08/19/14 4:45pm

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Surreal artwork and rustic structural components left exposed seem to meld into a single composition within the Fifth Ward home and studio of artist Bert Long Jr., who died in February 2013. Fifteen years ago, the attached double-shotgun row houses had been painstakingly renovated (and combined) as the year-long thesis project of Brett Zamore, then a Rice University graduate architecture student. Long, who grew up nearby and was returning to Houston at the time, bought the property near the end of its transformation — for $30,000 — and lived there with his wife, artist Joan Batson. The mixed-use property is located in the Pinecrest Court neighborhood near Wheatley High School, east of Waco St. and south of I-10. It was listed for sale this morning, with an asking price of $200,000.

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Home and Studio
08/19/14 1:15pm

Substation Expansion, 612 Yale St., Houston Heights

Without making a big alert-the-neighbors fuss about it, CenterPoint Energy appears to have begun expanding the electrical substation across the street from the new Alexan Heights apartment complex going up on Yale St. into an adjacent vacant lot, a reader reports. Crews began breaking up the 6,600-sq.-ft. lot’s concrete surface yesterday. CenterPoint has owned the lot at 612 Yale St. since 2004, according to county tax records, though the neighboring 6th and Yale Collision and Repair shop had often used it as parking space.

The lot appears at the top center of this recent aerial view of apartment construction and the substation:

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Not Shocking
08/19/14 12:00pm

Construction of Raising Cane's, 1902 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston

The signs are now up at the new building under construction at 1902 Westheimer Rd., across the street from the Winlow Westheimer shopping center. And they say: Raising Cane’s. And that means your center-of-Montrose drive-thru chicken finger spot will be opening very soon. Raising Cane’s is no stranger to Westheimer; the new restaurant will mark Raising Cane’s fourth location on the street (it’s got the 12201, 7531, and 5015 spots already). But this’ll be the first one inside the Loop.

More pics of Lower Westheimer’s fast-food future:

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Montrose Drive-Thrus
08/19/14 10:30am

THE EMPTY LOT ON WESTHEIMER WHERE THE EDMONT WILL LAND 1634 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, HoustonThis long-vacant lot at the corner of Westheimer and Kueter, next to the Central Houston Animal Hospital and the recently shuttered EJ’s Bar on Ralph St., has been tagged as the future home of the Edmont, a new restaurant being planned by the people behind Paulie’s and Camerata and a former chef at the Vallone’s steakhouse. Paul Petronella, David Keck, and Grant Gordon have hired Abel Design Group to cook up a new restaurant from scratch at 1634 Westheimer — the same site eyed 6 years ago as a possible spot for a 75-room hotel. The restaurant, scheduled to open sometime near the end of 2015, is being named after a different hotel that never existed, though: a Manhattan spot patronized by Holden Caulfield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. [Food Chronicles; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Allyn West

08/19/14 8:30am

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Photo of the Port of Galveston: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
08/18/14 4:15pm

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Note: The pricing history noted previously in this story was inaccurate. We’ve corrected it below.

From a pint-sized perch above a set of arched windows, saintly statuary appears to be keeping an eye o’er a updated 1925 Spanish Revival cottage near the Menil Collection. The heavenly presence might also guard against any sleepwalking encounters with the steep steps at the bottom of a flight of stairs . . .

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Twists
08/18/14 2:15pm

Demolition for The Southmore, Proposed Apartment Tower at Southmore Blvd. and San Jacinto St., Museum Park, Houston

This was the scene of almost-complete destruction on the Museum District block surrounded by Caroline, Southmore, Oakdale, and San Jacinto late last week, as crews from Cherry Demolition finished tearing down the gaggle of structures in the way of Hines’s 25-story apartment project, which it’s calling the Southmore. All the homes on that block are being torn down — save the one shown in the background of this photo, at the corner of Caroline and Southmore, where the owner did not sell to the developer:

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Hines 25 Stories
08/18/14 12:00pm

Rendering of Proposed 3615 Montrose Condo Building, 3615 Montrose Blvd., Montrose, Houston

Riverway Properties’ latest plan for a condo building at the corner of Montrose Blvd. and Marshall St. almost triples the number of units planned for the former site of the River Cafe — from 12 in a proposal aired only a few months ago to 34. But the building’s still set at 7 stories. The embiggening was made possible by expanding the building’s footprint onto a neighboring property (the brick house-turned office to the north) — and switching to an entirely different scheme, from a big-name architecture firm. Philip Johnson, who designed the original campus and many of the buildings for the University of St. Thomas a few blocks away, is not coming back from the dead for this project, but Philip Johnson/Alan Ritchie Architects, the New York firm that still bears his name, has replaced Element Architects as the building’s designers.

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Round Three
08/18/14 8:30am

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Photo of lightning at Greenway Plaza: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

Headlines
08/15/14 4:00pm

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Was it the prevailing breeze, which comes from the southeast, that dictated the balcony placement in the 1982 garage apartment of a 1940 Garden Villas home (top) on nearly an acre of land bordering Sims Bayou? Instead of maximizing private views of the water and cleared watershed to its north (above), the higher-rise building (at far left in the top photo) peeks over the main home and toward the street, which is located west of Telephone Rd. 

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Close Encounters