08/25/16 11:00am

Rendering of Emancipation Park, Dowling St., Third Ward, Houston

Houston Planning Commission chief of staff Brian Crimmins announced yesterday that tomorrow will be the day a proposed name change of Dowling St. is announced to those with property along the road. The planned timeline for a few public meetings and some comment-taking stretches over the course of the next few months, with the if-everything-goes-as-planned rededication date of the street as Emancipation Ave. set for Sunday, November 6. The proposed change would mark the second de-Dowling in Houston this year, following the shifting of Dowling Middle School’s allegiance over to Audrey H. Lawson as part of HISD’s lawsuit-inspiring Confederate expulsion.

Rendering of under-renovation Emancipation Park at 3018 Dowling St.: Phil Frelon

Emancipation Anticipation
07/06/16 11:30am

Guadalupe Park Plaza Redo, 2311 Runnels St., Second Ward, Houston, 77003

The forest of columns behind the newly planted trees above are most of what’s left of the original central plaza structure in Second Ward’s Guadalupe Plaza Park, which the Greater East End Management District says will reopen on July 30th as several years of de- and re-construction work are wrapped up. The 1980s park now caps the western end of the previously redone Navigation Blvd. esplanade, and a landscaped sidewalk now connects the park to Buffalo Bayou at the crossing of Jensen Rd. (right across from the 136-acre KBR campus recently purchased by mixed-use developer Midway).

Here’s the view looking south along the walkway toward the main square from alongside cultural center Talento Bilingue, which the management district says won’t be knocked down until funding is in place to rebuild it: 


Plaza Placement
02/18/16 1:15pm

Future Seafarers International Union Hall, 501 N. York St., Second Ward, Houston, 77003

A reader shipped over these shots of the new Seafarers International Union Hall under construction at 501 N. York St., just south of the crossing of Buffalo Bayou (and of the name change to Hirsch Rd.). An entity called Seafarer’s Building Corporation bought the land from the Buffalo Bayou Partnership in March of last year; the bayou folks snagged it in 2001 from construction materials producer Lafarge, which acquired it as a General Portland cement facility in 1989. The property sits a block down N. York from bayou-side Tony Marron Park, itself immediately upstream of the Dan-Loc Group machining plant.

A close-up of the rendering posted at the job site at the corner with Freund St. shows an access ramp stretching along the N. York side of the property, as well as what appears to be a partially covered upstairs patio:


Coming Together on N. York St.
01/17/14 5:15pm

Lubbock Grove Homes, St. Charles and Garrow Sts., Second Ward, Houston

Lubbock Grove Homes, St. Charles and Garrow Sts., Second Ward, Houston

Got big plans for Saturday night? These 6 Victorian-era Second Ward rowhouses will be parading down 8 blocks of Garrow St. past Settegast Park east of Downtown to new spots further east, in time to escape the construction of some impending townhomes on their longtime lots. The move was originally scheduled for early last week, but was postponed because of a damaged utility pole discovered along the route. (It was also kinda cold.)


Fire Station Friends
09/05/13 12:00pm

As many as 8 new bike-sharing stations could open inside the Loop in the next 2 weeks. Will Rub, director of Houston B-Cycle, tells Swamplot that permits are in hand and the bikes forthcoming for these 5 stations: Spotts Park, at 401 S. Heights Blvd; the intersection of Taft and Fairview, at 2401 Taft St.; the Menil Collection, at 1529 W. Alabama St.; Leonel Castillo Community Center, which is undergoing a restoration at 2109 South St.; and the intersection of Milam and Webster, at 2215 Milam St.

And Rub adds that 3 other locations are just waiting for their permits: Stude Park, at 1031 Stude St., and 2 others east, for the first time, of the Southwest Fwy.: Settegast Park at Garrow and Palmer in the Second Ward, and Project Row Houses at Holman and Live Oak in the Third Ward. Rub expects those to be ready to roll September 19th or 20th.

Photo of station at Lamar and Milam: Reddit user txsupernova

08/21/13 10:05am

A 3-block stretch of the median along Navigation Blvd. was outfitted yesterday with some functional swag — bike racks, bus stops, solar panels and LED string lights, shade screens, benches — designed to perk up the East End streetscape into a shaded little walkable market dubbed The Esplanade. The stretch in question spans N. St. Charles and Delano, running alongside the Original Ninfa’s and the recently opened El Tiempo Cantina.


