Coastal Bend History


That beautiful house on the bluff

One of the last of the magnificent mansions that lined the city's bluff, this grand home is as elegant today as it was 100 years ago
Posted at 9:47 PM, Jan 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 13:40:18-05

Still one of my most favorite streets in Corpus is this section of Upper Broadway at Park Avenue....the only section of the Bluff overlooking Corpus Christi Bay that looks exactly as it has since the 1930's.

And, it is the only remnant remaining of the era when nothing but magnificent houses and mansions of the city's most prominent families lined the Bluff from one end to the other.

The house…far left….as seen in this 1930’s postcard.

No skyscrapers, no office buildings, no churches, no businesses.

Nothing but beautiful homes from one end of the Bluff to the other.

All but three are now gone.

On the corner of Upper Broadway and Park is the home that is marked "Dr. H. R. Giles" on the front sidewalk. Dr. Giles was mayor of CC from 1935-37 and lived in this house at that time.

Dr. Giles in front of his home….1940’s.

However, the house was built in 1900 by Dr. Clyde O. Watson, who later sold it to Dr. Giles.

In later years, it was the home of George and Sissy Farenthold, and is today owned by David and Crystal Massie.

The house has been meticulously maintained, and is as elegant today as it was 100 years ago.

Every time that I'm in this area, I feel compelled to photograph this stunning house.

Based on the number of photos that I’ve taken of this place over the years, it just might be my favorite house in the city!

Robert Parks is a special contributor to KRIS 6 News. Parks was a history teacher at Carroll High School for 19 years and is now retired. His knowledge of Corpus Christi history makes him a unique expert in the subject.