11/13/18 1:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT DRIVE-BY SIGHTSEERS STAND TO LOOSE WITHOUT MEMORIAL DR. Open space in an urban context can be experienced in a positive way while in a car, and for many people who do not have time to dally, this is the only positive urban experience that they are likely to have on a regular basis. The idea of a ‘parkway’ is not inherently evil. And yes, it requires land, and yes, urban land is a precious thing . . . but when it generates both appreciation and a sheer volume of use, that is justified on more than simply a utilitarian basis.” [TheNiche, commenting on Comment of the Day: Swapping Out Memorial Dr.’s Speedway Setup for Something Worth Walking] Illustration: Lulu

11/09/18 1:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SWAPPING OUT MEMORIAL DR.’S SPEEDWAY SETUP FOR SOMETHING WORTH WALKING Remove the freeway configuration of Memorial Dr. from Shepherd to Downtown. An urban street is all that is needed here since this mid-century design was prior to I-10 and was the original route for Katy-bound suburbanites. The bayou is now the destination — not a place to flee at break-neck speeds. Besides, the freeway configuration is useless as it ends prior to Memorial Park. The configuration has exceeded its useful life and is actually in very poor condition. Reasonable thought to an improved alternative is preferred and hopefully includes more park space.” [El Chico, commenting on Plucking the Cloverleafs off Waugh Dr. at Memorial So Extra Park Space Can Take Their Place] Illustration: Lulu

11/01/18 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CONGRESS AVE. COLLAPSE WAS A LONG TIME COMING “Yeah, if you look on the street view of the building prior to collapse: nice big cracks in the masonry, which looks like a double or single wythe on the front and triple wythe in the sides. All of the bracing for the masonry appears to be missing, too. (You can see the slots at the higher elevations for the roof joists, which would have acted as a diaphragm for the structure.) Kind of amazing it took this long to collapse. Guess last night’s winds were enough to push it over the edge.” [Purdueenginerd, commenting on The Impromptu Collapse of a Congress Ave. Strip’s Most Worn-Out Pioneer] Photo: Arch-ive

10/29/18 5:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SURF’S UP, JUST OUTSIDE THE GRAND PKWY. “I was cycling out beyond Katy a few months ago and found this neighborhood called Katy Lakes. Several artificial lakes in the middle of nowhere. People put their boats on the water, etc. and I thought, you could barely drive your boat 1/2 mile before you were done. I guess it’s a great use of retention land, but it still struck me as odd.” [Purdueenginerd, commenting on Man-Made Lagoon Experts’ Second Houston Swimming Hole: 12-Acres Big, 10-Ft. Deep] Photo showing under-construction August Lakes subdivision and existing Lakes of Katy subdivision behind it: August Lakes

10/29/18 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: THE ‘FOOD HALL’ THRESHOLD “A food COURT is a cluster of food vendors, often with shared seating, in a place whose primary purpose is something else (shopping mall, airport). A food HALL is a cluster of food vendors, often with shared seating, in a place whose primary purpose is serving food.” [Angostura, commenting on Ranking Houston’s Pricey Rentals; Bellaire Food Street Picks Up Popsicle Vendor; Jersey Village’s New Office-Park Brewery] Photo of Lyric Market at night: Random Sky Studio

10/26/18 4:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: MINCHEN HOUSE LOOKS GOOD UNDER THE HOOD “Part of the house is pier and beam and part has a basement — some of the vents visible are actually basement windows. Both the pier and beam and the basement portions of the foundation are totally solid.” [Jim, commenting on An 87-Year-Old North Blvd. House with as Many Awards as Its Owner] Photo of 1753 North Blvd., recently listed for sale: Ed Uthman [license]

10/25/18 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: PARSLEY STUDIOS’ BIKE LAB REDO COMES FULL CIRCLE “Blue Line Bike Lab’s owners are brothers Fred and David Zapalac whose mother Patti Moore Zapalac graduated from Reagan High School in 1966 — actually had senior pictures taken at Parsley Photography!” [Patti Zapalac, commenting on Blue Like Lab Now Has Parsley Studios’ Former Yale St. Building Color-Coded] Photo of former Parsley Studios, soon-to-be Blue Line Bike Lab: Swamplox inbox

