This Week in Demolition: Site of explosion comes down one year later

This Week in Demolition, we take a moment to reflect on a tragedy just over a year later, the special houses this week will be in the second paragraph. On January 24, 2020 a deadly explosion occurred at the Watson Grinding Facility in Spring Branch. Two employees were immediately killed by the blast, and a third man who lived near the facility died later from injuries related to flying debris. Sadly most neighbors were unaware of what the purpose of the Watson Grinding facility was, or that they stored hazardous chemicals on site. Many houses in the area sustained large amounts of damage, injuring occupants and forcing a large number of people to relocate. An active investigation into the cause of the explosion has prevented much  demolition and the site along with the surrounding buildings until now. A lack of coherent zoning regulations, a famous caveat of our fair city, is being put to the fire by the Watson Explosion. While we can’t get back what was lost in this tragedy, we can move forward and cleanse Houston of this collective “scar”, and protect our future generations.

Moving on to a lighter topic lets take a look at some of the better demos this week! To correlate with the grand opening of the 80’s Diner we have 9159 Briar Forest a true 80’s home, that reminds me of Cameron’s Dad’s house in Ferris Bueller’s Day off. Interestingly this is a condo in a private community and the home backs up to Buffalo Bayou. We also find our next house on a private street, backing up to Buffalo Bayou. 3702 Knollwood A 5 bedroom, 5 bath 1950s River Oaks Mansion, that was dropped mid-reno likely from Harvey. Third we’ve got another large house that is right along Brays Bayou and was very obviously flooded 5237 Braesheather. This has me wondering, have these homes sat vacant waiting for the market to improve or is this truly coincidental? I’m not sure, and don’t have the knowledge to really weigh in. However, I can leave you with a 20s Bungalow at 916 Highland which is not being demolished, but the garage apartment is and the pics are worth it!

This is not my drone footage, but some of the best I found online. While the fireball from the explosion was powerful, you can see that the blast force shredded the metal and had a similar effect on houses nearby.

This is a list of the buildings which received a City of Houston demolition permit the week before this post.

Residential Buildings
706 Ridge St, Houston, TX 77009– Heights, 30s Bungalow, Photos
3702 Knollwood Dr, Houston, TX 77019-River Oaks, 1950s Mansion, Photos
4058 Durness Way, Houston, TX 77025– Ayrshire, Photos
916 1/2 Highland St, Houston, TX 77009– Woodland Heights, 20s Bungalow in Great Shape, Permit for Garage Apartment, Photos
6527 Cohn St, Houston, TX 77091– Highland Heights, Photos
1730 Woodcrest Dr, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, Photos
6405 Teluco St, Houston, TX 77055– Westview Terrace, Photos
1124 E 6 1/2 St, Houston, TX 77009– Norhill, 1920s Bungalow, Garage Apartment Only, Photos
1218 Bomar St, Houston, TX 77006– Rosedale, 1920s Bungalow, Photos
1801 Dunlavy St, Houston, TX 77006– Windsor Place, Photos
2324 Watts St, Houston, TX 77030– Windmere, Classic 40s 2-Story, Photos
5014 Jackson St, Houston, TX 77004– Southmoore, 1930s Cottage, Photos
9159 Briar Forest Dr, Houston, TX 77024– Hudson on the Bayou (Private) , Modern Style 80’s Pad, Photos
5327 Braesheather Dr, Houston, TX 77096– Meyerland, 60s Ranch, Flooded, Photos
7803 Janak Dr, Houston, TX 77055– Melody Oaks, Photos
1727 Latexo Dr, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, Photos
6705 Goforth St, Houston, TX 77021– Foster Place, Photos
1406 W 21st St, Houston, TX 77008– Shady Acres, Photos
710 Gale St, Houston, TX 77009– Lindale Park, 30s Cottage, Garage Only
1220 Thornton Rd, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest
5313 Evella St, Houston, TX 77026– Fairgounds Park
1419 Candlelight Ln, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, Renderings
7012 Hirsch Rd, Houston, TX 77016– Bonita Gardens, Garage Only
10317 Rosehaven Dr, Houston, TX 77051– Blueridge
6409 Tuscon St, Houston, TX 77026– Wilshire Place
4402 Aledo St, Houston, TX 77051– Ruberfield
304 Bolden St, Houston, TX 77029– Fidelity, Abandoned?
6006 Overmann St, Houston, TX 77091– Wildrose Garden
302 Mississippi St, Houston, TX 77029– Fidelity
4 Pinehill LnHouston, TX 77019– River Oaks
4413 Lido Ln, Houston, TX 77092– Oak Forest
3718 Dumbarton St, Houston, TX 77025– Braeswood Place
3221 Westridge St, Houston, TX 77025– Westridge
1624 Castle Ct, Houston, TX 77006– Montrose
1721 Dunlavy St, Houston, TX 77006– Windsor Place
7817 Maxroy St, Houston, TX 77088– Madeline Park
7406 Cora St, Houston, TX 77088– Highland Acres
702 Fairbanks St, Houston, TX 77009– Lindale Park

Non-Residential Buildings
4747 Oates Rd, Houston, TX 77013– Formerly Valbruna Stainless
4606 Steffani Ln, Houston, TX 77041– Remaining structures around Watson Grinding as seen last week
4521 Steffani Ln, Houston, TX 77041– Neighbor directly across the street from explosion.
6401 Long Point Rd Bldg 600, Houston, TX 77055– Granite Marble Etc, Located in old rice mill. Demo likely for internal walls/structure