F. W. Woolworth Co.
1952: When the original postcard photograph was taken, the camera seems to have been placed on the second floor, an option not available for this study. The Woolworth store was only three years old at this time, and still something of a marvel. Houstonians were still gossiping about the high cost of the downtown real estate. According to George Fuermann in Houston - The Feast Years: "F. W. Woolworth bought this half block for $3,050,000 at the rate of $2,000 a front inch." Prior to Woolworth, this site was occupied by the First Presbyterian Church.
2017: The 12 story parking garage, McKinney Place, was finished in 2002 after a period of vacancy for this important downtown block. The F.W. Woolworth Store was almost unique in Houston for having a well-used and sought out basement level, but this was filled in for the current structure.This was a somewhat ironic choice in the light of the extensive underground tunnel system underlying the downtown grid of buildings connecting them into a pedestrian network .
To: Mr & Mrs. N. A. Landt
Postmarked: Apr 1, 1952 Shreveport
Stamp: 2c Rose Carmine John Adams #806
Cancel: "Remember - Only you can Prevent Forest Fires"
Message: Dear Mother & Dad -
If all goes well we will be home late Wednesday or early Thursday. Had a nice visit with the Halls in Houston.
Nona Adeline Landt was writing her parents in Wisconsin Dells after a visit to friends in Houston in 1952. She had been married almost nine years when she wrote her parents from Shreveport on her way home. Her hometown was famous across the region as the resort town where three rivers, the Milwaukee, the Monominee, and the Kinnickinnic came together to form the Wisconsin River in an area of rushing cold rivers punctuated by picturesque rapids. The first Europeans to come into Wisconsin were the French fur trappers, and in French “dalles” were areas of river rapids confined by high cliffs. There is another Dalles in America, “The Dalles” on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, a rather more spectacular canyon and grander river. The bluffs in Wisconsin became a weekend resort within reach of Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison. It wasn’t called Wisconsin Dells when Nona was born, it was Kilbourn City, renamed in 1931 when city planners sought to turn the area into a tourist Mecca.
Nona was the daughter of Newton Allison Landt and Fay Montez and sister to Allison and Eugene, Lu and Barbara. Newton was the superintendent of the local power plant, so Nona had a comfortable, middle class upbringing. Although the right age, Newton did not serve in WWI because he had lost his right arm before he registered for the draft in 1917. Nona went to Stout Institute at nearby Menomonie, WS in the early years of WWII. She married Thomas Draper Crist just after her graduation. Thomas, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison was assigned to the Western Flying Training Command at Pecos Army Air Field, and it was there where they married on July 17, 1943 in Pecos, TX.
After the war Thomas and Nona moved back to Wisconsin where they raised their sons: David, Alan, and Peter. Thomas died in 2002 and Nona in 2014. They are buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Wisconsin Dells, WS.