The West Houston Archives

Discover the history of West Houston from its many roads


(Above photo: Looking west along the FM 1960 corridor from Tomball Parkway, with Willowbrook Mall on the left, Aug. 2013)

   Farm to Market road 1960 is a road in northwest Harris County that runs primarily east/west between US 290 and the town of Dayton, TX.  It officially begins on the west side at the US 290 freeway, but because of its seamless transition into State Highway 6 at this intersection, many assume SH6 and FM 1960 to be the same road, but they are actually separate.  From 290, the road travels east, intersecting with Tomball Parkway (249), Interstate 45, and US 59.  
   Before FM 1960, there was Jackrabbit Road, a two lane blacktop road that started at Spencer Rd. (now called FM 529), and ran north to Hempstead Highway, where it turned to the east.  The name was given to the road because of the abundance of jackrabbits that roamed wild in the area back in the early 20th century. So far as I can tell, the name Jackrabbit only applied to part of the corridor, everything west of FM 149 (now called 249, or Tomball Parkway).
   East of FM 149, the road had several different names as it crossed towns like Bammel, Atascocita, and Humble.  The actual FM 1960 designation did not come around until about 1951, though it took a while to stick.  Local residents used the name Jackrabbit Road for many decades after the inception of FM 1960.   The official western terminus of FM 1960 was Hempstead Rd., and the remainder of Jackrabbit Rd., which ran south to FM 529, was not included as part of FM 1960.  Around 1968, State Highway 6 was extended north to Hempstead Rd., where it finally merged seamlessly with FM 1960, leaving the small portion of Jackrabbit Road as a secondary street.  This is why the Jackrabbit Road you see today is still only two lanes wide.  Its only purpose is to serve a few residential and commercial establishments along the way.  
   Most of FM 1960 was still a two lane blacktop road through the 1960's and 70's, with relatively few traffic signals compared to today, but as residential areas like Champions and Ponderosa Forest began to grow, the road had to expand, and accommodate the multitude of new intersections crossing it.  By the 1980's, most of FM 1960 west of US 59 had become heavily developed, with shopping centers and other businesses lining both sides of the road for miles.  Today, there are a few small patches of forest and prairie on the sides of FM 1960, but the majority of the corridor is completely gridlocked with traffic.  Sometime around 2011, the local Chamber of Commerce decided to relabel part of FM 1960 as Cypress Creek Parkway, but many of the local residents did not agree with, or understand the need for this name change.  
   While I wished I could have found photos of FM 1960 before it was expanded into a six lane concrete corridor, I found almost nothing useful in the way of pictures for my web pages.  However, I did most of my photography between 2005 and 2012, capturing at least a small period of time for future viewers to see.  The missed opportunity to see this road in its early days is what prompted me to begin documenting roads like Barker Cypress and Fry, which are still in their infancy.



(Above photo: FM 1960 at Eldridge, April 2016) 07 Pic 28.jpg : Facing east near the intersection of FM 1960 and US 290, at sunrise, Fall 2011, long before the overpass was reconstructed. 07 Pic 01.jpg : Chevron station at southeast corner of FM 1960 and US 290, March 2005.  This is the original gas station prior to rebuilding. 07 Pic 02.jpg : The same Chevron station being reconstructed in early 2006. 07 Pic 22.jpg : The new Chevron & Speedy Stop at FM 1960 and US 290, June 2009. 07 Pic 29.jpg : Northeast corner of FM 1960 and US 290, undeveloped as of Jan. 2012. 07 Pic 23.jpg : Crossroads McDonald's on FM 1960 near US 290, June 2009. 07 Pic 30.jpg : Crossroads Academy sporting goods store, behind the McDonald's, Jan. 2012.  Also present in this shopping center is Staples office supplies, Mancuso Harley-Davidson, Luby's, and Carino's Country Italian Restaurant (formerly Johnny Carino's). 07 Pic 34.jpg : Raceway (formerly Racetrac), a filling station and convenience store next to Denny's that opened in the mid 1990's. 07 Pic 24.jpg : Crossroads Denny's Restaurant near Wortham Blvd., June 2009. 07 Pic 25.jpg : Chase Bank at southwest corner of FM 1960 and Wortham Blvd., June 2009.  The building was built in the 1980's. 07 Pic 03.jpg : Burger King, southeast corner of FM 1960 and Wortham Blvd., June 2009. This is the original building, which was demolished in November 2015. 07 Pic 31.jpg : Holiday Inn Express & Suites, immediately neighboring Burger King to the east, Jan. 2012. 07 Pic 32.jpg : Northeast corner of FM 1960 and Wortham Blvd., Jan. 2012.  In the photo are Brewski's Pub, Texadelphia Cheesesteaks (closed circa 2014), and Gametime Haircuts. 07 Pic 33.jpg : Blue Water Seafood Restaurant, at the same corner, Jan. 2012.  This space was previously occupied by Rico's Mexican restaurant in 2007. 07 Pic 05.jpg : Crossroads Carwash, Nov. 2006.  This facility was torn down and replaced by "Eco Suds" several years later. 07 Pic 06.jpg : Crossroads Carwash, Nov. 2006.  Facing east along FM 1960 towards Eldridge Parkway. 2005 007.jpg : FM 1960 facing east towards Eldridge, April 2005 2005 009.jpg : FM 1960 and Eldridge southwest corner, before Target and Home Depot were built, Apr. 2005. 2005 010.jpg : FM 1960 and Eldridge southwest corner, before Target and Home Depot were built, Apr. 2005. 07 Pic 07.jpg : The future location of the Eldridge Target store, Feb. 2006. 07 Pic 12.jpg : The Target store on Eldridge near FM 1960, shortly after its grand opening. 07 Pic 08.jpg : The Home Depot on Eldridge & FM 1960 in its final construction phase, early 2006. 07 Pic 09.jpg : The restaurant cluster being developed on the southwest corner of Eldridge & FM 1960, in 2006.  Looking west from Car Spa, this chain of restaurants would soon include a Sonic, Panda Express, and Steak & Shake (closed 2015). 003.jpg : The same restaurant cluster being developed in January 2007, before ground was broken on Steak 'N Shake. 012.jpg : The basic plywood phase of Steak & Shake under construction, early 2008. 008.jpg : Steak & Shake under construction, April 2008, facing FM 1960 from the rear of the property. 07 Pic 27.jpg : Car Spa, southwest corner of FM 1960 and Eldridge, June 2009.  Car Spa opened in the year 2000. 019.jpg : The main entrance of Car Spa's store, March 2009. 07 Pic 14.jpg : Looking west along FM 1960 from Eldridge, March 2009. 07 Pic 15.jpg : The northwest corner of FM 1960 and Eldridge, March 2009.  This Sound Fitness had a short lifespan as an Eckerd Drugstore before Eckerd went out of business, and from the 1980's until 2004, this corner was the original home of John Eagle Honda, which was the first business ever built at this intersection. 057.jpg : A photo of mine from June 2000, traveling east on FM 1960 towards Eldridge, showing the original John Eagle Honda dealership on the left. 2014a 098.JPG : Windermere Lakes, a subdivision near FM 1960 and Eldridge, Jan. 2014. 2014a 099.JPG : Aerial photo of FM 1960 and Eldridge, facing north, Jan. 2014. 2008 014.jpg : Aftermath of a serious multi-vehicle accident at FM 1960 and Eldridge, Dec. 8, 2008. 2008 020.jpg : Another photo from the same collision.

