A look into Houston's retail past

This Week in Demolition: Disappearing Properties

This week in Demolition, we don’t have much of a story. Part of this is due to a lack of interesting homes this week, another issue is a phenomenon of real estate websites deleting older listing and removing older photos. Take for example 4639 Ingersoll, a relatively standard 1950s Home located in Afton Oaks. HAR.com lists only one photo, while Realtor.com shows 22. Obviously the photos are from an older listing based purely on size, quality, and the general look of the house. Often now houses are sold on a “for lot value” basis only with some owners refusing to show homes, like 1723 Candlelight. Another culprit are developers who purchase lots like 2345 Quenby and replace the photos with renderings of the proposed new home.

Some interesting homes this week include 1103 DuBarry a 1950s Ranch, 839 St George, and 1705 Wycliffe are also worth taking a look at. Hopefully next week we’ll be back to a better, bigger, fuller, tastier post. In the mean time though, anyone want to take over demo posts?!

4639 Ingersoll, Photo source: Har.com I mean it’s the only one left on there…

Residential Demolitions
4639 Ingersoll St, Houston, TX 77027– Afton Oaks, Photos
1103 Du Barry Ln, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, 1950s Ranch, Photos
1411 Althea Dr, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, Photos
839 St George Ln, Houston, TX 77079– Memorial Valley, 1960s Ranch, Photos
1705 Wycliffe Dr, Houston, TX 77043– Wrenwood, 1950s Craftsman, Photos
4006 Woodshire St, Houston, TX 770250– Westwood, Photos
1124 Omar St, Houston, TX 77009– Norhill, 1920s Bungalow, Photos
8910 Brae Acres Rd, Houston, TX 77074– Braeburn Acres, 1950s Ranch, Photos
10602 Valencia Dr, Houston, TX 77013-Meadowood Estates, Photos
8627 Meadville St, Houston, TX 77061– Glenbrook, Photos
6630 Clawson St, Houston, TX 77055– Westview Terrace, New home by David Weekley, Photos
4407 Wigton Dr, Houston, TX 77096– Willow Meadows, Photos
6500 Greenbriar Dr, Houston, TX 77030– Windmere, Photos
901 Lehman St, Houston, TX 77018– SW Allen, Photos
2345 Quenby St, Houston, TX 77005– Southampton Place, Renderings
1723 Candlelight Ln, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, Photos
4019 Betsy Ln, Houston, TX 77027– Highland Village
5238 Lindsay St, Houston, TX 77023– Lawndale, Garage Only
1442 Gardenia Dr, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest
3016 1/2 Worthington St, Houston, TX 77093– Harrell
6321 Brook Lea Ave, Houston, TX 77087– Golfview Manor
2416 Hector St, Houston, TX 77093– Tidwell Place
8714 Flossie Mae St, Houston, TX 77029– Pleasentville
305 E 40th St, Houston, TX 77018– Independence Heights
307 E 40th St, Houston, TX 77018– Independence Heights
2126 Francis St, Houston, TX 77004– Third Ward, 1950s Row House, Neighbors featured This Week
6206 Oak Pass Dr, Houston, TX 77091– Antoine Forest Estates, 2004 New Build, Likely flooded
6114 Oak Pass Dr, Houston, TX 77091– Antoine Forest Estates, 2004 New Build, Likely flooded
4711 Marietta Ln, Houston, TX 77021– Riverside Terrace
626 Attingham Dr, Houston, TX 77024– Fonn Villas
6422 Schiller St, Houston, TX 77055– Westview Terrace
6802 Sandra St, Houston, TX 77028– Trinity Gardens
8644 Lipan Rd, Houston, TX 77063– Blossom Heights
6110 Oak Pass Dr, Houston, TX 77091– Antoine Forest Estates
6422 Kury Ln, Houston, TX 77008– Timbergrove
818 Redan St, Houston, TX 77009– Woodland Heights
530 Bennington St, Houston, TX 77022– Oakwood
4829 Higgins St, Houston, TX 77033– Sunnyside Gardens
3114 N Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025– Southern Oaks

Non-Residential Demolitions
850 McKee St, Houston, TX 77002– Warehouse turned bar for many years, Most recently Eastdown Warehouse, Permit filed by “Warehouse District Apartment”
301 E 5th St BLDG 2, Houston, TX 77007– Mixed use Heights property. Front two buildings homes, rear two businesses, Photos

