06/13/16 10:15am

Proposed Observation Tower In Buffalo Bayou Park

Proposed Observation Tower In Buffalo Bayou ParkArchitect Paul Kweton sends his idea for a multi-deck observation tower for Buffalo Bayou Park, adding to the list of unsolicited but interesting projects dreamed up for the public space. The plans and drawings show stairs spiraling continuously upward around a central elevator shaft, enclosed only by a giant net-like facade (as well as a smaller actual net preventing visitors from exploring the exterior of the structure).

Kweton has 2 potential locations in mind — the rendering above shows the tower on the lawn in Eleanor Tinsley Park, across the bayou from the now open Cistern (the long-defunct 1920s subterranean city water reservoir turned found-art piece and potential exhibit space).  The alternative spot is a little further west across Allen Pkwy., near the 1920s Gillette St. waste-incinerator site sold last year year for redevelopment into the Broadstone Tinsley Park Apartments:


Dreamt Up Near Downtown
06/29/15 2:00pm

Houston Police Department Officer's Memorial Guard Post, Memorial Dr., Buffalo Bayou Park, Houston

Here’s the just-completed 250-sq.-ft. Memorial guard post recently completed in Buffalo Bayou Park. It’s right by that spot just south of Buffalo Bayou from Glenwood Cemetery where you’ll always find a cop car or 2, standing guard by the Houston Police Officers Memorial. The sculptor of that 1991 memorial, Jesús Moroles, was killed in an auto accident earlier this month. The new building, designed by Brave Architecture, is meant to allow the off-duty officers posted there to have more of a public presence as they keep an eye on the memorial through the large windows. It will also function as a small visitors center for the memorial.

Photo: José Luis Ayala Vargas

Guard Post
06/15/15 11:15am

Former Houston Post Building, Future Houston Chronicle Headquarters, 4747 Southwest Fwy., Houston

“It looks amazingly shiny without the 50 years of grime,” notes the reader who late last week snapped these photos of the former Houston Post building at 4747 Southwest Fwy., tucked into the lifted right armpit of the I-69-610 intersection. The brutalist main building of the 7-building campus, designed in 1970 by Astrodome architects Wilson, Morris, Crain, and Anderson, is being powerwashed — with a significant portion of the work complete just in time for this week’s heavy rains.


06/03/15 2:00pm

Demolition of Meadowcreek Park Basketball Pavilion, 5333 Berry Creek Dr., Meadowcreek Village, Houston

Crews tore down the Mod basketball pavilion in Meadowcreek Park on Monday. Its structure had been declared unsafe last August. The pavilion and community center at 5333 Berry Creek Dr. were built in 1961, following a design by Raymond Brogniez — the architect of the River Oaks-Lamar Shopping Center and the Sylvan Beach Pavilion.


Coming Back in Steel
04/13/15 12:30pm

Offices of KinneyMorrow Architecture, 2219 Kane St. Old Sixth Ward, HoustonMarked down from 2314 to 2219 Kane St., KinneyMorrow Architecture’s new office in an old structure now on the corner of Sawyer St. is definitely not a house any more. Blame the slot.







House Moves
04/09/15 11:30am

1704 Stuart St., Midtown, Houston

New photos posted to the listing of the dollhouse-like townhome under construction 2 blocks west of the Eastex Fwy. in Midtown appear to capture some sort of floral delivery in progress, a reader who’s been monitoring it notes. Between the arrival photo (above left) and the ready-to-go image next to it that appears to be the next in sequence, 5 new flower baskets appear on the grid masking the structure’s prominent garage forehead. The design by architect Martin James Lide morphs a shotgun house plan into a 2-story townhome configuration that manages to fit 3 bedrooms in 2,425 sq. ft.:


Finishing Touches
04/02/15 4:00pm



The craggy terrain backing Buffalo Bayou in River Oaks near the neighborhood’s decorative gates at Shepherd Dr. sprouted several Usonian-design inspired homes by the architecture firm of MacKie & Kamrath back in the fifties. One of the modernist properties that still remains on the Tiel Way loop landed on the market Monday — and it’s in near original shape, right down to the redwood siding and built-in furnishings. A 1957 structure noted in architectural circles for its angles, wedges, cantilevered terraces, and detail-layered ceilings, the bayou-view home on a ravine lot now bears a $2.5 million price tag.