ELDRIDGE PARKWAY TO JONES RD. 07 Pic 16.jpg : Kroger's filling station at the northeast corner of FM 1960 & Eldridge, March 2009. 07 Pic 18.jpg : Jack in the Box at FM 1960 & Eldridge, June 2009. 08 Pic 28.jpg : Kohl's Department Store, northeast corner of FM 1960 and Eldridge, Jan. 2012. 08 Pic 33.jpg : Panera Bread, northeast corner of FM 1960 & Eldridge, Jan. 2012. 07 Pic 20.jpg : Facing west along FM 1960 from Windermere Lakes Blvd., June 2009. 07 Pic 21.jpg : Facing west along FM 1960, just east of Eldridge, June 2009. 08 Pic 22.jpg : Taco Bell on FM 1960 near Windermere Lakes Blvd, in its first year of business. (July 2011) 08 Pic 30.jpg : The lots immediately east of Taco Bell, Jan. 2012.  Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers is under construction to the right. 08 Pic 24.jpg : Southwest corner of FM 1960 & Windermere Lakes Blvd., July 2011.  In view is Firehouse Subs, and shuddered Guaranty Bank. 08 Pic 32.jpg : Retail strip on the north side of FM 1960 and Windermere Lakes Blvd, Jan. 2012.  In view is an AT&T & Cricket Wireless outlet, H&R Block, Rooster's Barber Shop, Sugar Blossom Treats, and Pediatric Healthcare.  This strip was built around 2005. 08 Pic 29.jpg : Pei Wei Asian Restaurant, in the same retail strip as previous photo.  Also pictured are Edible Arrangements, Lenny's Sandwich Shop, and Dahn Yoga. 08 Pic 23.jpg : FM 1960 & Windermere Lakes Blvd., July 2011. 08 Pic 31.jpg : Comerica Bank at FM 1960 & Windermere Lakes Blvd., Jan. 2012. 08 Pic 03.jpg : Looking east along FM 1960 from Fallbrook Dr., June 2009. 08 Pic 01.jpg: Shuddered car dealership on FM 1960 near Fallbrook, formerly the home of Texan Lincoln-Mercury. (March 2005) 08 Pic 02.jpg : Another photo of the old Texan Lincoln-Mercury dealership. (March 2005) 08 Pic 04.jpg : Beck & Masten GMC/Pontiac/Buick on FM 1960 near Fallbrook, Sept. 2008.  The dealership has been operating here since the early 1980's, and finally removed the Pontiac namesake from their signage in 2010 following the discontinuation of the brand. 08 Pic 06.jpg : A row of brand new 2009 GMC Yukons at Beck & Masten, Sept. 2008.  Beck & Masten rebuilt the entire facility around 2012/2013. 08 Pic 27.jpg : Formerly Vitulli's Italian Restaurant, this corner outlet on FM 1960 near Jones Rd. was most recently operating as "Cajun Tails" when photographed in July 2011. 08 Pic 26.jpg : The Black-Eyed Pea Restaurant, on the southwest corner of FM 1960 & Jones Rd. in the Steeplechase shopping center, 2009.  The Black Eyed Pea had been in business at this location for over thirty years before it closed in November 2015.  During it's lifespan, it suffered a fire as well as a ceiling collapse. 08 Pic 17.jpg : Looking west along FM 1960 from the Dairy Queen parking lot near Jones Rd., May 2009. 08 Pic 10.jpg : Steeplechase Dairy Queen, March 2005.  This is one of the first establishments at this intersection, opened in the early 1970's. 08 Pic 11.jpg : Steeplechase Dairy Queen, March 2005, other angle. 08 Pic 07.jpg : Looking northeast at FM 1960 and Jones Rd., Sept. 2008.  Taco Cabana is visible on the northwest corner. 08 Pic 08.jpg: Steeplechase Target (now closed), still open for business when this photo was taken in March 2005.  It opened in the early 1980's. 08 Pic 09.jpg : Steeplechase Target boarded up and closed, June 2009.  The newer Eldridge Target took over its duties in 2008. 2014a 097.JPG : Aerial photo of FM 1960 and Jones Rd. intersection, Jan. 2014.



