01/23/15 5:30pm

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A ski-slope of a roof tops a 1974 townhome complex designed by Burdette Keeland — on land his mother owned in College Heights, now part of  the Upper Kirby District. The late architect taught at University of Houston’s College of Architecture for 40 years and served on the City of Houston’s planning commission for 30 years. Located at the center of the 5-plex property, the contemporary home is described as being in near-original condition. Since mid-December, the listing has been priced at $379,900. You can hit the slopes with a look-see scheduled by Houston Mod for this Sunday afternoon.

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Lift Lines
01/23/15 3:15pm

METRO PONDERS HOW TO SPEND A LIGHT RAIL SURPLUS Burnett Station, North Line Extension, HoustonWhat should Metro do with the extra $39.9 million it’ll end up with after the Southeast and East End rail lines open in April (on the 11th, it now looks like)? If the money isn’t spent, it’ll have to go back to the Federal Transit Administration, reports Dug Begley. $24.9 million of that would have to be spent on projects related to the year-plus-old North Line extension (the Red line), and $14.5 million would be restricted to use on the Southeast Line (aka the Purple Line). Among the proposals: building an elevated walkway between the bus transit center and the rail line at Northline; putting in extra parking at Palm Center, at the end of the Purple Line; shelters for bus stops near stations; an additional station on the Purple Line between Elgin and Leeland; safety or operational improvements, such as a restroom for train operators at a station; a crossing arm on Texas Ave. near Chartres St. [Houston Chronicle] Photo of Burnett Station: Skyline Art Services

01/23/15 1:00pm

Proposed Brian Patterson Sports Performance Clinic, Rice Stadium, Rice University

It’s been notoriously difficult to fill Rice Stadium — ever since those darn Houston Oilers came to town. Even President Kennedy couldn’t do it when he came by in 1962 to introduce a little mission to the moon he had cooked up. About 8 years ago, giant logo-bearing tarps were planted over the seating areas in both end zones, reducing the capacity (though not permanently) from 70,000 to 47,000.

But the latest planned changes appear to be following a 2-fold strategy to help fill the place: First, Rice University’s new $31.5 million Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center will knock out the stadium’s entire northern end zone — including more than 11,000 seats. Even better, the mostly brick building will have a giant glass wall on the side facing the playing field, which will offer spectators tired of watching the game shaded views into 2 levels of weight rooms. If they can get the scheduling right, with gridiron and pumping-iron action running simultaneously, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy 2 attractions at once. Likewise, flexing athletes will have a pretty good view of the field — and fans, if they’re out there — while they’re working their muscles.

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Watch Them Pump and Watch
01/23/15 8:30am

Adickes Sculpturworx Studio

Photo of Adickes Sculpturworx Studio: Brandi Lynn via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
01/22/15 5:15pm

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Rising stately on its corner in the Westmoreland Historic District, a well-appointed and well-maintained hundred-year-plus-old mansion fitted with terraces, balconies, and porches features all the craftsmanship of its day — and one very large indicator of the present: this freeway-side billboard in the back yard, by the pool:

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In the Shade
01/22/15 3:15pm

Second Proposed Design for Hotel Alessandra, GreenStreet, Downtown Houston

The company that’s adding a new hotel to GreenStreet, the renamed and reconfigured Houston Pavilions mall downtown appears to have made some dramatic changes to the design of the tower. Midway Companies first showed off the sleek design by Gensler for the Hotel Alessandra (shown at left) last March, describing a design that featured a top-floor lobby, with a bar on the same floor and a pool under a retractable roof. Renderings of the design are still featured in marketing materials for GreenStreet’s retail redo.

But HAIF user Urbannizer, who’s had a pretty solid track record of discovering renderings of proposed projects if they’re available anywhere, posted a revised rendering to the online architecture forum late last night. The image, shown at right, shows what appears to be the latest design for the Alessandra, which will be operated by the Valencia Group. The Valencia Group already operates Midway’s Hotel Sorella at CityCentre.

Here’s a slightly larger view of the newer, far more rectilinear design:

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Straightening Up GreenStreet
01/22/15 2:15pm

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Visiting the former Mark’s Plaza shopping center at 4721 N. Main St. near the end of Airline Dr., reader Christopher Andrews notes that the new facade going up (top) appears to be headed in a slightly different direction than what was portrayed in the rendering (below) floated by Braun Enterprises after the serial shopping-center fixer-upper company bought the Norhill property and renamed it The Heights Place.

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The Heights Place
01/22/15 12:45pm

Los Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant, 5720 Washington Ave, Woodcrest, Houston

Los Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant, 5720 Washington Ave, Woodcrest, HoustonThe last date to order cheese enchiladas at Los Dos Amigos, the Mexican restaurant that’s stood at 5720 Washington Ave at the corner of Birdsall for the past 39 years, is February 28th. In early December, the longtime owners of an L-shaped group of parcels spanning the entire north side of the Washington Ave block between Birdsall and Malone — along with an adjoining “L” around the corner facing Birdsall (see map above) — sold the whole thing to a developer out of Dallas operating under the name of a partnership calling itself OSF Washington. Among the other entities linked to the buyers: Vintala Partners, which has developed apartments in the past.

Also on the block and going away: the Premo’s Grocery building at 5702 Washington. The entire site, including both buildings and parking lots, measures 26,675 sq. ft.

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Developers from Dallas
01/22/15 8:30am

hermann park centennial gardens

Photo of Hermann Park Centennial Gardens: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
01/21/15 5:00pm

Demolition of International Mailing Systems, 815 Live Oak St., East Downtown

Sure, we all know the future of East Downtown is townhomes, and that the industrial structures that once dominated that landscape are on their way out. But have you seen a set of photos that better illustrates the transformation than this gallery of views taken by reader Jeff Peoples this morning? It shows the demolition of the former International Mailing Systems warehouse building at 815 Live Oak St. Not much more need for them to be close to downtown.

You can see the townhomes marching from the background of the above photo, smashing everything in their way.

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International Mailing Systems Gone
01/21/15 2:30pm

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Growing conditions favor landscaping (and geegaws) inside and outside a mews-facing condo in the 1973 Briarwest Townhomes development. Reddish hues are particularly abundant, whether in the decor’s high petal count or the brick exterior’s shutters. Updated a bit, the home is one of 194 2-story homes sharing the community’s 13 acres, with a pool, playground, and park (not a dog park, the homeowners association declares).

Ungated access is from Winrock Rd., located east of Voss Rd. and north of  Westheimer Rd. Over the weekend, this home’s asking price trimmed again, this time to $268K, following a month at $275K. In its November 2014 initial listing, pricing got started at $285K.

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Abbondanza