Delmar-lition: HISD To Slam Old Swooping Hoops Stadium

We don’t have all that many to spare, but it appears that there will soon be one fewer thin-shell paraboloid roof in Houston: HISD says it plans to demolish the 1958 James M. Delmar Fieldhouse (known now as the Delmar-Tusa Fieldhouse) and build a new facility in its place. According to a press release, the old stadium is “currently in poor condition with major roof leaks, flooding problems in the locker rooms and a sports medicine area that falls short of athletic league standards.”

The 5,000-seat swayback fieldhouse is located at 2020 Mangum Rd., just outside the Loop in Lazybrook and Timbergrove. Designed by Milton McGinty, who also had a hand in the Rice Stadium, the gym served as the home court in the ’60s for UH and the Elvin Hayes-powered Coogs. But it would seem that HISD wants to make haste and move on from that history: “The goal is to have the site ready for construction as soon as possible and complete the replacement facility by late 2016.”

Photo: Houston Daily Photo

14 Comment

  • I’m sure it’s time for an upgrade, but I will really miss the space-age hyperbolic paraboloid shape of this building.

  • C’mon! Where’s the outcry to save this one? Anyone? Where are you?

  • I always thought this building was an eye sore, it always looked run down. It’s interesting that the same architect designed this and the beheamoth Rice Stadium. Every year I hope I read that Rice is tearing down that monstrosity and building a cool retro much smaller stadium ala Ford Stadium at SMU. Rice averages 11000 at a game, it’s ridiculous to have the entire back half of the campus dominated by an enormous stadium. It’s hard to believe that area was actually designed to be a Persian Garden’d hardly know it now. For the record I know the history of the the stadium, the Brown Bros. Etc.

  • What’s the hottest trend to come? What will every city in the US and entire world be embracing? What will become showplaces and showcases? What’s the hottest trend in architecture?

    Why Mid-Century Modern!

    What is Houston tripping all over itself to tear down every last trace of?

    You got it.

  • If they tore down Rice Stadium, they would no longer be able say that every living and dead alumnus could have a seat and not fill the house, now would they?

  • Wow. Another modern monument about to bite the dust. So sad.

  • Boo! This is where Max Fischer flew his remote control planes in the movie Rushmore. It will be missed.

  • The replacement should be gold-plated with their new property tax raise.

  • Not to derail this topic, but Rice Stadium always served as a bigger venue than just college football. It was chosen for the Super Bowl in 1974 over the Dome because it could seat 20k more. Rice might have had grand plans for its football program when it was built, but it was the go-to stadium in its day.

  • If I had my way, they’d keep the Field House and turn it into a bus barn. Then build a new field house somewhere else. It’d preserve the architecture.
    Of course, I was also hoping that they’d sell the old brutalist Hattie Mae White Building on Richmond to the AIA Houston and the Houston Design Center – because they’re the only ones who would have appreciated such a building. Alas, that didn’t happen. And neither will the bus barn idea….

  • I remember going to see the Coogs at Delmar in the Hayes/Chaney days. Usually by 10 minutes into the game, the betting started on which Cougar would score the 100th point.

    The smart money was on Theodis Lee, a smooth starting forward who often was left in the game in it’s later minutes when Hayes and Chaney were safely on the bench.

    Of course, Ken Spain and Melvin Bell would still be on the floor in the last few minutes but do you really think anyone would pass to them when they could swoop to the goal?

    It was a dump in 1968 and I’m sure it’s worse now. Knock it down.

  • Agree on tearing down rice stadium. it is an eye sore and not needed anymore. to the extent there are big games these days, they are played at reliant (e.g., UH and UT).

  • Totally agree on Rice Stadium…There was a brief moment there in the late ’50s when the Owls were Houston’s team but along came the Oilers and that day was over. It’s a shame so much of that campus is given over to that behemoth of a stadium and the parking prairie that surrounds it, especially since it should have been a Persian garden.

  • Far be it from me to question J. N. Lomax (and I mean that sincerely), but I bet the Rice folks have kept that end of campus as a buffer between campus and The Village (remember the shell streets in The Village?).

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see that area used as a launching pad for space flights when technology is ready.