(Above photo: FM 1960 at Jones Rd., November 2013) 2012 103.jpg : Hobby Lobby & Walgreens at the SE corner of FM 1960 and Jones, July 2012. 2012 102.jpg : Wendy's, at the SE corner of FM 1960 and Jones, July 2012. 09 Pic 27.jpg : Hartz Chicken Buffet on FM 1960 east of Jones Rd., July 2011. 09 Pic 28.jpg : Taco Bell/Long John Silvers on FM 1960 east of Jones Rd., July 2011. 08 Pic 18.jpg : This structure on the northwest side of FM 1960 & Jones Rd. began as a McDonald's in the late 1980's, but closed down around 1997.  Since then, it has been a handful of various enterprises, mostly sports bars & chicken wing restaurants, all of which have mysteriously failed.  In this June 2009 photo, it is "Overtime Sports Bar". 2012 105.jpg : The same building, July 2012, operating as Babe's. 09 Pic 30.jpg : Barney's Billiards, on FM 1960 east of Jones Rd., July 2011. 08 Pic 19.jpg : The Steeplechase Whataburger, at FM 1960 and the intersection of Windfern Rd., June 2009.

*In 2015, the original intersection of Windfern Rd. at FM 1960 was altered from its original configuration.  Windfern, which once split off of 1960 like a tree branch, was redesigned to intersect 1960 at a more T-shaped intersection. 08 Pic 20.jpg : This retail space on the north side of FM 1960 east of Jones Rd. began as a Wolf Nursery during the early 1980's.  Around 1999, this store named "Liquid" opened up in its place, selling smoking accessories, lingerie, sex toys & novelty items.  In 2010, Liquid was replaced by Bizarre Bazaar, though the content remained the same. 09 Pic 29.jpg : This dog grooming business in the same retail center was once Western Auto Supply until the mid 1990's. 09 Pic 03.jpg : Inspections by MOGO, Feb. 2006. This emissions testing station on FM1960 near Bobcat Rd. used to be Tune-Up Masters in the 1980's. 09 Pic 05.jpg : Inspections by MOGO, June 2009.  The glass-faced building in the left of the photo has been around since the 1970's. 09 Pic 02.jpg : McKay's Automotive (Willowbrook location) at the southwest corner of FM 1960 and Bobcat Rd., June 2009. 39.jpg : FM 1960 & Bobcat Rd., facing west along FM 1960 on the day Hurricane Ike hit Houston, Sept. 13, 2008.  These ambulances were likely transporting hospital patients to another location with the power working. 09 Pic 64.jpg : FM 1960 and Bobcat Rd., southeast corner. Aug. 2011. 09 Pic 65.jpg : FM 1960 and Bobcat Rd., southwest corner, Aug. 2011. 09 Pic 61.jpg : Looking east along FM 1960 from Bobcat Rd., Aug. 2011. 09 Pic 06.jpg : Quality Auto Trim & Upholstery, March 2009. 09 Pic 07.jpg : David's Cycles (& Lawnmowers), 9920 FM 1960, March 2009.  This closed in 2012. 09 Pic 62.jpg : Looking east along FM 1960, several blocks east of Bobcat Rd., Aug. 2011.  David's Cycles is in the far left of the photo. 09 Pic 08.jpg : Captain Tom's Seafood Restaurant, FM 1960 east of Bobcat Rd., March 2009.  Captain Tom's unique boat-shaped restaurant has been in business since the early 1980's, possibly earlier. 2012 106.jpg : Captain Tom's Seafood Restaurant, July 2012, at sunrise. 2015a 062.JPG : A newer, larger Captain Tom's Boat being constructed at the corner of FM 1960 and Bobcat Rd., May 2015. 09 Pic 10.jpg : This retail space next to Captain Tom's, which began as an auto repair shop, caught fire during a major renovation. This photo from March 2009 shows the building after the fire, when construction was suspended for some time. 09 Pic 11.jpg : Another photo of the fire-damaged building, March 2009. 09 Pic 14.jpg : Houston Northwest Dental Associates, in the same parking lot as Captain Tom's, April 2009. 2012 107.jpg : Sprauer Motorsports, across from Captain Tom's. July 2012. 09 Pic 19.jpg : The Running Board, a bar that opened around 1970, shown here in Feb. 2006. 09 Pic 33.jpg : This is the building where The Running Board used to be, shown here in July 2011.  A house in the adjacent neighborhood was burned down by arson, which caused major damage to the backside of this building.  It has since become a dumping ground. 09 Pic 35.jpg : Pest, Pool & Pet Solutions, next door to the former Running Board bar, shown here in July 2011.  The business has been here since the late 1960's or early 70's. 09 Pic 34.jpg : Pest, Pool & Pet Solutions, and Discount Tire Co., a few blocks west of Perry Rd., July 2011. 09 Pic 18.jpg : Flower City, an older floral shop business to the west of Perry Rd., April 2009. 09 Pic 32.jpg : OZ Bar, on the north side of FM 1960 near Perry Rd., July 2011.  OZ Bar opened in the early 2000's and closed in 2014 or 2015. 09 Pic 36.jpg : Houston Motorsports, a small motors dealership specializing in Yamaha & Polaris sales & service, July 2011. 09 Pic 44.JPG : Looking east along FM 1960 approaching Perry Rd., March 2010, early morning around 6:45 AM. 09 Pic 63.jpg : Looking east along FM 1960 approaching Perry Rd., Aug. 2011. 09 Pic 21.jpg : The U-Haul Center at the southwest corner of FM 1960 and Perry Rd., open since 1969.  Photo from 2006. 09 Pic 22.jpg : Shell filling station on the northwest corner of FM 1960 and Perry Rd., June 2009. 2016a 004.JPG : Aerial photo of FM 1960 facing west over the Jones Rd. area, April 2016. 2016a 001.jpg : Aerial photo of FM 1960 facing north along Jones Rd., May 2016.



