03/06/15 2:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FOLLOW THE SMOG Map of Ozone Levels Over Houston, August 6, 2012“You do not escape smog in Houston by moving to the burbs. In the summer, Houston has a circular wind pattern that takes ship channel pollutants for a ride out to the suburbs. Go to the Houston Clean Air Network website and set the animation for Aug. 6, 2012. You will see a big area of ozone form over the ship channel that gets blown out to Pearland, then Sugar Land and spends the late afternoon in Cinco Ranch and just east of Katy before starting to drift back east. The worst of the smog slides south of the City and never really gets north of I-10 inside the loop. Ship channel industries account for about 2/3rds of the smog. The rest is motor vehicle emissions. Ship channel industries have made significant progress in reducing and controlling emissions. But more sprawl and more traffic threaten to offset the progress made on the ship channel. Thus, the smog issue is a very real consequence of sprawl that is not escaped by sprawl either.” [Old School, commenting on Holding Back on That Downtown Hotel Push; The Beer Garden, Greenhouse, and Food Court Growing in Prohibition’s Basement] Image: Houston Clean Air Network

03/06/15 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: THE BEST VIEWS IN EVERY SKYHOUSE Plan Detail, SkyHouse Houston, Downtown Houston“I love how the big picture windows in some of the units allow residents to actually sit on the toilet and look out onto the street. I can’t say I want to SEE a resident doing this but it does make this tower unique.” [Daphne Graham, commenting on Have a Look Where Crews Have Begun Digging for the Second Downtown SkyHouse] Plan detail: SkyHouse Houston

03/06/15 12:30pm

DIGGING INTO THE DIRT AROUND THE OLD CODE ENFORCEMENT BUILDING IN MIDTOWN Soil Testing at 3300 Main St., Midtown, HoustonA soil testing crew was spotted earlier this week boring into the earth adjacent to the city’s 2-story former code enforcement building at 3300 Main St., a block north of where the new MATCH arts center is under construction. The city sold the building to the Midtown Redevelopment Authority in 2011. In November of last year, PM Realty Group said it had put the property under contract, but the transaction does not appear to have been completed yet. Photo: Bob Russell

03/06/15 11:30am

WHERE MONTROSE’S FAVORITE CREPE STAND WILL GO AFTER SCORING $52K TO MOVE INDOORS Melange Creperie, 403 Westheimer Rd., Lower Westheimer, Montrose, HoustonWith $2,215 to spare and a crepeload of promised food orders to fulfill, Montrose food stand Melange Creperie concluded a successful Kickstarter this morning. Meeting the $50K fundraising goal means the stand will be moving to an actual indoor location . . . somewhere. Owner and chief crepe-folder Sean Carroll tells Swamplot he’d like the restaurant to stay as close to its current regular location (403 Westheimer, at the corner of Taft St.) as possible — but exactly how close depends on the amount of additional investment that comes in. As a result of the Kickstarter, Carroll says, the restaurant has received a lot of inquiries about — and promises of — equity investment. “As we stand now with our Kickstarter plus our current equity promises . . . we can open a restaurant but it will be smaller and not in Montrose.” If he finds sufficient additional investment, he says, he’ll aim for a Montrose spot that’s about 2,000 sq. ft. and has a patio. [Kickstarter] Photo: Suzanne R.  

03/06/15 8:30am

Westpark Drive at S. Rice Ave.

Photo of Westpark Tollway at S. Rice Ave.: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/05/15 12:00pm

Chopped Trees on Dallas St. Near Milam St., Downtown Houston

A Downtown reader sends in pics of a row of street trees on 6 blocks of Dallas St. that were chopped down over the weekend. The trees are distinctive because most of them were planted in the actual street, not on the adjacent sidewalk. They were planted in the street between parking spaces about 6 years ago, around the same time a single-lane-wide section of sidewalk that now serves a bus stop was installed in front of the HPD headquarters building at the corner of Travis and Dallas.

Here’s a view from above of a row of stumps that sits in front of the McDonald’s at 808 Dallas St.:


Right of Way
03/05/15 11:00am

Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown Houston

A reader who maintains a post office box at the Barbara Jordan Post Office at 401 Franklin St. Downtown has forwarded Swamplot a notice that showed up with the mail earlier this week, inviting box renters to a “town hall” meeting about the upcoming move of post office services at the facility. “Our projected move date is fast approaching,” the flyer reads — though it doesn’t identify when it will be.


Barbara Jordan P.O.
03/05/15 10:00am

Construction of SkyHouse Main, 1725 Main St., Downtown Houston

Work has begun on Houston’s third SkyHouse apartment tower — the second one Downtown. To distinguish it from the similar building just topping out across the West Loop from the Galleria on the former site of one the Westcreek Apartments (the SkyHouse River Oaks), and its twin, the SkyHouse Houston, which also lines Main St., the developers from Atlanta’s Novare Group are calling the new building the SkyHouse Main. The new building and parking garage, at 1725 Main St., will be a block to the south, on the former surface parking lot shown here, on the block also bounded by Pease, Jefferson, and Fannin. Like the SkyHouse Houston, which opened last year, the 24-story SkyHouse Main will have 7,200 sq. ft. of retail space on the ground floor.

The 336-unit highrise is expected to be complete in the first half of 2016.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Twin Tower
03/05/15 8:30am

Water Tower and Abandoned Tennis Court, Pasadena, Texas

Photo of Baywood Country Club, Pasadena: David Elizondo via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/04/15 3:00pm



This 2004 custom home with broad shoulders settles into 3 acres of land south of Spencer Hwy. in La Porte. It’s a Mediterraneanish spread that seems to have a thing for columns, posts, and pillars. A year ago, it debuted on the market at $749K, dropping slightly to $745K in May 2014 and $739K in February 2015. A week ago, a relisting by the same agent kept that final price point.


03/04/15 1:00pm

Jewelry Piece from Mapped: A Survey of Contemporary Houston Jewelry and Metalwork, Central Art Gallery, Houston Community College, 3517 Austin St., Midtown, Houston

Jewelry Piece from Mapped: A Survey of Contemporary Houston Jewelry and Metalwork, Central Art Gallery, Houston Community College, 3517 Austin St., Midtown, HoustonAre you one of those sensitive types who’s always on the lookout for the jewels in the Houston landscape? It can be tough going, right? Try seeking out the jewelry in the Houston landscape instead, and your job just got much easier: Over at HCC’s Central Art Gallery on the corner of Austin and Holman, a group of 17 local artists just opened a show called “Mapped: A Survey of Contemporary Houston Jewelry and Metalwork.” And if the preview images are any guide, the works in the show demonstrate a real appreciation for some very Houston-y stuff. The fencelike brooch at top by Masumi Kataoka is made of copper, enamel, stainless steel, glue, and some sort of animal intestine. Below it is a “neckpiece” by Edward Lane McCartney, forged from bits of in-town teardowns. Caitie Sellers shaped the under-construction piece o’ Downtown below from sterling silver and copper:


Bayou City Jewelry
03/04/15 11:45am

Cornelius Nursery, 1200 N. Dairy Ashford Rd., Energy Corridor, Houston

Remember the Cornelius Nursery at 1200 N. Dairy Ashford Rd. just south of I-10, which closed down at the beginning of the year? (The photos here show the establishment, which sat at the corner of St. Mary’s Ln., just before its final uprooting.) The 3-acre property, it turns out, had been bought by an entity set up by Trammell Crow Residential in early December. A new complex called the Alexan Ashford Apartments is slated for the site. At least that’s the plan.


Ashes to Ashford