The Gargoyles of Dunlavy

What's up with all the French Gothic architectural touches in Montrose?

By John Lomax February 10, 2014

Taking my daughter to and from school, I have noticed something peculiar on my many voyages up and down Dunlavy Street.

Namely, from West Gray clear down the West Alabama, the street is infested with gargoyles.

Most famously, there is the audacity of gargoyles atop the Metropolis lofts next to the post office on West Gray.

Yes, a group of gargoyles is correctly known as an "audacity."

Proceeding south a short block, we come to the corner of Peden and Dunlavy.

Peden Street takes its name from the family of Allen Peden, editor and publisher of a sadly short-lived Jazz Age local city magazine. It's name? The Houston Gargoyle.

Here's how Peden explained his rationale in giving his magazine such an offbeat name.

“There it is, the Houston Gargoyle, looking calmly and a bit cynically on the doings of the town, unemotional of feature as a poker player with a pat hand, but oh, such goings on behind the mask! … Of those ancient Gargoyles which have so long gazed down from the roofs of Paris upon the queer antics of generations of human beings, no two were alike—just so we hope no two numbers of this Gargoyle will be alike.”

Amazing that the man and his creation are memorialized with this city vista.

 Head south four blocks to Indiana Street. Et voila, un de plus gargouille! Zut alors!

In the Middle Ages, gargoyles were used to ward off evil spirits. Apparently that is how H-E-B is employing these avian gargoyles at their Dunlavy store.

You can argue with me 'til your blue in the face that these are decoys and not gargoyles, but they are winged creatures on a building and designed to scare things away. They are most definitely gargoyles to the grackles that would love nothing more than to gain access to this sacred cathedral of food. 

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