Corazon Now Being Removed from Its Big Red Dot Spot at Waugh and Fairview

Corazon — your Hyde Park source for guayaberas, Lucha Libre masks, and other assorted crafty and gifty south-of-the-border imports — has lost its lease and will be leaving its longtime spot at the northwest corner of Waugh and Fairview within a month, store owner Chris Murphy reports. The 6,250-sq.-ft. lot it sits on, which includes a recently demolished property at 1410 Fairview, is now under contract after being marketed as a redevelopment site.

Corazon moved into its current home in 1998 — from a location in the former Gramercy Apartments on Montrose Blvd. across from Bell Park (where the Museum Tower now stands). The corner spot at 2318 Waugh Dr. has a craft-y history: Previously a furniture refinishing shop, the building reportedly earlier had gigs as an antique store, a glass-blowing studio, a general store, and a smithy. Murphy says he expects it to be demolished — and replaced with townhomes.

The structure is perhaps best known to passers-by, however, as a frame for the fifth-ever red dot, painted by Red Dot Boys (and former Houstonians) Robert Ramos and Rick Carpenter, as shown here in this undated image from the Red Dot Boys website:


After the Fairview side of the building was sheathed with metal siding in the naughts, the artists returned to repaint the circle in Benjamin Moore Carnival Red — this time a little lower down, so a Corazon banner could fit above it (the banner has since been removed, after a recent visit from city sign inspectors). According to Murphy, an image of Frida Kahlo he had seated in the frame of the window on that wall before its re-wrap is now “entombed” behind the siding:

The date palm along Fairview now blocking much of the view of the red dot (mostly off-camera to the right in the photo above) is a plant Murphy says he had carried with him from place to place, grown from a seed he got “from eating a date for breakfast at the conclusion of a beautiful Peyote ceremony, conducted around a bonfire overnight somewhere outside of Waco.” He expects it to be torn out when the site is demolished.

Murphy reports that Corazon is looking for a new location but hasn’t found one yet. “Whether moving or quitting, we need to lighten the load,” he writes. So Corazon is now holding a goodbye “store closing” sale to get rid of its inventory of items from South and Central America artisan cooperatives before the end of the month.

Photos: Margo (first and third); Red Dot Boys (painting); Swamplot inbox (bottom)

Folk Art History

6 Comment

  • My family moved out of Hyde Park four years ago, and it’s incredible how much the neighborhood has changed in that time. Yes, I know change is inevitable and can be for the better, but this neighborhood has changed at a breakneck pace. I’m pretty sure at least half of the houses/buildings along Commonwealth and Waugh have been torn down since we left (admittedly some of them really needed to go, given the terrible shape they were in). I guess this will be added to the heap.

  • “says he expects it to be demolished — and replaced with townhomes.” How often are those sad words sadi in Houston – Montrose specifically.

  • A regrettable turn of events during the long slog of gentrification. I hope people will stop in to buy a few things to help an American entrepreneur out in these waning days.

  • When your business sits on someone’s gold mine it becomes your land mine that will go off sooner or later. It’s too bad because I imagine the upscale newcomers appreciate and patronize a place like if anyone’s too “blame” it’s the landowners who sell out and not the gentrifiers..but only those who would not sell out if in their shoes should cast that first stone….hello?

  • I remember this building from the days when Jim Higgins & Co. ran his furniture refinishing business (later continued by his long-time lover), both of whom we lost during the plague.
    Some people see only a shack and dollar signs.
    I see another reminder of the history of Montrose and its many entrepreneurs disappear, replaced by people who chant ‘eyesore’ as if it was some sort of mantra.

  • Up until a few years ago I had thought that place was a Latino gay bar.