This Week in Demolition: 3015 ½ Inwood, the French Quarter garage apartment in River Oaks

This Week in Demolition we have a much shorter list than we’ve seen in the past few weeks, with only a couple of non-residential demolitions. Starting off this week we have a garage apartment from a house that you’re almost sure to recognize if you’ve ever driven through River Oaks. Located in the rear of the neighborhood 3015 Inwood is one of the original homes in the area. Construction was started in 1935 under the direction of notable regional architect John F. Staub. The house is colloquially known as the “New Orleans” house. A designation it seems to have gained from realtors who were officially using the term to list the home by the 1980s. The original structure was described as a two-story nine room brick veneer home, it was built for Robert Bowles and his name is used as the official historic designation for the residence. The house did not originally have its “New Orleans style” cast iron balcony as the second story was not added until 1952. By this point the home had been sold to Patrick Rutherford, a rather wealthy oilman. Mr. Rutherford would live here until 1990 and oversaw most of the expansion, updates and renovations to the house which also included the addition of the garage apartment in the 1960s. All outbuildings stylistically match the main house both inside and out. With the fact that Staub was brought in by Rutherford to oversee the second story in the 50s it’s not unrealistic Staub helped with the garage, and pool cabana which were all added around the same time. Historically speaking this is a small loss, but it was an interesting dive into the history of a house I recognized as soon as I pulled the address.

Other interesting properties this week include, 3002 Locke Lane, a 1940s Colonial Craftsman style two-story home in Avalon Place. 5806 Par 4 Drive, a house that seems to have been flooded prior to 2018 remodeled, and then flooded again by Harvey on the market, and finally 2418 Albans Road, another garage only demolition but some great photos of the main property which is a 30s or possibly 40s two story brick structure. It’s in great shape and includes lots of originals like the pedestal sink! Hey I know it wasn’t great this week, but what do you expect for free… rubber biscuit? P.S. Even if you don’t normally check out our retail offers keep an eye out for this week’s upcoming blog post which is Part 2 of Anonymous in Houston’s trip through the Portal to Texas History! Also, if you do read the retail stuff, good on ya for reading the demo posts too, enjoy your Easter egg!

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Residential Demolitions
3015 Inwood Dr, Houston, TX 77019– River Oaks, John Staub 1937 New Orleans Style House, Garage Only, Photos
3002 Locke Ln, Houston, TX 77019– Avalon Place, 1940s Colonial Craftsman, Photos
2418 Albans Rd, Houston, TX 77005– Museum District, Garage Only, Photos
2107 Bartlett St, Houston, TX 77098– Chevy Chase, Mentioned in the February 6th TWID, Photos
3771 Syracuse St, Houston, TX 77005– Sunset Terrace, Large corner lot along Bissonnet, Photos
5806 Par 4 Dr, Houston, TX 77088– Inwood Forest, Remodeled after earlier flooding, but photos from prior to Harvey so likely flooded again, Photos
4119 Drummond St, Houston, TX 77025– Ayrshire, 1950s Ranch, FEMA Lot (does this mean they were a FEMA buyout?), Photos
6617 Avenue C, Houston, TX 77011– Central Park, Photos
3602 Oak Forest Dr, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, Sold for lot only, Photos
4115 Drummond St, Houston, TX 77025– Ayrshire, Sold as-is, Photos
615 E 12th 1/2 St, Houston, TX 77008– Heights, Photos
3521 Tartan Ln, Houston, TX 77025– Emerald Forest, Flooded and condemned, Photos
2333 Hoskins Dr, Houston, TX 77080– Neuen Manor, Photos
3825 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025– Linkwood, Flooded and abandoned, Photos
1217 Omar St, Houston, TX 77008– Heights, New construction by Aspen Homes, Listing
3705 Bruce St, Houston, TX 77009– Greater Heights, Photos
5206 Braesvalley Dr, Houston, TX 77096– Meyerland Corner Lot, Photos
3007 Hazel Park Dr, Houston, TX 77082– Parkhollow Place, Photos
1721 Viking Dr, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest, Photos
6254 Meadow Lake Ln, Houston, TX 77057– Oak Forest, New home by Laird Investments, Original photos replaced by renders, Listing
703 N Milby St, Houston, TX 77003– Merkels, Photos
1913 Hoskins Dr, Houston, TX 77080– Neuns, Home also site of business “Free Air Corp”, Photos
5633 Fairdale Ln, Houston, TX 77057– Westheimer Gardens
1530 Pleasantville Dr, Houston, TX 77029– Pleasentville
4219 Hartsville Rd, Houston, TX 77047– South Acres Estates
1807 Ryon St, Houston, TX 77009– Ryon
1115 Wakefield Dr, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest
10806 Riverview Dr, Houston, TX 77042– Riverside
7818 St Louis St, Houston, TX 77028– Liberty Road Manor
1248 Richelieu Ln, Houston, TX 77018– Oak Forest
32 W Broad Oaks Dr, Houston, TX 770560– Broad Oak Place
5814 Wipprecht St, Houston, TX 77026– Kashmere Gardens

