12/01/15 2:45pm

BRUTALISM IS READY FOR ITS MAKEOVER Meanwhile, in Boston: 3 architects have written a new book as part of an effort to rebrand Brutalism. The style’s new name? Heroic architecture: “Obviously, ‘Brutal’ is not a good brand,” says Chris Grimley. “‘Brutal’ is fundamentally a negative, whereas with ‘Heroic’, some people take it as a rah-rah but we see it as a much more nuanced phrase that complicates the project in a number of ways.” [CityLab]

12/01/15 1:30pm

Meteor, 2306 Genesee St, Montrose, Houston

Wholesale changes could be coming to East Montrose next summer, if all goes according to the grand lower-Fairview plans of restaurateur-turned-developer Fred Sharifi. The stated goal for his latest development — planned along 3 blocks of Fairview stretching from Taft to Genesee — is to bring a little more diurnal activity to the area, better known for its narrow, potholed streets and vibrant nightlife. That nightlife seems likely to dim, as the new plans call for the eventual extinguishing of Meteor, a mainstay of Houston’s drag community.

“We are not going to have any bars in the neighborhood,” Sharifi recently told Mark Boyle of KPRC, apparently classifying his own Max’s Wine Dive on Fairview at Taft as either beyond the neighborhood or not a bar. Sharifi’s other nearby holdings on Fairview include Gratifi and Cuchara, the Mexico City-style restaurant with rule cards for kiddos.

A 5- or 6-story parking garage perched atop 10,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space (labeled “E” in the rendering below), is proposed for the Meteor site at 2302-2308 Genesee St.:


East Montrose Overhaul
12/01/15 12:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LIMB Money Tree by Lulu“. . . Reading that story about the person complaining that someone is cutting a tree in their yard makes me hot under the collar. I almost wish someone had told me I couldn’t cut down the tree in my backyard because it provided lower energy bills for them. I would love the opportunity to laugh at someone in their face. Honestly, I’d be fair and civil. I’d offer, if they want me to keep the tree, they can pay me a maintenance fee. This fee would include the water, pruning, time, money I have to spend on vegetables that I can’t grow in my backyard because this tree is blocking all the sunlight. So yeah, that’d go over like a lead balloon. Guess I’m back to laughing in the person’s face and cutting the tree down.” [toasty, commenting on UH Basketball Arena Renovation Moves Forward; Inside Ashlar Commons in Montrose] Illustration: Lulu

12/01/15 12:00pm

The Mondrian at the Museums, 5104 Caroline St., Museum Park, Houston

The Mondrian at the Museums, 5104 Caroline St., Museum Park, Houston

Our thanks to The Mondrian at the Museums for sponsoring Swamplot today.

Houston’s Oxberry Group began presales for the Mondrian in September. The 8-story, 20-unit midrise is being designed by the Houston and Washington DC offices of Perkins+Will, with interiors by Houston’s Mayfield and Ragni Studio (MaRS). Residences average 3,000 sq. ft. and encompass large entertaining areas — some with 20-ft. ceilings — art walls, and outdoor terraces configured to accommodate fireplaces, TVs, and summer kitchens. The open layouts attempt to merge the indoors with the outdoors, and aim for downtown, Medical Center, and treetop views.

The project’s sales center, which features a selection of furniture and accessories from Cassina, Cappellini, B & B Italia, Zanotta, and Tonelli curated by Upper Kirby’s Internum, is now open in a gallery space inside the Asia Society Texas Center, a short block away from the Mondrian’s building site at the southwest corner of Caroline and Palm streets. Other nearby attractions within walking distance include the city’s top cultural institutions, the light rail, restaurants, and Hermann Park.

Renderings, floor plans, a walk-through video, and more details are also available at the Mondrian website.

Interested in becoming a Swamplot sponsor and getting your message out to this site’s readers? Contact us on our special sponsorship line.

Sponsor of the Day
12/01/15 11:00am

1 Pine Creek Ln., Hilshire Village, Houston

Positioned above a fork in Spring Branch Creek just north of I-10, this 1971 mod was designed by former occupant Roland Beach, who passed away last April after living in the home for more than 40 years with his family. Beach, an exporter of construction materials to Barbados, produced much of the 2,630-sq.-ft. home’s extensive wood paneling and detailing in his own shop in the property’s detached 2-car garage.

His 3-bedroom, 3-bath dreamhouse was remodeled in 2008, when Beach added a master suite containing a round sleeping area, a sauna, and a kitchenette with dining space — allowing occupants to get away from it all without actually leaving the home. The house was named one of Houston Mod’s “Mods of the Month” for November; the asking price dropped to $825k from just under $840k at the end of October, after a few weeks on the market.


Suburban Retreat
12/01/15 10:00am

UT Houston Campus Site, Buffalo Lakes, Houston

Some zoomy conceptual renderings of the University of Texas’s coming Houston campus, centered on the largely undeveloped intersection of Buffalo Spdwy. and Willowbend Blvd., made their debut at last month’s Board of Regents meeting, where the intended purchase of land for the project was announced. Buffalo Spdwy. gently winds through the drawings of the new campus to a track and several baseball diamonds along Holmes Rd. (which runs horizontally across the top of the image above).

Although the images are only “concepts”, the pictures do provide a sense of how the campus might unfold: For example, that linear water feature shown at the center of the campus aligns with an existing drainage ditch on the property, and the 3 long, low structures in the foreground are good candidates for parking garages, which will be needed regardless of the new institution’s yet-to-be-decided purpose.

Existing residential communities and industrial parks are here rendered as sparsely-treed fields — the boundary of the land slated for purchase by UT currently houses several apartment complexes on the north side and the Orkin Industrial Surplus facility to the south.

But another conceptual rendering (this one looking northwest across Holmes Rd. towards the distant Williams Tower) shows the campus in place amongst some of its eclectic neighbors:


Welcome to the neighborhood
12/01/15 9:00am

Mural at The Secret Group Comedy Club, 2101 Polk Street, East Downtown, Houston  
Mural at The Secret Group Comedy Club, 2101 Polk Street, East Downtown, Houston The evolving mural of Bart Simpson’s tragic fall in East Downtown (first into poorly spelled petty vandalism, and then into legal repercussions for same) has been updated several more times in the past few months, with some dark twists along the way. The mural is located on the outside of 2101 Polk St. — a building currently being transformed into a comedy club by The Secret Group, which hopes to open the space by the end of the year. The original progression is shown below:


Comedy Club Goes Dark
12/01/15 8:30am


Photo: thranth via Swamplot Flickr Pool

11/30/15 8:30am


Photo of Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

11/25/15 3:04pm

Rear View

Among the many things Swamplot is thankful for: the amazing photographic talent of our readers. You can get a taste of that talent by perusing the Swamplot Flickr pool. (What’s that? Not cité-verité enough for you? Then snap some pics of your own, join the group, and show us the real Houston.)

Photo of sunset on I-10: elnina via Swamplot Flickr pool

Everybody into the Pool!
11/25/15 8:30am


Photo of Discovery Green: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool