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Emmett, Gwen

By University of Houston and Houston History Project


This is an oral history interview with Gwen Emmett conducted as part of the Houston History Project. Gwen Emmett recounts Westbury Square in its infancy during the 1960s. Westbury Square provided a recreational destination for teenaged youths, and Gwen compares the close-knit, formal social lives of young adults in the sixties to the more independent and accessible ones of millennials. Gwen remembers how the concept of a specialty store seemed foreign to her and how she transitioned from home-sewn clothing to store-bought clothing in her college years. Gwen revisits then-popular Houston shops and business like Sakowitz, Foley’s, and Compton’s as well as discusses newer sites such as Home Depot and the surrounding community’s reaction to replacements. Gwen supports the preservation of Westbury Square and discusses with Ernesto plans to regain interest in the area through attractions such as art galleries and stresses the importance of maintaining authenticity in tourist attractions. In addition to Westbury Square, Gwen provides her thoughts on multilingualism, the “American melting pot” metaphor, and the attitudes towards different cultures in the United States

Topics: Culture; Historic preservation, Emmett, Gwen
Year: 2010
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