10/23/18 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE NEXT HEIGHTS WANNABEES NEED A BRIDGE TO GET WHERE THEY’RE GOING “They are trying to punch Patterson St. to the north and call it an extension of the Heights. There was an apartment group looking at the Baton Rouge tract a while ago.” [bocepus, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Swift Removal] Map of 8.6-acre tract between the MKT trail and W. 6th St., across the bayou from Paterson St.: Houston Planning Commission

09/27/18 5:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHITE OAK’S WOULD-BE TALLEST BUILDING “So the robo-garage on White Oak will be ‘no taller than 75 ft.‘ ?” That’s about 5 or 6 stories, which is exceedingly tall in that particular location. It will certainly stick out, when no other building in the immediate area is even half that height.” [Donald (not that one), commenting on How Houston’s 2 Planned Robo-Parking Garages Compare in Size] Map showing proposed automated parking garage on White Oak Dr.: Centric Commercial

09/18/18 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON’S POPULATION FORECAST DOESN’T ACCOUNT FOR THE WEATHER “These studies always miss the boat on the climate change; I’d be surprised if population growth in Houston and the surrounding area hasn’t plateaued and maybe even begun to decrease by 2040. Let me put it this way: If even the most conservative projections are correct, I wouldn’t want to be living here then. If you think the flooding and the summer temperatures are bad now . . .” [Christian, commenting on Houston’s Population Will Break 10M by 2040, Says METRO Study] Illustration: Lulu

09/06/18 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE HOUSTON’S PARKING MATH DOESN’T QUITE ADD UP “Is it typical for a municipality to use GFA (Gross Floor Area) to calculate parking requirements for businesses? Would Net Floor Area be more accurate and eliminate this debate? Gross Floor Area calculations includes things like mechanical rooms, bathrooms, hallways, storage areas, and refrigeration while Net Floor Area excludes those areas and could be considered the actual space where a business actually accommodates customers and staff. In Houston a business owner must provide a parking space for its water heater, toilets, air handler, and inventory. A little dramatic yes, but I’m not oversimplifying.” [Steskal, commenting on Here’s Everywhere Off-Street Parking Requirements Will No Longer Apply If City Council Says So] Illustration: Lulu

09/05/18 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE BRIO LATENCY EFFECT “I moved to Sageglen in 1981 during kindergarten and went to Weber all the way through 6th grade and onto Webster. We played in the ditches catching crawdads, waded through flood waters, and drank the water freely. So many friends lived in Southbend so plenty of time was spent there as well playing throughout the neighborhood on what we thought were playgrounds and neighborhood pools. During the notification process of the contamination, my mother (Chinese and unable to read English at the time) was never aware of any class action suit. I, being a child, only knew we weren’t allowed to drink from the water fountains and didn’t even know what a class action suit or toxic contamination was at the time. Thus, we never signed up for it, nor received any compensation whatsoever. . . After reading all the accounts of vague health issues, I am realizing more and more that my own health issues are pretty much parallel. This cannot be a coincidence. Does anyone know of any sort of data collection on former residents to track the health implications? Or is there a class action suit still available to join; or has anyone filed another considering a lot of these issues are not presenting until adulthood? My biggest concern is: Will these issues be passed down and affect my own child? I just don’t feel this catastrophe and crime against so many people’s health/lives that we are all still/now finding out about should be a ‘closed’ case. We were oblivious kids back then without any idea of how this would affect us in our lives and well-being as adults.” [Marie, commenting on My Toxic Houston Childhood] Photo of Clear Creek near Brio Superfund site: Allyn West

08/27/18 3:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ANOTHER MFAH STICKER SOLUTION “It will be a sad day in Houston when there are no MFAH stickers stuck to things in the Museum District. You’d think that the museum long ago would have embraced the tradition and added some weird sculpture-looking things in front of all exits that say ‘stick stickers here.’ It would reduce the occurrences of random vandalism by hoodlums. I wonder how many tags they expect to ‘lose’ as part of this experiment?” [toasty, commenting on Flood Bond Passes; Harvey Movie Sets Its Premiere Date; MFAH Stickers Swapped Out for Reusable Tags] Photo of sticker collage at Binz and San Jacinto streets: Alley Lyles

08/23/18 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FORMER INK SPOTS MUSEUM FACES THE MUSIC “The building on E. 20th was for years the The Original Huey ‘Ink Spot’ Long Living History Music Museum. Very cool for neighbors, visitors, and especially Hamilton Middle School students to be able to pass by or visit it. The Ink Spots Museum is now online.” [Miz Brook Smith, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Sampson & Beulah; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Martha D.