(Above photos: Google Earth images of FM 1960 at Perry Rd, shown in 2014 at the top, and in 1944 below.  Also visible are Mills Rd. and FM 149 (249).  Note that in the older image, FM 1960, which was simply known as Jackrabbit at the time, stops at Perry Rd. and turns north, intersecting Mills Rd. and FM 149 in the same fashion as Perry Rd. does today.) 09 Pic 23.jpg : Just Brakes, southeast corner of FM 1960 & Perry Rd., Sept. 2008.  This shop began in the 1980's as Kelly Tire. 09 Pic 24.jpg : Looking east along FM 1960 from Perry Rd., with McDonald's restaurant in view. April 2009. 09 Pic 40.jpg : Prime Time Steakhouse, on the south side of FM 1960, east of Perry Rd., July 2011.  This building began as a Red Lobster during the early 1980's, and the steakhouse took over operations during the 1990's. 9A Pic 02.JPG : FM 1960 at Meadow Vista Ln., facing west, 2011. 9A Pic 15.JPG : Binswanger Glass, at the corner of FM 1960 and Meadow Vista Ln., 2011.

   Meadow Vista Ln. was named for the subdivision it leads to, which was constructed during the 1950's.  Meadow Vista is an unusual blend of residential homes, industrial warehouses, and small business complexes.  The area had succumbed to urban decay during the 1980's, and became synonymous with Hispanic gang activity and drug trafficking during the 1990's.  In 2010, TxDOT acquired several tracts of land along the outer edges of Meadow Vista for replatting as commercial lots, which involved the demolition of several decaying mid-century homes. 9A Pic 13.JPG : A sign posted near the entrance of Meadow Vista giving residents notice of a public hearing regarding the replatting of several lots for commercial development, 2010. 9A Pic 14.JPG : One of the condemned houses in Meadow Vista, which backs up to FM 1960.  Home was still standing in July 2011. 09 Pic 39.jpg : FM 1960, eastbound between Meadow Vista & Solon Rd., July 2011. 09 Pic 38.jpg : FM 1960, eastbound at Solon Rd., July 2011. 09 Pic 37.jpg : Sports Authority sporting goods store, southwest corner of FM 1960 & Mills Rd, July 2011.  The store was originally Oshman's. 09 Pic 43.jpg : FM 1960 & Mills Rd., facing southeast from Mills Rd., March 2010. The Burlington Coat Factory in the left of the photo was originally a Home Depot store, which opened in the 1980's on an otherwise empty lot. 09 Pic 57.jpg : Northwest corner of FM 1960 & Mills Rd. undeveloped, March 2010. 2009 073.jpg : Approaching the FM 1960/SH 249 interchange from the west. (Oct. 2009). Auto Zone is visible on the far right.

   If you grew up along the 1960 corridor in the 60s or 70s, you may recall the auto salvage yard at the northeast corner of 1960 and Mills Rd., where there is now a Burlington Coat Factory and a LaQuinta Inn.  This was Proctor Brothers, which operated, according to old aerial imagery, from the late 1950's up through about 1980.  The 1981 imagery shows an empty lot with a few dozen cars, but the land was jam packed with auto corpses back in the 1960's and 70's.  New environmental constraints on facilities handling hazardous auto waste forced the randomly scattered junkyards to congregate in known salvage districts, and disappear from the back roads of Harris County. Until 2012, the original concrete slab from the salvage yard building was still visible in the empty field, but a LaQuinta was built over it. 09 Pic 58.jpg : This concrete slab in an empty field along FM 1960 (between Mills Rd. & SH 249) is all that remains of Proctor Bros. Auto Salvage, a local junkyard that operated here between the mid 1960's and the late 70's. 09 Pic 59.jpg : Another photo of the slab, which used to be the foundation for the office/warehouse at Proctor Bros. salvage yard. 09 Pic 60.jpg : Another photo of the slab with FM 1960 in the background, July 2011. 09 Pic 78.jpg : A different view of the empty lot that was once Proctor Bros. Auto Salvage, facing west from the eastern side of the lot, June 2011. 10 Pic 01.jpg : Circuit City, March 2009.  This was the newer location at the southwest corner of FM 1960 and SH 249, the original location being located on the opposite side of SH 249 along the northbound frontage road. 2009 076.jpg : Other stores on the southwest corner of FM 1960 and SH 249, including Pier 1, Pet Smart, and Golf Galaxy. (Oct. 2009) 10 Pic 27.jpg : A bird's eye view of FM 1960, looking west from the SH 249 overpass, June 2011.  This intersection was completed in 1997 with FM 1960 passing underneath SH 249 below grade level.  Prior to 1997, all FM 1960 traffic had a stoplight at this intersection. 2013a 064.jpg : Aerial photo of FM 1960 and SH-249, facing west, August 2013. 2013a 065.jpg : Aerial photo of FM 1960 passing by Willowbrook Mall, August 2013. 2013a 066.jpg : Aerial photo of FM 1960 at SH-249, facing north along 249, August 2013. 2014a 094.JPG : Aerial photo of FM 1960 and Mills Rd. intersection, facing west, Jan. 2014. New gas station being built at the corner. 2014a 095.JPG : Aerial photo of FM 1960, facing west from Mills Rd., Jan. 2014. 2014a 096.JPG : One of the few undeveloped tracts of land along FM 1960 between US 290 and SH 249. (Jan. 2014)




