- 2007 Huldy St. [HAR]
It measures only 768 sq. ft., but a brightly painted 1930 home trims out its few rooms and doles them out in squared-off 12-ft. increments. The aquatic property is in the Shearn subdivison, located a block south of the Heights Hike-and-Bike trail and up the street from the back of Crockett Elementary’s campus. (Spring Street Studios is also nearby.) The little cottage’s entirety would likely fit inside the footprint of one of the towering townhome units cropping up nearby; waves of redevelopment are drawing nearer. Over the weekend, the property’s relisting by a new agency dropped the price to $224,000; an initial listing in August 2013 got the ball rolling at $237,900. Will a wrecking ball be next?
Ripped and culled from your submissions, here they are: the official nominees in the first category of the sixth annual Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. That would be Favorite Houston Design Cliché. Thanks to all of you who contributed! These awards wouldn’t happen without you.
Here’s the cool thing about voting: You can do so up to 4 times in this category (and in each of the others too) — by leaving a comment in the post, by sending us an email, expressing your preference on Twitter or Facebook. Each will count as a vote — as long as you follow the voting guidelines. Oh, and don’t just tell us which choice you’re voting for, tell us why!
Here are the nominees for favorite design cliché around hereabouts:
SOAKING IT UP IN TEXAS Back in Texas for the grand opening of his new “pavilion” for the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth — a design the institution liked so much they decided to name the building after its architect — the loquacious Renzo Piano has a few comments for Dallas writer Betsy Lewis about the Houston landscape: “You may be used to the light in Texas, but it’s a special light. It’s brilliant, stronger than usual. I remember actually one of the first things we did when I came in ’80, Dominique de Menil told me, ‘I want to go to Israel because I’ve been told that Israel is the same light as Texas.’ I don’t know why she said that. By the way, it was not true. But it is true that Israel has a strong light. But in Texas it’s also because of the latitude, because of the absence of mountains, and the clouds and the nature. Nature is also very spatial. It’s flat. When you plant a tree in Texas, it grows up. It’s a real forest. That there’s something in the water in Texas is probably true. Sometimes people believe that countries are different because of funny trees, but anyway . . . There’s something in the water as well. I’m joking. I’m talking about the water table. But anyway things are special in Texas.” [Glasstire] Photo of Piano Pavilion, Fort Worth: Glasstire
Last night nominations closed at midnight for the first 2 of the 8 categories in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate: Favorite Houston Design Cliché and Best Demolition. Later today, we’ll kick off the voting when we announce the official nominees for the first of those categories. After that, through this week and part of the next, we’ll work our way through the rest of the categories in sequence, announcing the official nominees and opening the voting for each, one by one.
For the categories for which nominations have not closed, though, we still need your help. Take a look at the suggestions posted in the comments sections of the 6 remaining categories (all the categories are listed here). If you find anything missing, please add your nominations now! If you think you can improve on any of the explanations already submitted, please do so. Or if you see a nomination without any explanation at all, please add a good one! Got photos of any of the nominees? Please send them!
The deadline for nominations in the next 2 categories — Best Houston Transplant and the Ground-Floor Retail Award — is midnight tonight.
After the countdown Sunday night at 9:30 pm, blasts went off on 3 of the 4 booster towers surrounding the Houston Astrodome. But there was no liftoff. As the towers collapsed into dusty piles moments later, it became clear: The blasts would not be enough to propel the Dome off its foundation and into outer space. They’ll have to find another way.
Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday.
A Rising Star falls, and other adventures in building disappearance.
