Houston Deco: Houston's Modernistic Architecture
2017-2047 and 2018-2048 W. Gray Ave. (at South Shepherd)
partially demolished
Historic name: River Oaks Community Center
Current name: River Oaks Shopping Center
Completed: 1937
Architects: Nunn & McGinty with Oliver C. Winston (Washington, D.C.)

City of Houston Landmark

The River Oaks Community Center was one of the nation's first auto-oriented suburban retail centers. Its unique design, with arcs of retail space flanking either side of West Gray Avenue, was hailed as a model for future development, although the plan was rarely, if ever, copied. In September 2007, Weingarten Realty Investors, the property owner, demolished the northern half of the historic shopping center (the segment on the left in the photo above) to redevelop the site for a Barnes & Noble superstore and a parking garage. The rest of the center remains endangered.

See also River Oaks Theater (1939) and River Oaks Community Center Expansion (1948)

above | aerial view, 1940
detail (top) | façade, north wing, 1940 (demolished)
detail (upper center) | filling station, 1940 (demolished)
detail (lower center) | façade, south wing, 2006
detail (bottom) | south wing pavilion, 2006

Photo courtesy William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston
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