 Willowbrook Mall was constructed in 1980 near the southeast corner of FM 1960 and SH 249 to cater to the rapid development of subdivisions growing around the FM 1960 corridor.  The mall officially opened in 1981 with over a hundred individual retail outlets, a movie theater, and four anchor stores, Foley's, Joske's, Sears, and Montgomery Ward.  Three years later in 1984, Macy's opened as the fifth anchor store for the mall.
   In 1992, Willowbrook mall underwent major renovations, getting rid of the stained glass windows in the food court, and a giant brass sculpture that resembled a partially constructed "Death Star" from the original Star Wars trilogy.   The department store anchors did some trading, swapping, adding, and subtracting over the years, and this is my account of those changes.
-Macy's opened in 1984, and then sold their space to Dillard's in 1997.  Dillard's continues to operate in the original Macy's building.
-Montgomery Ward opened in 1981, but went out of business in 2001.  Their building later became Macy's Men's & Home Department in 2006.
-Sears opened in 1981, and continues to operate from its original location.
-Joske's was replaced by Lord & Taylor in 1992, and Lord & Taylor went out of business in 2003.  The building was demolished in early 2004.
-JC Penney opened in 1992.
-Foley's opened in 1981, and lasted until 2003.  In 2006, it was taken over by Macy's.
-The Cinema theater closed around 1999, and was located near the food court.
This October 1980 photo shows the intersection of FM 1960 and FM 149, when Willowbrook Mall was being constructed (in the upper right section of the photo).  Photo: Texas State Library and Archives Commission. 10 Pic 4.jpg : Dillard's Department Store at Willowbrook Mall, Aug. 2008.  This building was the original Macy's, which opened in 1984. 10 Pic 5.jpg : Sears Department Store at Willowbrook Mall, Aug. 2008.  This is the only surviving anchor store in its original location. 10 Pic 6.jpg : The parking lot near the food court at Willowbrook Mall, Aug. 2008. 10 Pic 7.jpg : Macy's Department Store at Willowbrook Mall, which was originally Foley's when the mall opened in 1981. 2012 085.jpg : One of the west entrances to the mall with a built in Los Cucos restaurant.  The restaurant space was previously occupied by Casa Ole'.

SOME INDOOR SHOTS OF WILLOWBROOK MALL (April 2012) 10 Pic 12.jpg : The old marquee sign for the Willowbrook Cinema, which still stands along FM 1960 near the railroad crossing, Aug. 2008. 10 Pic 9.jpg : A free-standing bank building on FM 1960 in front of Willowbrook Mall that has since been demolished, Aug. 2008. 2012 014.jpg : The Olive Garden, built on the mall side of FM 1960 during the 1980's. 10 Pic 24.jpg : The north side of FM 1960 across the street from Willowbrook Mall, July 2011.  In this photo are Panda Express, Beck's Prime, and Al's Formal Wear.  This shopping center was also the original location of the AMC Willowbrook Cinema until the new location was built in 2001 on the other side of SH 249. 2012 008.jpg : The March 2012 demolition of the old AMC Theater, and the adjacent building in the shopping plaza directly behind the Chipotle/Starbucks. 2012 010.jpg : The Room Store, also defunct as of early 2012.  This space was once occupied by Children's Palace, a discount toy store that used to sell slightly older toys than the big name stores. 2012 012.jpg : The Chipotle burrito restaurant in Willowbrook, Mar. 2012. 34.jpg : This photo, taken during the morning after Hurricane Ike made landfall on Sept. 13, 2008, shows a fallen power pole in the middle of FM 1960 across from Willowbrook Mall.  Most of the traffic signals along FM 1960 were out for many days following the hurricane. 10 Pic 10.jpg : FM 1960, looking east from the intersection of Breton Ridge Dr., June 2009.  The Jared jewelry store at this intersection started life as a "Two Pesos" restaurant, which was similar to Taco Cabana. 10 Pic 26.jpg : Looking south along the railroad where it crosses FM 1960 near Willowbrook Mall, July 2011. 10 Pic 16.jpg : Looking north along the railroad where it crosses FM 1960, March 2009. 10 Pic 15.jpg : The Willowbrook Toys 'R Us on FM 1960, which opened around 1982.  In 2011, they moved to a new location along the SH 249 frontage road, and Big Lots took over the lease on the thirty year old building.  Photo from Aug. 2008. 10 Pic 25.jpg : Willowbrook Best Buy, on the north side of FM 1960 at the railroad crossing, July 2011.  Before there was Best Buy, this lot of land was occupied by 84 Lumber, which lasted into the late 1980's.  Best Buy rebuilt their store around 2002, recognizing a need for increased parking capacity. 10 Pic 18.jpg : Whataburger, next door to Best Buy, Aug. 2008. 10 Pic 19.jpg : Willowbrook Pappasitos & Pappadeaux restaurants, Aug. 2008. 10 Pic 20.jpg : Willowbrook Star Furniture outlet, opened around 1980. Photo Aug. 2008. 10 Pic 21.jpg : Willowbrook Chik-Fil-A, at the southwest corner of FM 1960 and Cutten Rd., Aug. 2008.


