As of today this site’s daily publishing schedule is coming to a halt. Swamplot has been covering Houston’s real estate landscape for 12 years. That’s longer than the runs of most successful teevee sitcoms, all but one U.S. presidency, and a lot of great Houston restaurants. It’s been long enough to cover 3 hurricanes, several boom-and-bust cycles, a half-dozen or so 100-year floods, and the rise and fall of Tuscanization. More than a few high-school freshmen when Swamplot started in 2007 are now armed with PhDs and ready to launch their careers. It’s time for us to move on as well.
We’re proud of what Swamplot has accomplished: the reporting it’s assembled; the commenters, readers, contributors, and tipsters it’s attracted; the conversations and reconsiderations it’s fostered; the groups of people from different walks of life it’s brought together in some way; the coinages you’ve come up with; and the community that’s been built here around the notion that our local built and natural environments are worth our attention and our jokes.
Houston has always been a funky town. It’s rarely been served well by those who ignore that, or who promote it with a chip on their shoulder, or who build in it without recognizing the profound handicaps and weirdnesses that continue to shape it. In Swamplot’s dozen years of documenting the odd details of its growth and destruction, we’ve noticed a gradual but steady change of attitude — one that we hope we’ve helped to effect: People here, we get a sense, now pay more obvious attention to the things that make Houston unique, bizarre, wacky, frustrating, and lovable. If Swamplot has, in any way, played a role in altering your sense of this place — by reporting on things normally paid little attention to, by presenting things in ways you wouldn’t otherwise expect to see them, by dangling in front of you the comments and perspectives of people who see this city very differently from the way you do, or by striving each day to highlight the absurdities that underly and shape so much of the Houston experience — well, then hanging out with y’all for some or all of this time has been well worth it.
Beginning next week, we’ll have a few announcements and questions to post here about Swamplot’s past, present, and future — so please do come back and visit to see what’s up. For now, though, we want to thank you — our readers, commenters, tipsters, photographers, advertisers, sponsors, and contributors — for making Swamplot what it’s been, and maybe making Houston a little bit better place for us all.
Photos: Russell Hancock (aerial); Bill Barfield (sign) via Swamplot Flickr Pool