Play It Cool

A Look Back at Houston's Cool Past

How did anyone live here before air conditioning? This is how.

By Jeff Balke July 25, 2016 Published in the July 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Houston has always had lots of swimming pools to cool off its residents, bathing beauties or otherwise.

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Some of Houston’s earliest instances of air conditioning were found in theaters like the Majestic Theatre downtown.

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Bikers and neighborhood residents enjoy a cold one at the West Alabama Ice House circa 1981.

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Malls like the Galleria have offered respite from the Houston heat for decades, and the odd juxtaposition of ice skating in summer.

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In 1983, Water World opened next to Astroworld, putting a beach in Houston’s backyard.

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In the aftermath of 1983’s Hurricane Alicia. Houstonians trying to preserve food stores swarmed places like Sparkle Ice on North Shepherd.

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