Non-Residential Demolitions
1314 Allen Genoa Rd, Houston, TX 77017– Allen Genoa Game Room, Listing
1433 Dian St, Houston, TX 77008– Former Bell/AT&T Service center, Categorized as residential demo, so residential redevelopment likely Listing

This Week in Demolition: Is the Eiffel Tower included?

Happy Easter loyal reader! I hope you’re enjoying what is likely a day off for you, I hope you have time to spend with your family and those around you. As such we’ll keep today’s post short. We have no real commercial demolitions this week, the closest being a former home turned church but nothing of interest. Moving onto homes it seems the time of the “Modern Ranch” is coming to a close. By this I mean homes that were originally built in a traditional ranch style around the 60s or so. They were then highly remodeled during the 90s and early 2000s. Some examples include 13927 Perthshire located in Memorial this is a perfect example of a Modern Ranch. The exterior remains completely untouched down to the lamp post. However, on the inside you’re greeted by an open floor plan, updated kitchens, bathrooms, and just about everything else. Another great example is 122 Cinnamon Oak Lane, while not staged like the last example you can again see an original house on the outside, with an updated interior. It does look like the first house had the more recent renovation, but the similarities are still there, opting for an open floor plan and updated kitchen and bathrooms. While ranch homes, and their updated counterparts are not all that unusual to find, generally more homes in nicer neighborhoods have been updated. This has created an odd phenomenon I have noticed while creating these demolition posts, updated ranch homes that seem to still have Harvey damage being issued demolitions permits as of late. I reached out on my Facebook to my realty followers to see if anyone knew why this was, but didn’t receive a response. Do you know why?

Let’s move on to the main affair this week, the quirks of Houston’s housing market. It’s no surprise to you loyal reader that Houston’s housing market is “unique”, especially if you read the first paragraph! Beyond affairs like people holding onto flood damaged properties, you’ll find some truly unusual properties being demolished sometimes. For example, this is I believe the third to fourth week in a row we’ve had a River Oaks mansion be up for demolition, and in fact this week we have two. Both are nothing to cry over starting off with 3227 Huntingdon Place, which is I believe the second home to stand the property. Although well-kept, there’s not much significant about this house beyond is location. The same can be said for the even newer 2530 Stanmore. Built in 1994 I do have to say that the house does do a great job of capturing the essence of an older River Oaks mansion, but again not much is lost here. When I talk about the quirks of Houston housing I mean things like 5740 Darling, which includes a charming mock Eiffel Tower out front, topped with a Star of David. I’ve heard the argument made “if it appears in the listing photos then they have to include it” this makes me wonder if lawn decor falls under that category. This wrought-iron replica likely won’t be replaced when whatever replacement is planned pops-up. Although if it’s anything like the neighbors expect more town homes.

Our house of the week 5740 Darling. Check out Streetview for a better look!

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

Continue reading “This Week in Demolition: Is the Eiffel Tower included?”

