Scenes from Downtown Houston: 1943

John Vachon and Marilyn Monroe / 1953
Courtesy of Shorpy

John Vachon (1914 – 1975) was a world-traveling photographer and one of the 40-something odd photographers working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) between 1935 and 1944. These photographers were sent to document rural America under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and the end result left a lasting impression on the country long after the program’s end.

John made a stop in Houston during this time and took a few photos in and around downtown Houston.

John Vachon / May 1943

This photo was taken from the sidewalk at the NE corner of Main and Capitol Streets, facing SE. The Kress Building, located at 705 Main, can be seen in the background of the photo. The building still stands today and currently houses the Flying Saucer and Capitol Lofts.

John Vachon / 1943

Passengers boarding a bus in downtown Houston
John Vachon / May 1943

In the background is the Great Jones building (708 Main), built in 1921, which is still standing today. Below is a current Google maps visual.
John Vachon / May 1943

These Houstonians are crossing Main street from the 1000 block of Capitol to the 900 block of Capitol. Note the SH Kress building in the background.
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