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Wunsche Brothers Saloon and Hotel

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1902; 1980s restoration, Graham B. Luhn. 103 Midway St.

The Wunsche brothers were grandsons of Carl Wunsche, a German immigrant who settled in the Spring area in the 1850s and bought this property in 1862. When the Houston and Great Northern Railroad (subsequently the International and Great Northern, I&GN) began to build its rail line from Houston north to Palestine in 1871, it platted a small townsite at Camp Spring in 1873. Completion of the Calvert, Waco and Brazos Valley Railroad in 1902, which terminated at the I&GN line in Spring, led to the platting of a second nine-block townsite just south of the 1873 town-site. This was where the Wunsche brothers built their two-story, false-fronted, wooden saloon and boardinghouse to cater to workers at the I&GN's newly opened Spring railroad switching yard. Closure of the switching yard in 1923 left the Spring townsite to subsist for sixty years without major modifications until G. Scott Mitchell, a son of Houston oilman George P. Mitchell, bought the shabby but still-intact building from the Wunsche heirs and restored it with Houston architect Graham B. Luhn. Old Town Spring has revived around the Wunsche Brothers Saloon as a homemade festival marketplace. More cute than authentic in its approach to historic preservation, Old Town Spring nevertheless declares that there was life in northern Harris County before the construction of I-45 in 1960 and the opening of Houston Intercontinental Airport ( HN7) in 1969 absorbed this territory into suburban Houston.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.
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Citation

Gerald Moorhead et al., "Wunsche Brothers Saloon and Hotel", [Spring, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/TX-01-TM3.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 372-372.

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