07/25/14 3:15pm

1919 Swift Blvd., Southgate, Houston

With its streamlined demilune tower and moat-like driveway, an austere 1979 Southgate home could be considered a contemporary castle, particularly in the imaginations of neighborhood youngsters riding around the block of mostly thirties-vintage housing. There’s plenty inside this property’s C-shaped structure to make up for its no-peeking from curbside blankness, however . . .


White Castle with Sliders
07/25/14 2:15pm

Randalls Grocery Store, 11041 Westheimer Rd., Westchase Shopping Center, Westchase, HoustonA new 45,000-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market will move into a portion of the soon-to-be-closing recently closed Randalls grocery store in the Westchase Shopping Center, landlord Weingarten Realty announced today. The 25,663-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market that’s been operating in the same REIT’s Market at Westchase since 1991 — just across Wilcrest at 11145 Westheimer — will shutter when the new Whole Foods opens — in 2016.


Chasing Groceries in Westchase
07/25/14 12:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BANKING ON OTHER PEOPLE’S FEARS Socioeconomic Segregation“. . . Housing preferences can be a multifaceted thing. However, when you look at patterns of socioeconomic segregation within society, yeah I would say that the evidence is damning . . . to society. (I do not have any policy prescriptions. I think that good intentions are too often and too easily co-opted by the powers that be.) At the very least, at the barest minimum, a significant enough portion of homeowners anticipate that the market moves on the premise of socioeconomic segregation that their anticipation of demand for segregation is itself what makes the market segregated. This is the polite premise underlying white flight, and it was as true in Riverside 50 years ago as it was 10 years ago in Spring and Missouri City and as it is today in various places I prefer not to call out by name in order not to be part of the problem.” [TheNiche, commenting on The End of the New Starter Home in Houston; A Marketing Campaign for Airline Dr.] Illustration: Lulu

07/25/14 11:30am

HOW HOUSTON SCAVENGERS STAYED OUT OF GUTTERS AND DITCHES BACK THEN Elinor Evans Collection of Can Pull Tabs Culled from Houston StreetsEmbedded in a profile of 99-year-old artist Elinor Evans, who taught freshman design at the university in the sixties, seventies, and eighties — and whose exhibition of collages at the Moody Gallery opened earlier this month — is this bit of old-fashioned Houston street smarts: “She retrieved another basket and displayed a most orderly collection of hundreds of aluminum pull-tabs. Decades ago, Houston’s streets sloped inward and the centers provided ripe pickings for Evans, who said she surveyed them for ‘as found’ objects of interest.” [Rice News; exhibition] Still image: Rice News

07/25/14 10:45am

Texas A&M Flag Flying on Crane, Skyhouse Houston, Downtown HoustonJust last week Swamplot ran an item about the ironworker who got canned for draping a University of Alabama flag at the Kyle Field construction site in College Station. But after spotting a Texas A&M banner hoisted onto the crane for the SkyHouse Houston apartment tower Alliance Residential’s Block 334 apartment building going up at the corner of Main St. and Leeland yesterday, Twitterer-about-town PoppyPetalled wonders if flying college colors on construction sites has become “a thing.” Here’s a longer view:


07/25/14 8:30am

Biscuit Paint Wall at 1435 Westheimer

Photo of Biscuit Paint Wall on Biscuit Home at 1435 Westheimer: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

07/24/14 4:45pm

Site of Future Stanley Park Dr., Timbergrove Manor, Houston

Site of Future Stanley Park Dr., Timbergrove Manor, HoustonAn increasing number of weed-whacking and drive-up visits to the site “after a stagnant period” suggest to a Swamplot reader that development activity may soon begin on Lovett Homes’ Stanley Park development, a collection of 78 patio-home sites drawn but not yet carved out of a vacant lot at the southern border of Timbergrove Manor just north of the railroad tracks, paralleling Queenswood Ln. A new street named Stanley Park Dr., with accompanying similarly named stub streets, is planned to connect what are now dead ends at Shirkmere Rd. and Shelterwood Dr. The photo above shows the Shirkmere entrance to the future neighborhood. Sunflowers have sprouted quickly after the last weed-whacking event — in a portion of the development cleared of trees several years ago.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Stanley Park
07/24/14 2:15pm

Former Weingarten Mansion, 4000 S. MacGregor Way, Riverside Terrace, Houston

Former Weingarten Mansion, 4000 S. MacGregor Way, Riverside Terrace, Houston

The MacGregor Way mansion built for the family of Houston grocery pioneer Joseph Weingarten went up for sale last week, providing Houston oldtimers and other more recent converts to old-school real estate ogling a first opportunity to confirm or contradict their suspicions about what the interior of the once-proud 1939 Joseph Finger-designed estate looks like in its . . . uh, unattended state.

The listing photos don’t disappoint, providing an air of grandeur to the vast interiors — peeling paint, leaky window units, rumpled carpet and all. Better yet, the 4-bedroom, 5,480-sq.-ft. property on 4.73 acres (most of them in the 100-year floodplain) has no deed restrictions or historical protections, which sets the Brays Bayou-side perch in Riverside Terrace as the latest scene of a no-schemes-barred Houston-style bidding-and-bitching rumble. (Multiple offers have already been submitted by developers eager to scrape the home and carve up the property into separate homesites).


This Was His Home, It Is For Sale
07/24/14 11:15am

Construction of Doc's Bar & Grill, 1303 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, Houston

Rendering of Doc's Bar & Grill, 1303 Westheimer Rd., Montrose, HoustonWhat’s been going on with the transformation of the former Wendy’s at 1303 Westheimer Rd. into the first Houston location of Doc’s Bar & Grill? The Austin import had been aiming for a November opening — last year. Now the target date is late August — a full year after Swamplot’s original story on the venture. A publicist attributes the delay to “a city plan to widen Westheimer,” which triggered some sort of redesign.

Here’s how it’s supposed to look when it’s finished:


Doc’s in Montrose
07/24/14 8:30am


Photo of Millennium High Street: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool