Around the Museum District Block Hines Likes for a 22-Story Apartment Highrise

Hines has confirmed that it’s considering a 20- or 22-story apartment tower for this block in the Museum District. This photo shows the corner of Oakdale and Caroline St., across from the Asia Society Texas Center and a recently cleared corner lot that wouldn’t sell to the Asia Society Texas Center. A source tells Swamplot that 3 of the 4 properties on this block bound by Caroline, San Jacinto, Oakdale, and Southmore have sold to Hines, and that Hines will take those over on July 1.


And what are those properties? The ones that would be demolished, that is? It appears that one of them is 5212 Caroline, one of 4 buildings (as that directory indicates) in a Tetris-like apartment complex on the southeast corner of the block. The photo immediately above is taken from a spot as though above the “cy” in “Emergency Contact,” facing the courtyard.

And this is the view looking down Oakdale toward San Jacinto:

That’s a lot of oaks. Further south across Oakdale (or to the left in the photo immediately above) is the Clayton House. Turning right from Oakdale to San Jacinto, you can see even more shade and how close the light rail runs:

Heading north on San Jacinto toward Southmore, you can see what appears to be a vacant house that county records indicate dates to 1919. It was most recently used as an institute for the science of eyelash extension:

A day watchman appears to be napping on the job in the house’s gazebo:

Below: This house at Caroline and Southmore, catty-corner from the Asia Society’s parking lot, seems to be the lone holdout. Another source speculates to Swamplot that Hines might build around the house if it continues to refuse to sell.

Photos: Allyn West

20 Comment

  • This cute, sylvan residential block was a detriment to the city of Houston and must be gone. Dolla’ wills it.

  • Hines should have built it closer to UH. With all the townhomes being sold near that area and the cheap property, it’s a perfect time to revitalize that area

  • Why not 3rd Ward? 3rd Ward is the low minor leagues still. They’re not trying to build 20 floors to provide student housing or apts for those who can’t afford to buy $250K townhomes.
    Hines’ VP said,
    “We also think the location, being proximate to the rail line and all those amazing cultural offerings, would be a fabulous and desirable place to live.”

    They’re trying to build something high-end and artistic in an area that could become the residential highrise district for the next century.
    The only thing that will save those nice, historic homes around there would be a bubble bursting economic bomb.

  • Just because you can build a high-rise bldg anywhere in Houston doesn’t mean you should. Perfect example is that thing on Shepherd. Sticks out like a sore thumb.

  • It’s unfortunate that this is happening on the site of some fairly decent pre-WW2 buildings and mature trees. Sorry that this project isn’t happening closer to Main Street, where there are some pretty unattractive buildings and vacant lots.

  • @Anonymous nailed it

  • @colleen – what high rise on Shepherd?

  • @ Guest – I’m guessing colleen means the building just north of Fairview, built about 10 minutes before the 80s bust.

  • the vacant home once belonged to my mother’s family……. they were never LDS and that collection would have never been taken from the Houston Main Library, damn sure not in my families name

  • Perfect example of why Houston needs zoning. Some say it’s too late, but with builders eager to clear cut every lot they can, build mid-rises and high rises inside neighborhoods, subdivide lots into tiny thatches, zoning would still be a useful tool in a city that seems to care nothing for its neighborhoods.

  • haha…I love to see all the NIMBYS get there panties in a bunch!

  • Sad to see these buildings go. I lived in this complex in the 5220 Caroline building. For the most part, they were well kept and depending on the unit, incredibly spacious. The rought iron balconies on the backside facing the court yard were really cool, and I would definitely recommend taking a peak inside of the property before it gets knocked down. It’s truly one of the more unique properties in town. While I was there, some of the tenants claimed to have lived there for years, but were not as happy with the new ownership and/or management. Apparently, the previous owners (sometime before 2006) had a lot more pride in the xomplex, and the new owner did not live in state and thus rarely visited the complex. I hope the property on the corner of Southmore and Caroline holds out, it’s one of my favorites in the neighborhood.

  • How in the world is a 100 yo PRISTINE LIVED IN HOME on the National Register a detriment to the neighborhood!!! Mike, have you EVER looked at this home? IT’s a LANDMARK (if you know what that is. SHAME ON HINES for wanting to tear it down!!! RUINS the entire PARK LIKE feel of the neighborhood!!! WHAT IDIOTS!!!!!!!!

  • The Winslow Court Apartments were built by the Russell Brown Company in 1928, at a cost of $50,000 (not cheap in those days). The permit was taken by Henry Hardie Robertson, a oil operator. There is no other building in Houston like this one, and it will be a shame to see it go down. It is truly one of a kind.

  • That ‘holdout’ property is beautiful. I hope it stays.

  • what???

    “From Kanye or Puffy:
    the vacant home once belonged to my mother’s family……. they were never LDS and that collection would have never been taken from the Houston Main Library, damn sure not in my families name”

  • “holdout” has sold. Bye bye house.

  • I was already bummed about this but now that I’ve clicked here and I see it’s those incredibly cool apartments on Caroline…I’m just heartbroken. I always wanted to rent an apartment there.

    The heartbreak of being a native Houstonian…

  • Well, it’s happening. Just received word from a friend who lives at 5220 Caroline that the demo is proceeding soon, they’ll be vacating in a couple of weeks.

  • I lived in this amazing place for several years in the early 1980s, first on the fourth floor of the main building and then in a really small unit above the laundry. When I moved in, it had just been renovated by a landlord who kept a number of small complexes, mostly in the Montrose neighborhood. The Caroline / Oakdale neighborhood was a little dicey back then, but the complex attracted a diverse range of people including zookeepers, lawyers, artists, Doctors, architects, an opera singer, and a UH Student (me) who got to know each other and chilled on summer evenings in the courtyard. The place was unique in Houston as a collection of buildings that had organically grown together. Architecture that had been nurtured over years, lovingly. I was shocked when I looked with google maps today to see a leveled patch of dirt where this vibrant enclave stood. It is unfortunate, although not completely a surprise, that there is not the level of appreciation around Houston for a place with real beauty that would allow it to avoid the wrecking ball.. Like that neighborhood really needs another 22 story plain vanilla high rise.