Main at Commerce
What looks like a building in the middle distance at the center of Main Street is a banner stretched across the entire street (see other postcard).
In the early years of Houston, Main at Commerce was an important commercial center. Commerce Street to the right was Produce Row, an area subject to flooding, and where the norm of frequent shipping made it easier to deal with occasional inundations.
In 1915 the first building on the left was Flaxman Dry Goods store (101-105 Main), followed by the Converse Building (105 1/2 Main) housing small businessmen such as contractors, printers, loan outfits (including, surprisingly, T. Morioki, Japanese Goods). American Express had an office at 115 Main, and on the corner of Main and Franklin (119 Main) was the Houston Land and Trust Company (see Houston Land and Trust), with many offices of local lawyers, stockbrokers real estate agents, including Max Westheimer working for Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company. Across Franklin Street lay one of Houston's first skyscrapers, the First National Bank Building (210-205 Main, built in 1904), with an expansive and active lobby on the first floor and many business tenants on upper floors, including Kirby Lumber Company which occupied the entire 8th floor.
On the right was Baldwin & Cargill Wholesale Produce Company (102-104 Main). Gulf Refining Company was a small outfit in 1915 (104 1/2 Main), followed by small firms: Houston Hat Company (106 Main), Oil Well Supply Company (110 Main), Postal Telegraph and Cable Company occupied 112- 114 Main, and the block also included smaller businesses: printers and bookbinders, harness companies, cotton companies, brick companies. On the corner of Franklin, Commercial National Bank (116 Main, built 1904).
Franklin and Main was Houston's center of town and an important banking center for Southeast Texas. Across from the First National Bank was the Houston National Exchange Bank (202 Main corner Franklin). To complete the list of skyscrapers, the Scanlan Building (403 1/2 Main), and on the left opposite, the Rice Hotel (build in 1910 at Main at Texas), and further down on the right, the Carter Building (806 Main, also built in 1910), all still standing and treated elsewhere here.