Memories: Sam Houston Apartments
Ken Hestand (’57) shares some more memories of Huntsville - specifically of the Sam Houston Apartments (1945-81):
After I was married in 1957, my wife and I rented efficiency apartment #202 in the Sam Houston married housing complex. The apartment was a one-room efficiency. As you entered the room, a kitchenette was on the left and the right wall was bookcases and closets, with the double bed pushed into the closet wall halfway to form a sofa during the day and pulled out for a bed at night. A tiny bath was in the southeast corner of the room, behind the kitchenette.
The entrance to the apartment building was from Avenue J [western side]. There was a wide sidewalk from the entrance into the center of the building on Avenue J that ran through both courts. The courts, as I remember had little or no landscaping. There were only two stories that I recall. Our apartment was on the southwest corner. There were no windows facing Avenue J, There were double windows on the south side of the apartment. From there, we could see the gym [AB3] slightly south of us, across the street. A tornado struck Huntsville in the spring of 1957. As we were looking out toward the gym, all the exterior doors we could see popped open - and they were not easy to open ordinarily. There were a few broken windows, but I don't recall any serious damage.
All the apartments were accessed from inside the courtyards. There were several staircases inside a walkway all the way around the interior courtyard, as best I remember. Our door was on the north side of our apartment, opposite the windows.
The apartments opened into a walkway all the way around the courts. An opening in the center of the west side of the front courtyard allowed access to the east courtyard.