THE POLAR WAVE ICE PALACE
One of the facts of life that never seem to change in Houston is the oppressive heat of the summer months. It drives our utility costs up and makes working outdoors almost unbearable. Early Houstonians often took refuge from the high temperatures in one of our many air conditioned theatres. In the mid 1930ís office buildings were being equipped or being converted to allow for the new wave of air conditioning. The work environment for many Houstonians was much cooler than their homes. A trip to Sylvan Beach in La Porte or Galveston Beach offered the cooling waters of the Gulf Coast for relief. If swimming was not your bag or air conditioning not within your budget then you could strap on a pair of skates and hit the Polar Wave Ice Palace. Located at 2323 Hutchins Street it was one of Houstonís first indoor ice skating rinks. It opened in the 1920ís and remained Houstonís only ice skating rink for decades. The live music that entertained the patrons in the 1920ís was replaced by an extensive record collection in the 1930ís. The popular actress Gail Storm and notorious Fan Dancer Sally Rand graced the ice there. The Polar wave was the only place in Houston the high school hockey teams could play. E.B. Ingraham from San Jacinto High was a popular hockey coach who used the Ice Palace for school practice. My father Story Sloane Jr. was the photographer for San Jacinto High when he made these images in the 1940ísÖ
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