Daily Demolition Report: The Tale of 20th

Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday.

A story that started in 1904 finally reaches its conclusion in the Heights:



Photo of 347 W. 20th St.: Swamplot inbox

10 Comment

  • Oh, that’s a shame. I lived at 420 W 23rd Street back in the late ’80s and early ’90s and always loved that house on 20th street.

    Not enough to buy it, obviously, but it is sad that it will be torn down.

  • It’s unfortunate that while the property was on the market, a company like Braun Enterprises (now developing Heights Waterworks using the historic buildings rather than scraping them) didn’t see the potential in this beautiful property. Given the land size, a buyer could have sold off a large portion of the land to the east and have had ample money to restore and create a unique, usable masterpiece. However, timing and apathy were on the side of the generic. This is why we can’t have/don’t have nice things.

  • Sad to see 347 W. 20th Street going away. It’s been run down for a while, but always liked that house and the bit of architectural history that it represents. One of those lotto dreams – win the lotto and restore the house….

  • W 20th. That totally sucks. I saw some activity on that lot and thought someone was going to renovate. I am not sure why after spending Saturday night touring the invasion of modern Victorian farmhouse new construction at Lights in the Heights.

  • With you, Old School. The Galveston Home Tour in the spring, and especially the featured stripped-down do-overs that they show, offers a model for what the Heights should do but doesn’t.

  • Sad to see the house torn down but SHAME on the previous owners for letting it get too run down to rehab. If they didn’t have the money/resources to fix it up they should have sold it much sooner. The Heights is quickly turning into Katy.

  • I wonder if the house can be moved? It seems to have been doomed by its location, surrounded by commercial property on three sides. I’m skeptical at the “too run down to rehab” comments, that seems like an easy Houston conclusion. Of course you cannot move the beautiful trees that have grown with the house…

  • Anything can be rehabbed–all it takes is money, Mike. The owner, an elderly woman, lived there, and was not amenable to selling half the lot and using the money to maintain the house when I had a brief chat with her a few years ago. I don’t know if she passed away or was convinced to move and sell. The time to investigate rehabbing or moving the house would have been when the property was first placed on the market. At this point, the demolition permit is in place, and it’s my understanding that the house will come down this week. Occasionally, we’re lucky to see a conscientious purchaser with deep pockets who loves and respects history. Not this time.

  • The land under the house on 20th is probably worth $2M. Add to that another $200-500k for renovations, and you’re at $600-700 per sf. That’s a lot of scratch for a 3600 sf residence on what is essentially a commercial intersection with a lovely view of a hospital parking lot.
    For any non-residential use, you’d need to find a place to park 20-40 cars (depending on use). You’d also need to find a tenant that knows how to use the existing space well enough to pay the rent required to make the numbers work.

  • Two words to explain this demo….property taxes.