In the 1920s, “Papa John” N. Gavrelos started what would one day become the ‘Eye of the World‘ — a museum of whittled pieces: biblical structures, American landmarks — what Ave Maria Grotto is to marbles and bits of tile, Eye is to cigar boxes and crates.
He displayed it in an area built at his J and J Steakhouse at 6685 Eastex Freeway in Beaumont. The restaurant later became Lone Star Steakhouse, then something else, and now it’s this sad-looking establishment with part of the sign removed or blown out, the rest with ‘Get Your 80s On’ and ‘Karaoke Fridays at 6’. While the display isn’t open, you can get a view of it all through the windows to the outside. Thus, the not-terrific pics I have of it here, on our way back to New Orleans from Houston:
The family has contacted the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, but as of yet — even though they’ve put on exhibit part of the work there in the past — they can’t commit to putting it all on permanent display. Here’s hoping it finds a good home.