03/16/18 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO MAKE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD’S NEW STRIP CENTER MORE PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY “Just walk around to the other side and pretend that’s the front. Then the parking lot will be in the back! A walkable solution!” [Memebag, commenting on The Strip Center with Offices Above Planned for the Corner of Chimney Rock and San FelipeSite plan of Shops at Tanglewood proposed for San Felipe St. at Chimney Rock Rd.: Edge Realty

03/13/18 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT’S STILL MISSING FROM THE TOP OF THE CENTRAL SQUARE PLAZA REDO “After all the beautiful exterior enhancements, does Claremont plan to update and restore functionality of the enormous electronic retro clock on top of the building? The building now looks so nice. I can’t believe the clock sitting on top has not been restored, paint peeling off and not turned on, especially when it completes the whole retro-mod feel of the entire project.” [Unsure About This, commenting on Midtown’s Redone Central Square Plaza Looking To Lure Tenants to Its Empty Ground Floor] Photo of former Central Square Plaza clock: meltedplastic [license]

03/01/18 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW THE RUSTY RESTAURANT LOOK MADE ITS WAY TO HOUSTON I blame Austin. Check out Uchi on Westheimer with its weathered metal patio screening. Or the late, unlamented Doc’s across the street, resplendent in the sort of patina that can be attained only through time (several hours’ worth of antiquing). Both had their roots in that fair city. If property owners want to transform their buildings into movie sets for Larry McMurtry stories, I suppose it’s their business (and businesses). Frankly, any change from the ubiquitous cheap stucco and warped sheet metal panels that clad Houston’s lesser buildings is welcome. There will be more attempts at false history; eventually, this trend will run its course.” [Big Tex, commenting on The Heavy Metal Taco Redo Now Taking Shape on N. Main off I-45] Photo of former El Taquito Rico, 3701 N. Main St.: Swamplot inbox

02/16/18 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A CLOSER GROCERY QUARTERS ON WESTHEIMER “Four grocery stores in the same mile of West Alabama is a pretty good selection. Reminds me of the Westheimer Supermarket Battle Royale near the Westchase area, where Fiesta, Phoenicia, HEB, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods are vying for your food dollars in a 2-mile stretch.” [slugline, commenting on The Great W. Alabama Grocery Store Corridor] Photo of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, 12141 Westheimer Rd.: Farrah A.

02/16/18 1:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: A SOGGY MOD FOR GRABS IN BRAESWOOD “For what it’s worth, my house flooded. I’m selling as is and would be thrilled for the free publicity.” [Joe, commenting on Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Halfway House] Photo of 3611 N. Braeswood Blvd.: HAR

02/09/18 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: IDENTIFYING THE WILDLIFE ON THE VALENTINE CORNER LAW OFFICE IN SEABROOK “So those are dolphins along the sidewalk, made many years ago by Mr. Miller across the street. And there were sharks on the side of the building up high. I took them down a few years ago to have the sharks polished, and the guy I hired disappeared with my 2 sharks.” [Michael Valentine, commenting on TxDOT Wins Custody of Head-Turning Tiny Law Office in Seabrook Ahead of Planned Hwy. 146 Widening] Photo of Valentine Law Office, 1210 Bayport Blvd.: BFS Man [license]

02/07/18 1:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: TEXAS CENTRAL’S PARKING GARAGE ISN’T JUST A SIDE GIG “Site plans of both stations (Houston and Dallas) make it clear that the revenue model for this project isn’t selling train tickets — it’s selling parking. This site is ideal for that purpose: there’s no where nearby (walking distance) to compete for parking revenue, and it has a much cheaper land cost than Downtown. If you’re going to make the station 80 percent parking garage, why bother spending the extra money running it all the way to Downtown?” [Angostura, commenting on What Texas Central’s Proposed Houston Bullet Train Station Looks Like in Place of the Northwest Mall] Conceptual rendering of Houston bullet train station from W. 18th St.: Texas Central

