Houstonians of a certain age, remember when the city had more than one daily newspaper. Up until 1995, The Houston Post was the Chronicle’s last direct competitor before being dismantled as part of the slow decline of print media. It was often a dividing line to declare yourself as a Chronicle family or a Post family. The Post was considered to be more conservative, and the Chronicle more progressive, a division that went all the way back to the creation of the two papers. Marcellus Foster, a reporter assigned by the Houston Post to cover the Spindletop Oil Boom invested money in the drilling operations, he would use his returns to establish the Chronicle. In the 1920s both papers would change ownership. The Chronicle would be purchased outright by Jesse H Jones who had gained partial control after helping to build the Chronicle’s downtown offices. The Post would come under the ownership of the Hobby Family who not to be outdone by the Chronicle’s new digs, would move the paper to the growing Eastside. In 1944 the current structure at 2410 Polk St Houston, TX 77003 would be built, replacing older offices located across the street. I’m unfortunately somewhat limited in the detail of the construction of this building, as only the Chronicle’s archives are accessible. However, I do know that this facility was built as a combination office and printing press. I believe that after its initial founding KPRC Radio may have broadcast from this building, however, it’s somewhat difficult to confirm. The facility was in use continuously by the Houston Post from the 40s until about 1970. Around this time, the Post would make one final move to the corner of the Southwest Freeway and 610. On a large tract of land purchased from Rice University, the Post would operate out of a Brutalist structure that still stands. In 1983 the Post would be sold by the Hobby family, and through a series of ownership, changes would find themselves bought by Hearst Media in 1995. Hearst, owners of the Houston Chronicle, shut down production of the paper the day of purchase, citing rising newsprint costs. The Chronicle would hang onto the printing facility, which they would begin to use, the Post’s archives, and the offices which they eventually moved into. By the way, Chronicle folks who are reading this, hook me up with some Post access, and I’ll be sure to generate some really engaging content! I’ve even got a teaser for you, the story of how a beloved Texas burger chain made its way into Houston via the Pacific Northwest. What do ya say? Well, if you’re saying why the hell hasn’t he mentioned the CVS yet, keep reading.
In the building’s Post, Post days it seems to have largely sat unused. It’s possible that the Post kept secondary presses running here for a bit, as their printing facilities had been more recently updated than the offices. It seems that for the most part, the interior of the building stayed untouched and unused until vandals broke in decades later, and began to spray paint the windows from the inside out, among other more insidious acts like destroying the Granite facade. The new owner of the building aims to rent out the upstairs office portion. In the initial plans, the developers called for a Sprouts Market to open on the site of the old paper milling facilities. While the buildings have been demolished, Sprouts does not seem actively involved in the project at this time. If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend checking out this CVS. It’s probably Houston’s best kept retail secret at this moment. A historical building in great shape, with a modern use, what more could you ask for?!