This Week in Demolition: Etta’s Lounge meets its end, and an address on the NRHP

Welcome back loyal reader, This Week in Demolition we see the loss of one of a popular former club with a long history, along with a few interesting residential addresses. Let’s start of with Etta’s Lounge, the building has a unique history as one of Houston’s first 7-Eleven locations. Opening around the end of 1952 or early 53, it was operating only a few months after the first 7-Eleven had come to town. These early locations were small but packed with a variety of products they often served as a “neighborhood market” in a world where convenience store wasn’t yet a known term. After a string of robberies the store was sold to U-Tote-M in the early 60s who dealt with the same issues for another 10 years before finally shutting it down. The building would mostly sit vacant for the next 10 years, until a small restaurant opened sometime around 1980. The restaurant was named Etta’s Lounge, and served a “traditional Southern fare” including Brisket, Fried Fish, and Ribs. The restaurant also included a bar and the establishment soon became a favorite of many within the 3rd Ward area, by the mid1980s the spot had become known for live music and their “open ’till we close” policy. The music of choice was Soul and R&B with the 3rd Ward supplying plenty of local talent to this venue in a former convenience store. Some of the artists who performed at Etta’s include local legends Grady Gaines, Big Robert SmithJerry Lightfoot, the club would also occasionally host touring acts like The Untouchables. Etta’s was known not just for its incredible music, but the fact that their kitchen stayed open all night, and with a $1 cover patrons could BYOB well past serving hours. It was not unusual to end up eating ribs at 2 AM listening to some of the best soul and R&B Texas had to offer. Sadly, by the late 90s the Soul and R&B club scene had all but dissolved within Houston. However, Etta’s would manage to solider on at least into the 2000s as a restaurant and bar. Serving the same soul food menu they had become famous for before the music.

In terms of residential demolitions this week we have some fascinating houses to take a look at! Let’s start off with 7111 Schiller a house that is quite literally joined at the driveway to their neighbor. Most shots try to block this out, but take a look at the first few photos and you’ll see what I mean. Next we have 4646 Devon which from the outside looks like a mostly typical 1950s Afton Oaks Ranch Home, save for what appears to be a second story addition. On the inside you’ll see in fact that this an updated open concept home and the second story is likely in fact original! Finally, lets look at 2910 Lazy Lane in the heart of River Oaks, you know this is going to be an expensive one. Let me start off by saying the demolition permit issued is not for the entire home but rather the “Spa Only”. The house cannot be demolished as it is actually listed on the National Register of Historic Places as it was the personal home of prominent Mod Architect Hugo Victor Neuhaus. Considered to be a prime example of Mod architecture Neuhau’s home has been updated slightly over the years but still retains most of its original features, and all the original shaping and layout. With what will likely end up being the impending demolition of the River Oaks theater, it does spark the discussion if we can preserve the house of an architect why can’t we preserve historic commercial buildings? The answer is, we can! We just can’t wait until the last minute to act.

