03/26/15 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT YOU’VE EARNED Basketball in Pool“How do you have the time to use all the various leisure areas of a house like this? You gotta be working a lot to afford it so when do you have the free time to ski, play hoops, work out, dine in the dining room, swim in the pools, sit in one of all the outdoor sitting areas, sit in the kitchen or the bar or the living room or the den and so on . . .” [jost, commenting on Katy Home Listing Photo of the Day: Can’t Miss] Illustration: Lulu

03/26/15 1:00pm

Marlowe Sales Office, 1311 Polk St., Downtown Houston

The dude with the squinchy eyes and razor-deprived face plastered along the side of the former ticket booth at 1311 Polk St. downtown is hawking highrise condos in Randall Davis and Roberto Contreras’s 20-story Marlowe building, meant to go up on that very site, across Caroline St. from the eastern end of GreenStreet. And Marlowe is his name, too. “Marlowe is smarter than you,” declares the accompanying website:


03/26/15 11:00am

LATE MAY OPENINGS FOR SOUTHEAST AND EAST END RAIL LINES Metro Central Station, Main St., Downtown HoustonAn official opening date has finally been set for Houston’s 2 new light-rail lines — and it’ll be later than the expected early-April debut. The East End and Southeast Lines will both open May 23rd, the Metro board announced this morning. [Houston Metro on Twitter; previously on Swamplot] Photo of new Central Station downtown: Metro

03/26/15 8:30am


Photo of Marathon Oil Tower, 5555 San Felipe: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/25/15 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE MIDTOWN SUPERBLOCK’S NOT SO SUPER FUTURE Diagram of Plans for Midtown Superblock, Anita, McGowen, Travis, and Main Streets, Houston“The site plan for this block, where the apartment complex stands like J.J. Watt blocking the retail from the park for which it should have been the activity generator, stands as a symbol of a city at a pivot point in its urbanization, where all the lessons it has learned the past ten years still can’t make up for the decades it snoozed in urban neglect and public space amnesia. Imagine if you took the George R. Brown and dropped it halfway across Discovery Green, splitting the park’s integral components and killing its interaction with surrounding elements — that is the Superblock in a nutshell. Midtown will still benefit from a central greenspace, and the little pocket park at the north end might turn out to be something nice. But however modestly successful this becomes will only be a painful reminder of what could have been.” [Mike, commenting on Can’t Get Enough Midtown Superblock? New Video Captures Every Puddle, Blade of Grass, Mud Patch] Site diagram: Lulu

03/25/15 2:00pm

HOW THE 610 LOOP EARNED ITS PRESTIGE Traffic on West Loop, Galleria, Houston“I’ve heard 610 called a lot of things, but never ‘prestigious,’” writes a Swamplot reader who is curious to learn how the phrase “the prestigious 610 Loop” nevertheless came to appear in Wikipedia — in the entry for Hines’s gated Somerset Green complex, now under construction on 46 acres of an old industrial operation at 7002 Old Katy Rd., just east of the Houston Design Center. Ah, but such is the value of Wikipedia’s references and external links sections: The source of the phrase turns out to be Hines itself. A press release that predates by a couple of years the billboards now seen advertising the 500-home development along a few (less-prestigious, no doubt) Inner Loop highways still bears the implicit declaration in its headline: “Hines to Develop 46-acre Planned Community Inside Houston’s Prestigious 610 Loop.” And so it is. [Wikipedia; press release] Photo of the 610 Loop: PINKÉ (license)

03/25/15 12:15pm

Interstate 69 Sign North of Hernando, Mississippi

Snickers and awkward guffaws are likely to be heard all the way from the Northside to Afton Oaks next week, once state transportation officials sign off on the addition of another name to the 11.9-mile segment of State Hwy. 59 within Houston’s Inner Loop: Interstate Highway 69. New signs announcing I-69 proudly to the world will subsequently be erected along in-town stretches of the freeway, where they’ll likely be targeted for pointed display in neighborhood bars, strip clubs, or dorm rooms.

Once complete, I-69 will connect the highway’s head at the Canadian border in Port Huron, Michigan, to its tail along the Mexican border, where it will spread into 3 separate paths to Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville. Planners hope the availability of a smooth, continuous ride from north to south and back again along the eventual federally sanctioned route (sometimes called the NAFTA Superhighway) will stimulate and ease trade among the entwined nations.


Making the Link
03/25/15 8:30am

Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion Hermann Park

Photo of Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/24/15 3:45pm

NOW IT’S 2 MATTRESS STORES MOVING IN RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER AT THE CORNER OF WESTHEIMER AND MONTROSE Mattress Firm and Mattress Pro, 1002 Westheimer Rd. at Montrose Blvd., Montrose, HoustonMontrose watchdogs worried about the aura of chain-store sameness about to descend on the center-of-it-all corner of Westheimer Rd. and Montrose Blvd. once the new Mattress Firm store opens in the former Blockbuster Video spot at 1002 Westheimer: The nation’s largest purveyor of all things mattress understands your concerns. That’s why, this time, it’s mixing it up. As reporter Katherine Feser discovers, a separate store for the same company’s lower-priced (and normally outside-the-Loop) chain, Mattress Pro, will be moving in right next door. [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Katherine Feser/Houston Chronicle

03/24/15 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON’S REALLY GOOD OLD DAYS ARE GONE FOREVER Houston As It Was“The whole Houston region used to be a beautiful coastal plain where my family and extended family lived harmoniously with nature before 5,000,000 people showed up and paved over the whole damn place and called it Houston. Now I’m sad. — Sincerely, Karankawa Nation” [Bernard, commenting on Comment of the Day: What the House Meant] Illustration: Lulu