Business Directory

Macatee Warehouse

Location: 103 Austin
Unknown photographer / date

Built in 1858, the Macatee Warehouse was a once the center of trade within the city of Houston.

The warehouse was located at the SE corner of Austin and Commerce, and sat directly across from the International & Great Northern rail road depot. Today, the Harris County jail sits where the Depot used to be.

In true Houston fashion, the warehouse was demolished for courthouse and jail parking.

1907 Sanborn Map clipping showing the location of the Macatee Warehouse and the rail road depot
A Google aerial of the blocks today

UPDATE (October 2023): I’ve been reading Pleasant Bend by Dan Worrall and came across a fascinating passage about the Macatee warehouse. The passage was written by a Galveston resident named Jesse Ziegler, who’d first of many Houston visits took place in 1872.

“…Later came the renowned Macatee warehouse, built in 1858…it received the greatest portion of trade coming in from the Brazos and Colorado section on Washington and San Felipe roads, and being just across from [the old camping ground at] “Vinegar Hill,” where the Southern Pacific depot now stands, was one of the most popular stopping points in the county…

I have seen as many as two hundred wagons unload at Macatee place in a single day. The charge for storage, sampling, and weighing cotton was fifty cents per bale–in addition the farmers had the privilege of camping for the remainder of their stay….Their stay usually depended upon the weather conditions of the roads….Somewhat later, Henke and Pillot erected a warehouse and free camping ground…taking in nearly two blocks. Where the Martha Hermann Square now lies was an entire block fenced in for a wagon yard to take care of a portion of the business coming in from the Brazos on the San Felipe Road.”

Jesse Ziegler
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