10/03/18 10:30am

Crews have begun tearing into the building 4 blocks north of the Pierce Elevated formally known as U-Haul Moving and Storage of Midtown at San Jacinto in order to replace it with a new storage building nearly 8 times larger. About half the existing structure is down now thanks to the excavator that foregrounds the SkyHouse Main apartment building in the photo at top. Still standing: the entrance ramp to U-Haul’s rooftop parking lot — from which a fleet of orange trucks took off sometime before construction fencing surrounded the 28,376-sq.-ft. building late last month.

The new, 220,160-sq.-ft. facility could extend partly into the adjacent surface parking lot along Leeland St. according to plans the developer filed with the county earlier this year. Whether or not it does, most of the extra space will show up vertically in the form of something much taller than the 2-story that’s now crumbling at 1617 San Jacinto.

Photos: Eric Ramon (demolition); U-Haul (building)

Be Right Back
09/28/18 1:00pm

Today is teardown day at Andrew Schneck’s neighbor’s house, pictured above at 2021 Albans Rd. Schneck, a resident of 2025 Albans, was sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison last month after admitting he tried to blow up the marble statue of Dick Dowling in Hermann Park using homemade explosives he stored in his Southampton house. During the federal raid of his house last year, members of the surrounding neighborhood — including those next door — were evacuated so that FBI and ATF officials could dispose of the “significant amount of material” they found inside through “controlled detonations” — which they warned could potentially cause damage to nearby structures. A blue tent set up on Schneck’s lawn — just off camera to the right — functioned as their staging area.

Photo: Swamplox inbox

Albans Smashup
09/25/18 4:30pm

Note: This story has been updated.

Parts left over from the metal barn that Black Page Brewing leased out beside White Oak Bayou out a few years back are now lying in a heap next to a wooden skeleton that’s taken the demolished structure’s place. The deconstruction began last month according to neighbors who called 311 on August 31 to report that it was happening, potentially, they said, without the required permits. An inspector showed up the next day to check things out, one of several field trips the city would make to the planned brewpub’s digs at the end of Glen Park St. over the next few weeks in response to multiple follow-up calls from nearby residents.

By the time a demo permit did show up last Friday, the site had already been tagged twice by city officials: first for the premature teardown, and once again — as shown below — for additional unpermitted work:

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Near Northside
09/19/18 10:00am

A Swamplot reader sends this photo of an excavator limbering up before the main event at 1638 Bonnie Brae St. Sandcastle Homes bought the nearly 90-year-old building in July and filed plans to build a new house on the property last month. It’s nestled within the Montrose sub-neighborhood known as Castle Court, a few doors down from Dunlavy St.

Photo: Swamplox inbox

Castle Court Crackup