records.


Demolition of Westbury Square, 656 Westbury Sq., Westbury, Houston

Photos: Westbury Area Improvement Corp

Charm of Yesteryear

10 Comment

  • I know that the Westbury Area Improvement and Westbury Neighborhood Association have put tremendous hours of work and persistence into this effort. I live in Westbury and I couldn’t be happier there. The diversity of neighbors, the front-yard gardens, the old oaks, Willow Waterhole, and the amazing elementary schools make this neighborhood a steal.
    I recently walked through Westbury Square, just to see what we’ll be missing. The little village effect must have been magical in it’s day, so intimate and interesting. Though I’m sad that Westbury Square is going away, that focus on livability and the human element is still very much alive throughout the rest of Westbury.

  • It is a shame to see them go, however, they are way too far gone to restore.

    I do believe this concept would work today, Sugarland City Center and City Center at Memorial City are two examples, albiet on a larger scale.

  • I went to pre-school at the Little Red School House back in the day. Westbury Square was happening back in the ’60’s. It had a European feel to it. Now it’s just a by gone relic.

  • If it’s the two buildings I’m thinking of, they’re both already broken shells. I would have loved to get inside and remove some of the architectual features, but I’m not sure that it’s even safe enough to get the railing on the face of the peach building.

    Westbury Square took a lot of damage in Hurricaine Ike. Heck, Westbury Square took a lot of damage in Hurricane Alicia. Either way, after Ike, a lot of the buildings that were in bad shape, but possibly fixable with heroic effort just slipped past being savable.

  • Once a place out of towners sought to visit, Westbury Sq is going the way of the Astroworld/Dome complex.

    An interesting point of the discussion might be to compare to Highland Village and Rice Village, maybe even River Oaks. All older, open air shopping areas. The obvious difference is the surrounding neighborhoods over the years. With the continued improvement and redevelopment of Westbury, could the Square be a victim of bad timing and luck? Remember it has undergone failed infusion of capital and redevelopment through the years.

  • I have great memories of Westbury Square. It’s unfortunate it was not located in another part of town such as the village where it might have survived. Now it would be a real attraction.

  • So many memories! We went there at least once a month before it began to go downhill as a hippie hangout in the 70’s. I always envied kids at the Little Red Schoolhouse. We’d watch the glassmaker – somewhere I have the little swan I bought from him. We’d buy just one piece each of maple sugar candy at the candy store. Cargo Houston – I have a large wooden salad bowl purchased there in 1968. And always ending up at Rumpleheimers, then sitting at the fountain with our ice cream cones. To a poor kid it was a very low budget Disney village. So many treasures from all over the world; I believe it ignited my love of handcrafts and diverse cultures.

  • I love to read about places I have never been to or seen like Westbury Square. I live in a small market town in England called Thrapston and about 50 years ago the council decided to widen the main street to cope with the traffic instead of building a by-pass road round the town. So lots of old buildings were demolished in the quaint old centre of town. The irony of this is the fact that not too much later a by-pass was built. Judging by the photos Westbury Square needed a coat of paint but to some people I’m sure it was like losing an old friend.

  • My boyfriend at the time owned the Bull and Anchor Restaurant (Michael Shields). I remember spending A Saturday or Sunday with friends and family going from shop to shop. The aroma of The Candle’s coming from the candle shop, watching the glass blower creative beautiful glass figurines, enjoying a root beer float at Rumpleheimers and people watching as we sat by the fountain on a beautiful sunny day, the atmosphere was filled with joy and happiness . We always saved the best for last “The rock candy at the candy store and always went home with a bag of maple sugar candy for later, I would fantasize that I was on vacation in a quaint little village some where in Europe. The Bull & Anchor was a beautiful restaurant with an amazing stone fire place that radiated warmth and was beautiful during the Christmas holidays, families would come from unknown far away places just to be able to experience the beauty of Westbury Square and be able to tell there friends and family about this Wonderful enchanted place. I grew up in Bellaire along with 7 other siblings who graduated from Bellaire High school, there is so much history here in Houston, it’s truly ashame to see what was once a magical place for many of us has to be demolished. I will definitely make it a point to go back there for one last time to say good-bye to an old friend and throw a penny in the fountain for one last wish to restore a childhood memory back to it’s original state.

  • @Joanne: I think the fountain was removed 20 years ago, when they put in the Home Depot.