Residential Buildings
2910 Lazy Ln Blvd, Houston, TX 77019– River Oaks, Miesian Mansion, House on NRHP, Spa Only, Photos
7111 Schiller St, Houston, TX 77055– Pine Terrace, 1950s, Very modern updates including great looking gravel driveway, Photos
3514 Grennoch Ln, Houston, TX 77025– Braes Oakes, 1950s Ranch, Photos
4646 Devon St, Houston, TX 77027-Afton Oaks, 1950s Ranch with second story addition, Photos
4642 Ingersoll St, Houston, TX 77027– Afton Oaks, 1950s Ranch, Photo
3504 Suffolk Dr, Houston, TX 77027- Lynn Park, 1950s Ranch backups up to railroad, Photos
3209 McCulloch Cir, Houston, TX 77056– Lamar Terrace, 1950s Ranch, Photos
3234 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098– River Oaks, Original 1940s Brick House, Fenced in as property fronts Westheimer, Photos
10310 Chesterfield Dr, Houston, TX 77051– Sunnyside, Photos
1242 W 30th St, Houston, TX 77018– Shepherd Forest, Updated 50s Home, Photos
9842 Porto Rico Rd, Houston, TX 77041– Carverdale, Sold for lot value only, Photos
3207 S Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77025– Braes Terrace, Flooded sold for lot only, Photos
8637 Antelope Dr, Houston, TX 77063– Blossom Heights, Photos
89 Fichter St, Houston, TX 77022– Elmwood, Seems to be gutted, Photos
401 Goldenrod St, Houston, TX 77009– Glen Park, Abandoned Meth Shack, Backs up to Bayou and Cemetery, Photos
1305 Lawson St, Houston, TX 77023– Greater Eastwood, Garage Apartment Only, Photos
107 Northwood St, Houston, TX 77009– Bradley Acres, 1920s Bungalow, Garage Only, Photos
1402 Caplin St, Houston, TX 77022– Lindale, Garage Only, Photos
1604 Goliad St, Houston, TX 77007– Greater Heights, 1930s Shotgun Shack, Photos
2120 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005– Southhampton Place, 1930s Mansion, Garage Only
5525 Bunte St, Houston, TX 77026– Kashmere Gardens, It’s gotta be somewhere back there!
2430 Albans Rd, Houston, TX 77005– West Houston
1314 Zora St, Houston, TX 77055– Westview Terrace
7225 Boggess Rd, Houston, TX 77016– Scenic Woods
4062 Durness Way, Houston, TX 77025– Ayrshire
7014 Hoffman St, Houston, TX 77028– Trinity Gardens
8021 Record St, Houston, TX 77028– Clairmont Place
6625 Avenue P, Houston, TX 77011– Magnolia Park
3126 Beran Dr, Houston, TX 77045– Willow Glen
1602 Hawthorne St, Houston, TX 77006– Mandell Place, 1920s 2-story
1086 St Clair St, Houston, TX 77088– Lincoln City
7143 Miley St, Houston, TX 77028– Homstead
7933 Ritz St, Houston, TX 77028– Settegast
5311 Newkirk Ln, Houston, TX 77021-Macgregor Place
8602 Othello St, Houston, TX 77029– Pleasantville
9301 Meldrum Ln, Houston, TX 77075– Easthaven
4054 Durness Way, Houston, TX 77025– Ayrshire
19609 Dunbar Ave, Humble, TX 77338– Humble Heights
7050 Inwood Park Dr, Houston, TX 77088– Inwood Heights, Condo, Unit not listed
513 Frisco St, Houston, TX 77022– Belt Junction City
714 W 21st St, Houston, TX 77008– Heights, 30s Bungalow, Bad shape
7437 Avenue K, Houston, TX 77011– Magnolia Park
4619 Dunnam Rd, Porter, TX 77365– Porter

Non-Residential Buildings
1001 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77042– Montrose and Westheimer Shopping Center
5120 Scott St, Houston, TX 77004– Eta Lounge, 1950s 7-Eleven, Listing
3115 & 3117 D’Amico St, Houston, TX 77019– Bavarian Machine Specialists (BMW Repair Shop)

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.

Continue reading “This Week in Demolition: Site of explosion comes down one year later”

This Week in Demolition: A philanthropist’s River Oaks Mansion and an abandoned Federal Building

This Week in Demolition, we’re spoiled for choice! Let’s start out with some houses of note. Our most expensive residential demolition of the week is no doubt 3315 Del Monte. Located in the heart of old River Oaks this 1960s mansion is not original to the neighborhood. It was built by Albert Alkek, one of the early pioneers of the Texas petrochemical industry being involved early on with Sinclair oil. After Mr. Alkek and his wife passed it seems the house was put under a charitable trust which has donated tons of money throughout the state most notably to Texas State who have named a library in their honor. Next up, we have a house whose history is not nearly as old, built in 2010 1614 Lakeshore seems an unlikely contender for this post. However, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey is still being dealt with nearly three years later, and it’s important to recognize this. Visiting Kingwood earlier this year, I drove through neighborhoods along the San Jacinto River and can attest that this house was definitely flooded well into the second floor. Unfortunately many houses that were flooded, but didn’t qualify or refused a FEMA buyout, were left in limbo to be dealt with at a future date. Well it seems that we have finally reached that date, with the only option being to demolish and move further away from the river. Finally, in terms of important houses lets also take a look at 4719 Jackson while not particularly noteworthy this is a 1930s Cottage that has been lovingly updated. It looks like very little expansion has been done giving the space an overall cozy and homey feel. Also check out the small details like the exposed piping for the shower head. Its obvious someone spent a lot of money to bring this house up to this shape, and it’s sad that it will be demolished. While I do understand and appreciate the call for increased multifamily dwellings, this is an example of a well maintained, masonry house that would have been premier housing in its time.

A photo of the building from 2012 Photo: Patrick Feller Licensed by CC/2.0

Let’s get on to the “entrée” of this week’s post, the 1939 U.S. Appraisers Stores Building. Located a 7300 Wingate along the Port of Houston, by the Federal Government. As the Port of Houston grew so did the number of international imports heading through town. As I’m sure you’re aware, foreign goods are inspected by customs and are given a value for tax purposes upon their arrival in the U.S. As such this building and the giant warehouse across the street were built and connected to the railways and roads of the Port of Houston. The building served its purpose for over 50 years before being eventually sold to the Port Authority. The building was an excellent asset to the port inspecting over millions of articles during its lifetime. However, lacking maintenance and much needed asbestos abatement caused the building to decay over the years. It seems that the interior has been vacant at least upwards of 10 years now. While I’m not sure what is planned for the property next, a plot of land across the street is home to a new gas shipping terminal. If you’re interested more photos can be found here.

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

Continue reading “This Week in Demolition: A philanthropist’s River Oaks Mansion and an abandoned Federal Building”

This Week in Demolition: A former bank on a historic downtown plot

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This week in Demolition, we see multiple interesting demolition permits filed. Starting off with some of the more interesting houses we have 1149 Waverly an interesting 1920s cottage (no interior photos sadly!) in the Heights, also in the Heights a boring but charming 40s bungalow at 1230 Nicholson. Along with a bevy of other houses and photos that can be found in the listings below, however this week we’re here to be true to our roots and talk about retail. Let’s talk about the history behind the former Bank of American Drive-Thru at 800 Franklin Street, and how it connects to a Houston community you’ve definitely heard of.

The land itself carries a decent bit of a history, being at the “crux of settlement” for Houston. In the early days of Houston this area was the shopping district. Surrounded by the large open air Market Square, there were shops lining the blocks surrounding the square. The corner lot at which this drive-thru sat, was the starting point for one of Houston’s most prominent early citizens. Joseph F. Meyer Senior. Just after the Civil War, Meyer opened a small wagon repair shop at the corner of Milam and Franklin streets in downtown. The store would originally be surrounded by other tenants in similar fields, such as a print shop, a granite smith, and a tombstone carver. Meyer’s store would prove to be the dominant force in the block, providing supplies to a quickly growing Houston. Mr. Meyer used this knowledge of the ever expanding town to strategically purchase thousands of acres of land Southwest of then current city limits. The land had previously been farmed for rice, and was mostly leased back to farmers by Meyer. Upon his death in the 1935 Meyer would split this land between his sons. The family would keep their attention towards the business for a few more years, dropping hardware and wagon parts for automobile supplies, and selling cars, even adding airplane parts prior to closing. However by the 1950s, Meyer’s prediction had come true and Houston’s city limits and building limits had pushed to the family property. The land that had been purchased as a result of a speculating hardware salesmen’s intuition is what we now know as Meyerland. The Meyer family would continue to run the automotive supply store until at least the 1960s. Meyer had been President of Houston National Bank at the time of his death, so it’s no surprise that it would end up in the hands of a bank. The Meyer family still retains much property including in the area around the former store, and commercial properties in their family lands.

Parking Lot? I think not! Photo credit to hindesky on HAIF

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

Continue reading “This Week in Demolition: A former bank on a historic downtown plot”

This Week in Demolition: Things start to get back to normal with a 30s bungalow in Upper Kirby

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This week in demolition things start to get back to normal. I hope you’re seeing a return to normalcy for you and yours as we transition back into everyday life. Our demolition report for the week also sees a return to normalcy. Featuring a few houses in Garden Oaks, tons of older houses that were in such rough shape they were never listed, a set of duplexes in Montrose, and a 1930s Bungalow. Getting down to brass tacks we really only have two houses worth focusing on this week. First off is 5827 Kuldell which is a really nicely updated 50s ranch style. While Houston has no shortage of 50s ranch style homes, these nicer kept examples are harder to find. It also looks like the house had a few upgrades from the start like the patio, and some added later like the built-in bookshelves.

