The Houston Chronicle Building Has Vanished, but Lives On Underground and In Court

Demolition of Houston Chronicle Building 801 Texas Ave., Downtown Houston

That’s pretty much it for the surface-dwelling sections of the Houston Chronicle‘s former bundle of headquarters structures at 801 Texas Ave. — a reader captured the minor dustup above on Friday, and activity on the site is now mostly at or below ground level. Work to shore up the section of basement the district court ordered Hines’s Block 58 to leave behind (for tunnel use by Linbeck-controlled neighbor and plaintiff Theater Square) was mostly wrapped up last fall, according to some December court filings.

Other documents filed as part of the case show that the legal compromise set up last summer (which allowed the demo of the Chronicle building to go forward after all) has hit a few bumps since then: Theater Square filed a motion to find Block 58 in contempt of court late last year, and a trial appears to be scheduled for June.

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Back in December, Theater Square claimed that Block 58 was still hindering its tunnel access, and was standing in the way of its quest for a necessary city permit by refusing to sign it. Block 58 says in its own filing that Theater Square agreed to the tunnel-restricting work in question before that work started, and didn’t complain until it was mostly done; that document also suggests that the permit in question would make Block 58 unreasonably liable for the tunnel, and doesn’t make sense in such an unusual building arrangement. The trial over the case, originally scheduled for January, has been bumped back a couple of times.

Photo: Brie Kelman

Texas Ave. Tunnel Tussle

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