According to the Greater Houston Planning Alliance, which heard the news from the Texas Historical Commission — which heard the news from the project’s architect in Dallas — current plans for turning the former Alabama Theater into a Trader Joe’s now call for the terrazzo flooring at the theater’s Shepherd Dr. entrance to be left in place. Building owner Weingarten Realty apparently still has plans to move the front doors 7 or 8 ft. further toward the street, though; according to the GHPA, an accessibility consultant has advised project architect Don Sopranzi that there is no problem with the existing floor’s slope. Weingarten received approval from the city last month to scrape up the swirly patterned flooring outside the entrance and replace it with concrete.
Says the GHPA: “An accessibility consultant has determined that replacing the theater’s non-historic, single swinging doors with a set of double-width, automatic sliding doors will comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and Texas Accessibility Standards (TAS) without removing the terrazzo. No variances will be necessary for this work.” The main, fully accessible entrance will be at the store’s back-parking-lot entrance, which isn’t original anyway. Trader Joe’s has not yet signed a lease on the property.
- Alabama Theater’s colorful terrazzo likely to remain intact [GHPA]
- Alabama Theater coverage [Swamplot]
Photos: Chris Adams (exterior) and David Bush/GHPA (terrazzo)