FLUSHING AWAY ALLEN STANFORD’S LEGACY AT 5050 WESTHEIMER Noting the extensive changes to the office building at 5050 Westheimer across the street from the Galleria that once served as headquarters for the Stanford Financial Group but has since been taken over completely by real estate firm Keller Williams, Real Estate Bisnow’s Catie Dixon zeroes in on the big news: “Stanford’s gigantic personal bathroom is gone.” Reuters reporter Chris Baltimore described the rarely seen first-floor spectacle back in 2009, after an exclusive crime-scene tour, as “a chamber of black granite and mahogany, with a gigantic mirror and granite countertop, flanked with shelves of fluffy white towels and toiletries, including a bottle of ‘Brilliant Brunette’ shampoo.” Notable features: the separate black-toilet room, the huge walk-in shower, and the blank door next to it which served as Sir Allen’s private escape route to the parking deck. Stanford’s entire personal magnet-key-access-only first-floor domain has now been replaced by the offices of KW-affiliated lender and title companies; the Gensler redo of the building has kept some of the green marble but added some red walls, replacing stone-carved messages like Stanford’s HARD WORK, CLEAR VISION, VALUE for the CLIENT with “inspirational and wacky sayings like ‘Complaining=garbage magnet.’” [Real Estate Bisnow; Reuters; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Wikimedia Commons
COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE ANNUAL BATTLE OF THE NEIGHBORHOODS “I love the Swampies, but this category is played out. It is the same thing every year. Everyone knows that the best neighborhoods in town are places like Montrose, Heights, GOOF, and Rice/West U, but won’t admit it because these neighborhoods are just too expensive for the average resident to be able to afford. Then comes the parade of ‘no really, my neighborhood is nice’ nominees by people who have put their bet on the up and coming areas, but are not willing to admit that their neighborhood is just not there yet. Eastwood/Eado always chime in, even though much of the area is still pretty run down and industrial despite some very strong redevelopment activity. The tail coat neighborhoods like Westbury, Brooke Smith, and the few sprigs of Spring Branch where lot value hasn’t hit $400k trumpet how they are a great deal with all the benefits of their big brother neighborhoods without conceding things like lousy 50s housing stock, proximity to ever expanding highways and huge clusters of old garden style apartment complexes teaming with humanity just down the street. And the winner is always the odd little neighborhood in the city with the most followers on its HOA facebook page who flood the results . . .” [Old School, commenting on Nominations Are Now Open for the 2013 Neighborhood of the Year]
Down came the curtains and up went the price of this sturdy 1955 home with stone and tile floors, among other original touches. It sits on an over-sized lot fronting the north bank of Brays Bayou just west of Edloe in Braes Heights. Back in May 2012, the midcentury property sold for $313,000. Its November 2013 listing has a $495,000 asking price. Will it flip? Although the current description touts the lingering livability of the existing home, it makes no mention of any specific updates in the interim, though judging from the latest pics the interior does appear to have lightened up with fresh paint and the jettisoning of old-school window treatments.
All 8 categories in the 2013 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate have been announced and opened for nominations. Next week, we’ll kick things into even higher gear when voting starts.
Before that happens, though, we could still use some help. We’ve received some great nominations so far, but if you think anything’s missing from this year’s crop that simply can’t be left out, please add your nomination now (the most recently announced categories in particular could still use some help). If you like a nomination someone else has made but think you can beef up the explanation to better help it land on the ballot, go right ahead. No explanation at all? Feel free to fix that (otherwise, it likely won’t make it). If you have photos of any of the nominees, definitely send those in, too.
But don’t wait too long. This Sunday at midnight, nominations will close for the first 2 award categories: Favorite Houston Design Cliché and Best Demolition. For the next 2 categories we’ll close nominations Monday night, then Tuesday and Wednesday for the remainder of the categories. On Monday, we’ll announce the official slate of nominees for the first award category and open it for voting. And then continue on from there.
Add your nominations to the comments section below the post that announces each category, or send them to us in an email. Who are the contenders in Houston real estate this year? What deserves recognition? You tell us.
A reader sends in pics showing how construction is progressing on the 3 retention ponds along White Oak Bayou TxDOT is building between Yale and Shepherd — and hoping to trade them for any available updates about plans for the adjacent segment of the planned bayou-side path: “Looks like they are making progress with tree planting and installation of pavers on the slopes. They have left a wide swath of level ground around the entire perimeter. They are still doing earthwork on the north end, and it looks like they still need to excavate more soil from the center pond, but you can make your way around all three detention ponds.”
The photo at top shows the center pond (south of the bayou), looking northeast, with White Oak Bayou barely visible off to the lower right. Below, a view of the northernmost piece, Rutland Pond, a portion of which interrupts 6th St. (where the orange construction fencing is visible):
Getting rid of the used-to-bes, to make room for the what’s-there-nows.