Lost to demolition
Page 10 of the July 14, 1926, edition of the Houston Chronicle carried a brief but nostalgic look back at the “Old Kidd Mansion” – one of the first homes in Houston installed with a modern bath.
The home, located in the 900 block of Lamar (Lamar and Travis) was built in 1871. It is believed the widow of Dick Dowling was responsible for its construction.
Some prominent Houstonians called the place home, including architect Michael DeChaumes and Jesse H. Jones.
When Captain J.C. Kidd “was owner of the place, it was the scene of much gaiety,” the Chronicle wrote. “Where now the Metropolitan Theatre (Main Street between McKinney and Lamar) is being erected, was Bremond Square, a beautiful park. Main Street and Rusk Avenue saw the most traffic in those days.”
The city had a population of about 17,000 in the late 19th century.
But by the 1920s, the house became so obsolete that it could not be rented or leased profitably. Seeing that there was no Greater Houston Preservation Alliance at the time, the landmark was soon demolished.
“No plans have been drawn for a new structure to be erected on the site,” the paper reported, attributing that to the owners.
The downtown Foley’s was built on that block decades later.
(More about Houston's opulent homes of yesteryear can be found in "Houston's Forgotten Heritage: Landscapes, Houses, Interiors, 1824-1914," likely available at most large bookstores.)