River Oaks Wrightists
03/16/15 5:00pm



When architect Tom Wilson designed a contemporary residence for himself in West U back in 1977, he divvied the lot down the length, giving home and extensive poolscape each narrow side-by-side footprints. Twenty years later, the current owners took over, paying $535K for the privilege. Last week, the property popped up on the market with a $1.45 million price tag. Architectural guides peg the design as “a low-key medium tech house” engineered with steel and panels of metal and wood. The “front” door is on the side; it lies inside the porch and privacy screen (above) facing the street, which is located south of University Blvd. and west of Buffalo Speedway.


Skinny But Loaded
02/17/15 4:30pm



Architect Lars Bang gets the credit for the curb-facing original section (above) of a 1959 Meyerland mod built for the Alan Finger family, which kept it for 40 years. It was architect David D. Foster, however, who handled the 1974 additions that gave the home its “U” shape, furthering the floor-to-ceiling windows encircling the pool and patio (top). The home is located 2 blocks south of S. Braeswood Dr. and east of Millbury Dr., 4 houses away from the S. Post Oak stem of the 610 Loop. Its listing last week quotesa $739,900 price tag.


House of Many Fingers
02/06/15 10:45am


Will an auction accomplish what a previous listing didn’t for this Stern and Bucek-designed modern mansion in Southampton? The property had stuck to a $3.75 million asking price from September 2013 to June 2014 before calling a timeout. Its relisting by a new agent last week notes that when the auction kicks in later this month, the minimum starting bid will be . . .


Auction Action
01/23/15 5:30pm



A ski-slope of a roof tops a 1974 townhome complex designed by Burdette Keeland — on land his mother owned in College Heights, now part of  the Upper Kirby District. The late architect taught at University of Houston’s College of Architecture for 40 years and served on the City of Houston’s planning commission for 30 years. Located at the center of the 5-plex property, the contemporary home is described as being in near-original condition. Since mid-December, the listing has been priced at $379,900. You can hit the slopes with a look-see scheduled by Houston Mod for this Sunday afternoon.


Lift Lines
01/20/15 4:30pm



hr3096737-28 at 300Note: The original version of this story misreported the home’s asking price. It is being offered at $749,900.

Blue. Red. Green. Orange. Were it not for the Dublinesque color rotation on the doors of a 4-pack of eco-friendly contemporary homes in Spring Branch’s Melody Oaks neighborhood, might owners accidentally enter the wrong one? Unit 1 — the bluesy one (top) that shores up one end of the lookalikes — is back on the market. Its listing by the owner-agent over the weekend has a $789,900 $749,900 price tag attached. That’s up, uh, somewhat from its purchase price in April 2013: $484,950.

The team at The ODD Group, (aka Open Design &  Development, and including Royce/Eagleton Architects), is behind these “urban cottages” (above) proliferating in a newly minted “pocket community” tagged Janak Place. It’s located north of Westview Dr. between Wirt Rd. and Antoine Dr.


Urban Cottage Cluster
12/03/14 4:45pm



Now approaching the Big 1-0, an artsy 2004 contemporary by architect Allen Bianchi has been on the market for a month (this time), bearing a $2,799,000 asking price. A previous listing in the summer of 2013 briefly sought $100K more for the property. The 5,595-sq.-ft. home is planted at the crossroads of Cherokee St. and Sunset Blvd., just north of Rice University. Houston’s headlining art museums are three-quarters of a mile to the east. The house of stucco, glass, and steel is itself a bit of a gallery.


The South Side of the L
12/02/14 10:18am


A demolition permit has been filed for 2 Longbow Ln., a Buffalo Bayou-side 1956 Mid Century Modern home designed by Astrodome architects Wilson, Morris, Crain, & Anderson for renowned internist Dr. Mavis Kelsey, founder of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Kelsey died at 101 in November of 2013. The home and 4 acre lot in Circle Bluff — a warren of streets with Robin Hood-themed names just outside the West Loop, east of Chimney Rock Rd., south of Memorial Dr. — went on the market in late May, and after a little under 2 months, sold for $6.9 million. The buyer is listed as David M. Weekley, chairman of David Weekley Homes.


Snapping The Longbow
11/21/14 12:00pm



In Memorial Bend, a neighborhood known for its operatic street names and steadily dwindling collection of midcentury modern inventory, one of the homes designed by architect William Norman Floyd has landed stylishly on the market, asking $798,900. A “California contemporary” in its day, the 1956 property features banks of clerestory windows and sloping, beamed ceilings throughout open, light-filled spaces.


It’s Spatial