Getting to the main attraction we find ourselves at 2132 Colquitt which is part of the Westlawn Terrace neighborhood in Upper Kirby. Think behind the Little Pappasitos, so Upper Kirby is no exaggeration. The original house is quite attractive, with wonderful brickwork, including original arches, along with some tasteful updates like smaller framed windows, and a tasteful new door. The modest updates continue inside in the first few rooms, but the further back you go the more you start to realize this house has been plagued with a poorly done 90s update. I’ll let the readers decide what the most telling features are, but my votes are cast for the “masterbathroom, the upper level of the bungalow being called a finished attic, or the deck built around an old growth tree that probably killed it. Maybe you think it’s the huge unfinished exterior wall, the weird open concept garage apartment, and pool that didn’t ever pan out? Before we go any further, let me say that I’m not ripping into these people for their house. When the upgrades were done in all these decisions made sense for whatever this homeowner had in mind, my point is that not every 1930s Bungalow is still a gem. While it is worth trying to save and appreciate our older houses in Houston, maybe it’s for the best this one is being demolished.

These envelopes have been hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnalls’ porch since noon today… Kim Kardashian, Joan Rivers, and This House… Name three things with more updates than your iPhone! Photo Source: HAR.com

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

Continue reading “This Week in Demolition: Things start to get back to normal with a 30s bungalow in Upper Kirby”

This Week in Demolition: Flames lit under Candelari’s 1940s house

This week in demolition, things slow down a bit. Some interesting houses include 2532 Reba which is objectively the best-looking house of the week. The location in Avalon Place really ties the place together, although the house is a bit small by modern standards (those fish-eye lenses aren’t fooling anyone!). Next on the list is 12507 Woodthorpe which is a relatively unremarkable 60s Ranch with a primo location in the middle of Memorial Meadows. Finally, an honorable mention goes out to 2824 Isabella which looks like somebodies first attempt at building a house in The Sims.

The title story of the week is the demolition permit issued for the former Candelari’s Pizzeria on Washington Ave. The building itself has an interesting start as a single-family home in the 1940s. It seems to have entered into commercial use by the 1960s. With its use mostly bouncing around to different restaurants including Van’s Cafe, Lolita’s Mexican Restaurant, and of course Candelari’s Pizzeria. The property is owned by neighboring 6010 Washington (The two-story shopping center next door where Spec’s was). I have not been able to find what replacement plans are underway for the lot, but it will likely be designed to align with the existing shopping center.

Canderlari’s closed this location in 2019 and the building has sat vacant ever since.

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

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This Week in Demolition: We lose a 1936 C.C. Rouse Colonial on Rice Blvd

This week in Demolition, we’ve got a lot to get into! Let’s start off with our headline. If you’re not in the know, C.C. Rouse was consistently considered one of Houston’s top builders in the early 20th century. Designing and constructing some of the most prominent homes in the city, and many in the River Oaks area, C.C. Rouse was known for building lavish homes, with ornate details.* Sadly, many of the original Rouse homes have been torn down, and even more have been remodeled. Today we lose another one with the demolition of 2224 Rice Blvd. sitting directly across the street from the Rice University Campus this house has lots of information online about it. It started off as a model home in 1938. The house was built with 5 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms, central heating, attic venting, a 3-car garage, and servants’ quarters. It would sell a year later for $23,000 to Mr. the manager of a local furniture company. More recently the house has been tastefully updated on the interior but still retains its original colonial exterior.

If you’ve ever driven down Rice Boulevard, you’ve looked at this home. Photo Source: HAR.com

Some other demolitions of note this week include 2024 Dryden a cottage in Southgate with a modernized but mostly original interior, and 2107 Bartlett another cottage, which has had much more modernization, but still feels very cozy. In commercial demolition we only see one structure this week, 1800 Texas Avenue. A small restaurant complex that was most recently home to a grill, and bar next door. This property is the one you can see from 59 South passing Minute Maid with the huge Dr. Pepper ads painted on the walls. This complex also contains a historic house, and the locomotive that used to sit in Hermann Park. This land was slated to become the Nau Center for Texas Cultural Heritage, but these plans were scrapped for unspecified reasons in 2015. Interestingly the demolition permits filed listed the Nau Center as occupant of the property. This of course leads to the question, could the Nau Center be making a comeback? In my opinion, probably not. No announcements have been made online, all the donor’s money was refunded, and in 2019 the city sold this property to Jim Crane owner of the Astros. So, I’d chalk this up to a clerical error before an underground philanthropic move.

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

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