This timely building at 4819 Harrisburg in Eastwood, built in 1935 for the Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Co., showed up in yesterday’s Daily Demolition Report. The architect was Sol R. Slaughter, who also designed a home on the bayou in Idylwood the same year.
The building faces Metro’s new East End Corridor light-rail line. Rice University project manager Spencer Howard writes in with a few details, but isn’t exactly sure what’s going on:
The building was renovated as an artist live/work/gallery just a few years ago.
METRO pledged to save the facade of the building with the clock on it, across from Eastwood Park. They preferred to have someone else buy it and move it, but if that didn’t happen, they were going to move it back on the property and reattach it behind the new setback. Yesterday they sent out the demolition list for next Monday and it was on it. The neighborhood has alerted their gov’t reps.
For all of the 1990s, the laundry building was the home and studio of Houston artist William Steen, who also worked as a framer for the Menil Collection. Beginning in 1998, Steen allowed a group of neighborhood artists to paint an ever-changing mural on the building’s 100-foot-long southish wall, facing Stiles St.
In the summer of 2001, Steen got into a tiff with the Houston Police Department after an anti-graffiti task force whitewashed the wall while he was away — without his permission. Steen moved to New York the following year, and died at the end of last year, of pancreatic cancer.
- William Steen 1949-2008 [Glasstire]
- William Steen, 1949-2008 [Flickr]
- Murals and the Mind Police [Houston Press]
- Daily Demolition Report: Storming the Palace