04/07/15 3:30pm



The front yard of a property in Camp Logan’s Minola section is nice and shady. So’s the driveway that takes up most of it, though it shares critical space with a well-established tree. Both are located across from Camp Logan Park, or whatever folks call the grasslands formed by a triangle of streets at Wanita Pl. and Taggart St. The 1940 home (the listing calls it 1980) re-renovated its 1995 renovations earlier this year. After 2 weeks on the market at $1.2 million, the 2-toned home took a brief breather on Friday before re-listing. The property’s price tag took a trim and is now asking $1.1 million.


Peak Experience
04/29/14 5:00pm



Unlike the other townhomes in this 1992 Camp Logan 4-pak, the corner slot’s deep driveway is on the side. That frees up front-lot space for a gated entry and extra landscaping, all on view from the curvy balcony, as is Camp Logan Park across the street. The property stacks its taller portion on the back lot. Last week, the listing hit market with a $500,000 asking price.


End Cap
02/12/14 5:00pm



Standing side by side and way, way back on their neighboring lot-ettes, mirror-image mini-mansions with mid and upper decks front Rodrigo Park in the Camp Logan area off Wescott near Memorial Park. The setback from the street and its drainage ditch leaves space for a ground-level front patio fenced at the dividing line. Earlier this week, the brick-and-stucco 2011 home on the right (top) was listed with a $1.295 million asking price.


Doubled Parking
06/18/12 12:27pm

Here’s a twilight view of a first test last Friday night of one of the new Light Garden sculptures installed a few weeks ago at the Washington on Westcott roundabout — in advance of Tuesday’s turning-on ceremony. Two of 3 LED light fixture assemblies by Houston sculptor Tim Glover are planned for the intersection, the “four corners” spot for native tribes from Woodcrest, Crestwood, Rice Military, and Camp Logan. The WOW Roundabout Initiative plans to raise funds for the third.


09/30/10 1:20pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: MICROLOTS BY THE PARK “I think most people flee because they think they need yards for those kids, and with X amount of money you can either buy a house from the 50s on a lot or a townhome from the 80s to now on a microlot. I have a five year old and moved from my last two homes on lots (including Lazybrook) to a townhome in the 77007 and couldn’t be happier. We live next to the biggest, most amazing parks in the city, the arboretum, etc – why would I mow my own yard when I can walk a block to that?! This is turning out to be a better place to raise my kid than any of those neighborhoods were.” [Brandy C, commenting on Comment of the Day: Moving for Kids]

08/12/09 6:18pm

And now, a view of the scene at the former Westcott Bar by the entrance to Memorial Park, where Swamplot’s Rice Military correspondent is ready at the camera. The address: 6603 Westcott, at the corner of Durford.

That banner at the front is announcing a new location for the Onion Creek Coffee House.

Two more views:


07/07/09 12:04pm

More action in the ongoing battle over the Washington Ave. Spec’s: Responding in kind to the lawsuit filed against his company by the Harris County District Attorney in March, the owner of Spec’s has filed his own complaint against the city of Houston and Harris County.

The new countersuit claims that by granting the store permits, the city had agreed to allow the Spec’s at the Washington and Westcott roundabout to sell alcohol — even though the property was less than 1000 ft. from Memorial Elementary School. According to a city ordinance, only establishments earning more than half their revenue from food sales are allowed to sell alcohol within 1000 ft. of a school.

Spec’s owner John Rydman says the city agreed to issue the permits to sell alcohol at the store

even though the proximity to the school was noted on the application. He said he renovated a building and entered into a five-year lease at a cost of $2 million based on the assumption that the permits were valid. . . .

In a previous interview, Rydman said he knew of the potential problem and would not commit to build out the property or to sign a lease unless the city agreed to a variance. When the permits were granted, he said he thought all obstacles had been cleared.

The Harris County Attorney’s office contends that the granting of the permit was a simple error — and Spec’s officials knew it.

Meanwhile, a Swamplot reader writes in with a few pointed questions about the roles of the building’s owner and leasing agent in the dispute:


03/30/09 8:18am

WASHINGTON AVE SPEC’S: TOO CLOSE FOR SOUTHERN COMFORT The Harris County Attorney’s office filed suit last week, demanding the Spec’s Beer and Wine store at 6100 Washington Ave. — near the Westcott roundabout — be shut down. The new store is within 1000 ft. of a school. How’d it get there? “In December 2007 [Spec’s owner John Rydman] sent a letter explaining his intent to the school — Memorial Elementary — and put in an application with the city. To his surprise, the city said yes. He said he assumed that since the proposed store was a couple of blocks away, across a major intersection and not even visible from school property, the city had granted him an exception to the rule. He said he double-checked to make sure there were no problems and was assured that neither the city nor the school district opposed the prospective store. About $400,000 later, and on the hook for a lease totaling $2.4 million more, Rydman now finds himself at odds with the state, which wants to yank his license. The law is the law, says the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and since a formal variance was not given by the city, Spec’s is violating it.” [Houston Chronicle]

02/10/09 5:51pm

It sure is hard to keep straight all those white-stucco Modern homes a few Houston architects keep churning out. Which probably explains the big “oops” in the latest issue of Houston Lifestyles & Homes magazine, a free publication distributed to “45,000 upscale homes in the Houston area.”

February’s cover story, “An Inside Outside House,” centers around the somewhat spectacular home local architect-builders MC² built for Barry and Sherry Johnson, along the edge of a fault line on a small lot adjacent to Memorial Park. The tall and narrow home, which features a three-story living space, slanted columns holding up a V-shaped roof, and third-floor balconies looking out over a pool, was featured in a Houston AIA home tour last year.