CUTTEN RD. TO CHAMPIONS FOREST DR. 11 Pic 02.jpg : Champions Park Plaza, at the northeast corner of FM 1960 and Cutten Rd. (March 2009) 11 Pic 03.jpg : Today's Vision, Champions Park Plaza. (March 2009) 11 Pic 04.jpg : SRO Sports Bar & Cafe, Champions Park Plaza, Aug. 2008.  This business has closed. 11 Pic 05.jpg : Robbins Bros. engagement ring store, FM 1960 near Cutten Rd., May 2009.  This photo was taken during a police response. 11 Pic 06.jpg : Three small businesses on the south side of FM 1960 east of Cutten Rd., Sept. 2008.  Soon after this photo was taken, they were demolished, and I am still in the process of figuring out what they were, and how long they had been standing.  I would estimate since the 1970's, when the area developed. 11 Pic 07.jpg : Golden Bank, FM 1960 near Shiloh Church Rd., Apr. 2009.  The empty lot in the foreground used to be a truck accessory store, and behind it was the original location of Pinnacle Auto Body, which later moved to Veterans Memorial Drive. 2009 069.jpg : Looking west along FM 1960 near Shiloh Church Rd. (Oct. 2009) 11 Pic 36.jpg : Mister Car Wash, which opened during the 1970's on FM 1960 near Cutten Rd. (Aug. 2008) 11 Pic 38.jpg : Mister Car Wash.  The posts on the roof of the building once held huge yellow glass lanterns, but after enough of them broke or were damaged by storms, the car wash replaced them with the far less regal red and blue flags. (Aug. 2008) 2012 051.jpg : This building was once a music store for the Champions area, built in the 1970's near the northwest corner of FM 1960 and Champions Dr.  Today it is still in use by other tenants. 2012 054.jpg : This Verizon store, formerly Washington Mutual Bank, was once the home of Panjo's Pizza, a favorite eatery for residents of the Champions area during the 1970's. 2012 055.jpg : Clementine's Restaurant at FM 1960 and Champions Dr., which has been open since the 1970's. (July 2012) 2012 056.jpg : This Party City was once a Gerland's Food Fair. (July 2012) 11 Pic 08.jpg : An easy recognizable sign for Joe's Golf House, on the north side of FM 1960 near Champions Dr. (Aug. 2008).  This business has since closed or moved. 2012 057.jpg : Facing west along FM 1960 near Champions Dr. (July 2012) 2012 059.jpg : The NW corner of FM 1960 and Champions Dr. (July 2012).  Before this Walgreens existed, there was an Exxon station here that was around since the 1970's. 2012 058.jpg : FM 1960 at Champions Dr., where the Champions Golf Course begins. (July 2012) 2012 060.jpg : FM 1960 at Champions Dr. facing east along FM 1960. (July 2012) 11 Pic 10.jpg : Firestone repair shop on the south side of FM 1960 near Duncan Rd. (Aug. 2008) 2012 165.jpg : Aerial photograph of FM 1960 over Champions Golf Course, circa 2009.  Also visible in this photo are some of the businesses along 1960, including Brake Check, Mr. Sticker, and Blue Water Seafood. 11 Pic 11.jpg : The Lighting Gallery, at the corner of FM 1960 and Duncan Rd. (now called Hollister Rd.), August 2008.  Obvious 1970's architectural design. 11 Pic 09.jpg : Looking east along FM 1960 from Duncan Rd., (Aug. 2008) 11 Pic 14.jpg : This restaurant on FM 1960 east of Duncan Rd. originally began as Ignacio's Mexican Restaurant.  When this April 2009 photo was taken, it was operating as Floyd's Seafood. After Floyd's closed down, the building went up for lease but was vandalized repeatedly. 11 Pic 13.jpg : Blue Water Seafood, in the Champion West Shopping Center, June 2009.  Blue Water was made from an old Hartz Chicken Buffet. Also visible in the photo is Hot Rod's Bar, a small pub with a muscle car & motorcycle theme that opened around 2007. 11 Pic 15.jpg : Looking west along FM 1960 at a trio of businesses, Mr. Sticker, Brake Check, Floyd's Seafood, and in the distance is the Champion West Shopping Center.  The Brake Check, which was built in 2006, was previously the site of Texas Grand Prize BBQ.  Texas Grand Prize opened up their restaurant out of an old Pizza Hut, and during the early 1990's, my mom sang in a duet at the restaurant on Friday nights.  This photo was taken in Aug. 2008. 11 Pic 16.jpg : Mr. Sticker, a vehicle inspection station on FM 1960 that previously operated as a fast-lube oil change business.  It was opened in 1987 as "Minit Lube", and was later changed to Q-Lube.  This station no longer performs oil changes, and the lower bays have been closed off. (Jul. 2007) 11 Pic 28.jpg : Cycle Spectrum, on the north side of FM 1960 bordering Champions Golf Course. (Aug. 2008) 11 Pic 29.jpg : Alma Latina Mexican Restaurant, next door to Cycle Spectrum. (Aug. 2008) Alma Latina closed in 2009. 11 Pic 31.jpg : A vintage gas station at the northwest corner of FM 1960 and Paradise Valley Dr., Aug. 2008.  This station is one of only a few on FM 1960 that have not been torn down and rebuilt as a bigger store.  This shop specializes in auto repairs, and has a very minimal inventory of foods & beverages, unlike most modern stations. 11 Pic 32.jpg : International House of Pancakes, near Champions Forest Dr. (Aug. 2008) 2012 062.jpg : International House of Pancakes (July 2012). 11 Pic 33.jpg : Mattress Giant, located in the same strip as the IHOP. (Aug. 2008) 11 Pic 34.jpg : Outback Steakhouse, located in the same strip as the IHOP. (Aug. 2008) 11 Pic 35.jpg : Northwest corner of FM 1960 and Champions Forest Dr. (March 2009)  This Ben & Jerry's used to be a floral shop. 2012 061.jpg : The Wells Fargo Bank building near FM 1960 and Champion Forest Dr. (July 2012)


