Modern in Houston

River Oaks Shopping Center 1941

River Oaks Shopping Center
Architect: Stayton Nunn
2017-2047 West Gray Avenue

The River Oaks Shopping Center was one of the first examples of the strip shopping center, a suburban, automobile centered commercial development, in the United States when it was completed in 1937. Its crescent shape, bisected by West Gray Avenue, responds to its location at one of the main entrances to River Oaks. Its current owner, Weingarten Realty, Inc., which has maintained it in a states excellent preservation since 1972, has recently reiterated its intention, as reported in the Houston Chronicle on 31 March 2007, to demolish the northern half of the original center to make way to for a Barnes & Noble superstore despite having received a petition with more than 25,000 signatures protesting this action.
Text By Ben Koush
Photograph: unknown, River Oaks Magazine, 1941

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