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.
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.
- Previously on Swamplot: The Houston Chronicle Downtown Has Only One Story Left; Houston Chronicle Building Opens Up To Passers-By During Downtown Breakdown; Linbeck Digging In by Market Square as the Chronicle Building Comes Down Next Door; Still Life of Downtown Chronicle Building Rubble, and Other Masterworks of Deconstruction; Best Demolition: The 2016 Official Ballot; Former Chronicle Building Tunnel Back Open During Demo Limbo; Daily Demolition Report: What Lies Beneath; Digging Into the Downtown Tunnel Tussle That Spurred the Hines-Hearst Lawsuit; Hines and Hearst Get Sued Over Planned Demo of Former Houston Chronicle Building; Former Houston Chronicle Headquarters Starts Getting Dressed Up To Go Away Downtown; Is This the 41-Story Office Tower Planned Beside Market Square Park Downtown?
Photo: Brie Kelman
Can’t help thinking walking around the site of the demolished Chronicle building last week that the 3-block open area which includes the Chronicle block, the existing surface lot and Market square would form a fantastic central plaza/open space area for the city. Bounded by the Chase building to the south and several other notable structures new and old around the periphery. Well, just a thought – clearly land is too valuable to ever happen!