02/06/18 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: UNINCORPORATED HARRIS COUNTY OUGHT TO START INCORPORATING “Since the population is booming in unincorporated Harris County, it may approach a tipping point where the representation may need to be increased on the Commissioners Court. As it stands now, there are 4 Commissioners plus the County Judge, a total of 5 elected officials for this burgeoning population. Conceivably, we could have 8 Commissioners plus the judge so that each ‘slice’ of the county could be fewer people and theoretically, there would be more responsiveness from the county office to a given resident. That being said, I don’t mind more townships or small cities being created to mop up the unincorporated areas so that each burg could work to benefit its taxpayers. Basically, a divide and conquer approach (or ‘zone defense’ if you want another metaphor), but to provide responsive, efficient service to its own residents. There is only so much that the county can do when it has to cover the whole of Harris County.” [Wolf Brand Chili, commenting on The Astonishing Rise of Unincorporated Harris County] Illustration: Lulu  

02/01/18 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A NEW DOWNTOWN BIKING MAIN LANE “. . . Metro and the City of Houston should close Main St. to vehicle traffic and make it a bike/pedestrian lane. It’s terribly confusing and extremely slow compared to the lanes next to it and causes more harm than good. People love to hate on bike lanes, but I bet all the haters avoid driving on Main like the plague already.” [HeyHeyHouston, commenting on Council Cuts a Break on Harvey Water Bills; Metro Cracking Down on Illegal Turns Across Tracks; Latest Timeline on the San Jacinto Waste Pits Cleanup] Photo of Main St. at Franklin St.: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

01/31/18 1:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE SWALE SOLUTION “I had this problem at my house. Over the course of 100 years, about 6 to 8 inches of soil had been added around the house. The ground comes up almost to the top of the first step to my front porch. I dug down and found an old gravel walkway under all the built-up soil. During heavy rain, a lake would form under the house and take about a day or 2 to drain out. I had 4 different contractors come out and look at it. Quotes ranged from $3,000 to $24,000 for several variations on french drains and more elaborate drainage systems. I would have gone for it, except that all of the drainage designs would direct water to the drainage ditch in front of my house. That ditch fills up and holds water about as long as the lake under the house does. I then decided to wing it with a DIY solution. I put down gravel paths along both sides of the house. I dug out about 6 inches of dirt for the path and put the dirt under the house. The gravel path had about 2 to 3 inches of sand under 2 to 3 inches of gravel. Problem solved. The gravel paths fill up with water during a downpour but drain out pretty quickly. The added soil under the house keeps it from filling up with water. All in cost was about $500 plus a weekend of back-breaking labor.” [Old School, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Key to a Happy Life Atop Your Pier and Beam] Photo of pier and beam construction at 1648 Harold St.: Jeff Grant

01/29/18 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE KEY TO A HAPPY LIFE ATOP YOUR PIER AND BEAM “The soil here is something like 80% clay, so the most important thing is drainage. Water cannot be trapped under the house; it has to have a way to drain to the street, or you have problems. Many of the older homes add soil to their yards causing the space under the house to be lower, and they don’t provide a way for the water to drain — which is necessary.” [jeff, commenting on Raising the Requirements for New Developments; Catching Up with Houston’s Rental Demand; Drought Returns to Texas] Illustration: Lulu

01/22/18 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: STILL HOLDING UP DESPITE THE FAULTY WIRING “I was an employee of — and later a friend of — Jerry J. Moore, and was the only electrical contractor he would allow to work on this property. I know it inside and out. First, as of January 2018, it is still standing. During the early 2000s it was a bit of a maintenance nightmare. It was an old electrical system. The mechanical systems were always needing work. The interior and structure were in good shape, but to be a modern home it would need to be gutted and upgraded with more modern systems. I have many good memories of Jerry and Jean and was lucky to be their friend. I hope the main house stays, but the entire area is being rebuilt with new mansions, so it may be only a matter of time . . . and money.” [James Burrell, commenting on Is Jerry J. Moore’s Friar Tuck French Palace Ready To Be Demolished?; previously on Swamplot] Photo of 306 E. Friar Tuck Ln.: HAR

01/17/18 5:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: STILL STRANDED “My first thought is that raising a home might protect the physical property, but it doesn’t remove it from the path of floodwaters. A flooding event could still strand a family, potentially putting them in a life-threatening situation from which others would have to rescue them. Tax roll aside, is this the right thing to do?” [Nice Neighbor, commenting on Comment of the Day: Why It Pays To Raise Those Flooded Meyerland Homes] Photo: Christine Gerbode