CHAMPIONS FOREST TO STUEBNER-AIRLINE RD. 12 Pic 03.jpg : La Madeleine, at the southeast corner of FM 1960 and Champions Forest Dr. (Aug. 2008) 12 Pic 04.jpg : Doneraki Mexican Restaurant, in the same shopping center, Aug. 2008.  Doneraki closed down in 2012. 12 Pic 06.jpg : Another view of Doneraki Mexican Restaurant. (Aug. 2008) 12 Pic 07.jpg : Stonegate Prime Steaks & Seafood, which was already shuddered in this 2008 photo, later became Orioli's. 12 Pic 02.jpg : Jiffy Lube, at the corner of FM 1960 and Glen Erica Dr. (Aug. 2008) 2009 065.jpg : Blockbuster Video (and Pei-Wei) on FM 1960 & Glen Erica Dr. (Oct. 2009) 12 Pic 08.jpg : Feng Ling Chinese Restaurant, near the corner of FM 1960 and Greenwood Forest Dr. (Aug. 2008) 12 Pic 09.jpg : Shell station at the southwest corner of FM 1960 and Greenwood Forest Dr. (March 2009) 12 Pic 11.jpg : Spec's Liquor, on the north side of FM 1960 at Greenwood Forest Dr. (March 2009). Spec's has since moved, and the building exterior was renovated in Summer 2012. 12 Pic 12.jpg : The Greenwood Forest Apartments at the southeast corner of FM 1960 and Greenwood Forest Dr. The apartments were built in 1994. 12 Pic 14.jpg : Walgreens, at the corner of FM 1960 and Wunderlich Dr. (Aug. 2008) 67.jpg : This building on the north side of FM 1960 at Wunderlich Dr. suffered some damage from Hurricane Ike. (Sept. 2008) 2012 063.jpg : The south side of FM 1960 just west of Breck Rd.  This space was formerly occupied by LePeep restaurant. (July 2012) 2012 064.jpg : SW corner of FM 1960 and Breck, showing Arby's, which replaced Fazoli's fast food Italian sometime around 2007. (July 2012 photo) 2012 066.jpg : This building, now called Performance Bicycle, once operated as a high-dollar import auto dealership during the 1980's. (July 2012)

   During the 1970's, the southwest corner of FM 1960 and Stuebner-Airline, also known as North Oaks Mall, was a popular hangout on weekends for young people in the Champions area.  The shopping center was laid out like a modern strip mall, and featured a cinema which still operates to this day as a discount theater.  Today, it looks just like any other strip center, but it once stood out as a center of activity and socializing. 2012 065.jpg : North Oaks Shopping Center, viewed from Breck Rd. (July 2012) 2012 070.jpg : Another view of North Oaks Shopping Center from the parking lot (July 2012). 2012 071.jpg : The Cinema at North Oaks Shopping Center (July 2012). 2012 072.jpg : "Cruisin the strip" of North Oaks Shopping Center (July 2012) 12 Pic 18.jpg : Club Hydrate, a defunct club from the 90's that sits just west of Stuebner-Airline Rd. (Aug. 2008).  The building was torn down in early 2012. 12 Pic 19.jpg : Looking west along FM 1960 at the Stuebner-Airline intersection. (Aug. 2008) 101.jpg : Aftermath of a car accident at FM 1960 and Stuebner-Airline Rd. (Sept. 25, 2008)


STUEBNER-AIRLINE RD. TO KUYKENDAHL 13 Pic 01.jpg : Washington Mutual Bank on FM 1960 at Falling Creek, Aug. 2008. 13 Pic 02.jpg : Patio 1 Furniture, a familiar landmark along FM 1960 near Kuykendahl, Aug. 2008. 2012 074.jpg : Facing east along FM 1960 near Walters Rd., July 2012. 2012 075.jpg : This empty building on FM 1960 near Walters Rd. was once the area Wal-Mart Superstore, built in the 1980's, before Wal Mart opened their new Supercenter across the street. 2012 076.jpg : Hunan Chef, a Chinese buffet that opened in 1980 and survived 31 years before closing its doors. This July 2012 photo was taken months after it closed down. 2012 077.jpg : The sign for Hunan Chef on the side of FM 1960, July 2012. 2012 078.jpg : This old bank building in the Cornerstone area of FM 1960 is now one of many car title/payday loan stores that have sprung up in the area since 2008, catering to the increasing number of low income families that have settled in the area.  

   During the 1980's, there was a small theme park on FM 1960 near Welcome Ln. known as Games People Play.  It featured three large water slides, a miniature golf course, a batting cage, and an arcade.  Due to increasing popularity of the much larger Splashtown water park on I-45, the doors finally closed for this theme park in the very early 1990's.  Today, the property remains vacant and unkept, but there are many signs of its presence still evident today.  The marquee sign, the perimeter fence, concrete formations from the golf course, and a large algae covered pool where the water slides once emptied into. I visited the site in August of 2007 to take some photographs. 13 Pic 04.jpg : This is all that remains of Games People Play, a rusty perimeter fence and an old street sign, photographed in Aug. 2007. 13 Pic 06.jpg : The remains of the old putt-putt course, Aug. 2007. 13 Pic 07.jpg : Another photo taken near where the arcade used to be, Aug. 2007. 13 Pic 08.jpg : The old landing pool for the three water slides, Aug. 2007.