06/18/13 1:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: STUCK AT THE WEST BELT CROSSING IN THE EAST END “As long as some of those trains take at that awful crossing at Cullen, some people have probably died of old age waiting for the crossing arms to come up (though if you know the neighborhood, all you have to do is get to Milby from behind the old Fingers and you can cross under at Polk. You’re welcome.) That said, while it’s nice that everyone is suddenly so aware of the inconvenience and potential danger of these trains, it isn’t as though this were a new thing. That one Union Pacific line parallel to Harrisburg is just as unpredictable and twice as loud as the one in the article; it runs immediately adjacent to homes for miles. I know; I’ve lived by both. It did this for decades before I got here and no one has done anything about it that I know of, but I suppose that’s the price paid when the neighborhood’s skin isn’t quite as light and its homes aren’t quite as expensive. I understand, though; when the town-home dwelling white folks aren’t happy, nobody’s happy.” [Chris, commenting on Headlines: Waiting for Trains in the East End; Waiting for Dunkin’ Donuts in Montrose]

09/14/12 2:21pm

HUMMUS AND FALAFEL TAKING OVER FOR COLD CHICKEN IN SECOND WARD Pita Pal plans to turn the 93,000-sq.-ft. former refrigerated processed meats factory at the corner of Canal St. and North Palmer east of Downtown that it just bought from Tyson Foods into a well-oiled hummus, salad, and falafel-making machine — powered by 100 new employees, and maybe another 100 later. A full 39,000 sq. ft. of the warehouse space on the 4-acre site is refrigerated; when Tyson ran it there was room for 1,300 workers. Pita Pal president Melissa Navon tells reporter Molly Ryan it may be tough to find experienced food-service workers in Houston, but that she expects to find enough experienced oil industry and medical personnel to meet the company’s needs. [Houston Business Journal] Photo of 3100 Canal St.: LoopNet

04/09/12 11:24am

MOON TOWER INN’S BICYCLE PARKING SCORE Whenever it gets around to reopening as a brewery, Second Ward hotdog HQ Moon Tower Inn will still have only a single off-street parking spot — thanks to an accommodation agreed to by the planning commission. Owner Evan Shannon agreed to provide rack space for 40 bicycles instead of the 5 additional car spaces that would have otherwise been required at 3004 Canal St. Helpful in securing the exception from the city: a few bike-riding employees — and plenty of on-street parking in the food stand’s mostly industrial neighborhood. [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Marty E.

02/17/12 10:47am

WTF IS TAKING THE SHIPPING CONTAINERS SO LONG AT THE MOON TOWER INN An only slightly cleaned-up report on the progress of the brewery and shipping-container redo at the Canal St. bar, straight from the Moon Tower Inn Facebook page: “as you all should know, we’re late for everything and some time’s we just plain don’t show up. but DO NOT WORRY, moon tower will be OPEN SOON. using new technology (shipping containers etc) is tricky business and moves a lil slow with our fine city. so, we’re not gonna say exactly when we’ll be back open yet ’cause we’re ass holes like that and we like the suspense. but, our brewery equipment is damn near built and the containers for the kitchen and bar are being fitted at a welding yard and are almost ready to bring on-site! so… everything’s a go! SEE YOU THIS SPRING . . .” [Moon Tower Inn on Facebook, via Eater Houston; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Eddie S.

02/28/11 6:40pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE SLICE OF HOUSTON WHERE NOBODY’S HOME “I did NRFU (Non Response Followup) surveys for the census in the wedge between 45 and the Ship Channel and this doesn’t suprise me at all. LOTS of people don’t answer the door. Lots more told me of one, two, or three residents when in fact an evening visit’s observations yielded six or eight.” [Some d00d, commenting on Houston to Census Bureau: Count Again]

10/06/09 9:48am

And now, a rare look at the Second Ward’s indigenous Ship Channel dance ceremony, performed along the gentle banks of Buffalo Bayou and celebrating the bountiful fall harvest of crushed concrete.

Video: Freneticore

07/23/08 1:06pm

ALEXAN LOFTS ON THE MARKET Trammell Crow Residential and Morgan Stanley are ready to sell the 224-unit Alexan Lofts, the Second Ward apartments just northeast of Downtown on the site of the failed El Mercado del Sol. Multi-year historic tax credits on the property expire in September. [Globe St.]