APPROACHING KUYKENDAHL RD. 2012 082.jpg : FM 1960 approaching Kuykendahl from the west, July 2012. 13 Pic 27.jpg : Wherehouse Music store, FM 1960 & Kuykendahl, Aug. 2008 13 Pic 29.jpg : This Exxon station on the southeast corner of FM 1960 and Kuykendahl was one of several Exxon Express unmanned gas stations that popped up during the 1990's.  In this 2008 photo, the former gas station is being used as equipment storage for the expansion project going on for Kuykendahl.  It has since been erased from the landscape. 13 Pic 30.jpg : Facing north along Kuykendahl at FM 1960, before the underpass was dug beneath 1960 (Aug. 2008). 13 Pic 33.jpg : Hartz Chicken on Kuykendahl near FM 1960, Aug. 2008. 13 Pic 26.jpg : Another pre-dig photo of Kuykendahl at FM 1960, Aug. 2008. 13 Pic 22.jpg : Ripley's muffler shop at the northwest corner of FM 1960 and Kuykendahl, August 2008.  This business has been open since the late 1970's, and managed to survive the major reconfiguration of Kuykendahl in 2008. 13 Pic 14.jpg : A short-lived business venture at Kuykendahl and FM 1960 known as Big Easy Burger, which caught fire and was shuddered in this Aug. 2008 photo.  It was presumed to be a case of insurance fraud at the hands of some Hurricane Katrina evacuees that moved to the area in September 2005. (Hence the name Big Easy Burger) 13 Pic 15.jpg : Looking south along Kuykendahl towards FM 1960, Aug. 2008. 13 Pic 10.jpg : March 2009 photo of the underpass being dug at Kuykendahl and FM 1960. 2012 083.jpg : The Hop, a retro night club on FM 1960 at Kuykendahl, Jul. 2012. 2012 084.jpg : The largely abandoned southwest corner of FM 1960 and Kuykendahl, Jul. 2012. 2012 085.jpg : Shipley's Do-Nuts, FM 1960 at Kuykendahl, Jul. 2012. 2012 051.jpg : This is a recently closed Pappadeaux restaurant on the northeast corner of FM 1960 at Kuykendahl, Feb. 2012.  This space was previously occupied by Showbiz Pizza, which was bought out by Chuck E. Cheese. 2012 052.jpg : The ghost town that is the northeast corner of 1960 and Kuykendahl, Feb. 2012.  This intersection was once home to the Bammel General Store, which lasted up until the 1970's. 2012 054.jpg : More vacant buildings on the northeast corner of 1960 & Kuykendahl.



   The intersection of FM 1960 and Kuykendahl could also be described as the epicenter of the former town of Bammel, which eventually lost it's identity as Houston expanded outward.  The stretch of 1960 between Kuykendahl and I-45 (the North Freeway) is dotted with older neighborhoods like Ponderosa Forest and Westador, which have begun to decline since the implementation of the Metro Bus route.  The older middle class families are slowly moving elsewhere, and the criminal element has increased in the area since 2005. 2012 047.jpg : Entrance to Ponderosa Forest subdivision, FM 1960 & Sugar Pine Dr., 2012. 2012 044.jpg : Older Denny's restaurant, FM 1960 & Butte Creek Dr., July 2012. 2012 045.jpg : FM 1960 at Butte Creek Dr., looking west, Jul. 2012. 2012 043.jpg : Binswanger Glass, FM 1960 at Butte Creek Dr., Jul. 2012. 2012 041.jpg : Jack in the Box, FM 1960 at Rolling Creek Dr., Jul. 2012. 2012 039.jpg : Leslie's Pool Supplies, FM 1960 at Rolling Creek Dr., Jul. 2012. 2012 038.jpg : FM 1960 and Rolling Creek Dr., Ponderosa Forest area, Jul. 2012. 2012 040.jpg : Closed down Krystal Burger, FM 1960 at Rolling Creek, Jul. 2012.  This short-lived restaurant in the Ponderosa Forest area made small burgers similar to White Castle's famous sliders, but with mustard & pickles. 2012 031.jpg : Entrance to Ponderosa Forest at FM 1960 and Ella Blvd., Jul. 2012. 2012 032.jpg : Older 2-story building on northeast corner of FM 1960 and Ella, Jul. 2012. 2012 033.jpg : Another angle of the 2-story building at FM 1960 and Ella. 2012 034.jpg : Aamco transmission shop at FM 1960 & Ella, Jul. 2012. 2012 035.jpg : Entering Ponderosa Forest subdivision from Ella Blvd, Jul. 2012. 2012 030.jpg : Looking west along FM 1960 from Ella Blvd., Jul. 2012.

WESTADOR 2012 023.jpg : Entrance to Westador subdivision, FM 1960 & Nanes Rd., Jul. 2012. 2012 029.jpg : Westador entrance, FM 1960 & Nanes Rd., Jul. 2012. 2012 028.jpg : An old 1970's corner store at FM 1960 & Nanes Rd., Jul. 2012. 2012 026.jpg : Older shopping center, northwest corner of FM 1960 & Nanes Rd. 2012 024.jpg : Looking west along FM 1960 from Nanes Rd., Jul. 2012. 2012 021.jpg : Space Liquor store, formerly Spec's, at FM 1960 & Nanes Rd. 2012 022.jpg : The sign for Space Liquor, which clearly resembles Spec's design. 2012 019.jpg : Older shopping center at FM 1960 and Red Oak, Jul. 2012. 2012 017.jpg : Older shopping center at FM 1960 and Red Oak, Jul. 2012. 2012 016.jpg : Older shopping center at FM 1960 and Red Oak, Jul. 2012. 2012 018.jpg : A marquee sign for all the businesses in the 1960/Red Oak shopping center. 2012 020.jpg : PRN Uniforms, a store at FM 1960 & Red Oak that sells uniforms for hospital and clinic personnel. (Jul. 2012) 2012 015.jpg : H&H Music on FM 1960 near Westador subdivision, Jul. 2012. 2012 014.jpg : Office building & Luby's, FM 1960 at Cali Rd. near I-45, Jul. 2012. 2012 013.jpg : Pappa's BBQ at FM 1960 & Cali Rd., Jul. 2012. 2012 012.jpg : FM 1960 and I-45, where FM 1960 passes beneath the freeway., Jul. 2012.