DWI Lawyer Planning 3-Story Building, Slightly More Modest Signage on a Slice of Washington Ave

Sign, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

Tyler Flood, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, HoustonThe DWI defense specialist whose enormous “Do Not Blow” billboard presided over Washington Ave early this decade (in the words of the Houston Press) “as the enormous and bespectacled eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg looked out on The Great Gatsby‘s Valley of Ashes,” has just purchased the long-vacant 11,604-sq.-ft. wedge-shaped former car lot at 2019 Washington Ave in the Old Sixth Ward. Attorney Tyler Flood (shown standing his ground on the lot, at left) plans to build a 6,700-sq.-ft. 3-story building on the corner of Washington and Henderson — with a café space on the first floor, lease space on the third floor, and his own law firm on the second. He’s hired Element Architects to design the building, which should look something like this:


Proposed Building for Tyler Flood, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

Proposed Building at 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston Proposed Building at 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

Site Plan, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

Head-in parking would come off of Union St., which pours into Washington just east of the site. An additional 2-car private parking garage will have access from Henderson St. What kind of drinks would be served at the café? “I can’t speak for the future tenant,” Flood tells Swamplot, “but alcohol is allowed.”

Now standing at the western end of the site is the battle-worn but still stylish sign (pictured at top) advertising Lee Wright’s Top Quality Automobiles. Current plans call for the sign to be restored, along with its original lighting — though Flood says the restored version will bear the name of his law firm.

Former Billboard for Tyler Flood, Washington Ave at Sandman St., HoustonFlood’s billboard (shown at right) — which advertised his website and encouraged possible future clients to add his number to their cell phone in advance of any possible legal troubles — has been gone from the corner of Washington Ave and Sandman for several months now. “I have no plans to put a big gaudy billboard on my new property,” he tells Swamplot.

Photos: Tyler Flood. Renderings and site plan: Element Architects

Do Not Blow It

33 Comment

  • Good move to reuse that sign and his advertising style is reminiscent of vintage used car sales.

  • My guess is he’ll have someone on call there at 2:00 AM every night so all the douches….er I mean drunks can call right away when they get pulled over.

  • I hope the best for this project. It has a lot of potential… I just hope the building is able to capture the historic nature of the community, while still being cutting edge and modern. The parking lot / green space added would be an upgrade from the asphalt memories of the lot.

  • Nice job on this post! I was excited to see the plans and read about it. Being an OSW person, I was a little nervous about a few things with this project when I first heard about it but this is looking good! I think it will be a nice addition to the hood and I’m glad it’s not some noisy bar moving in. I’ll take a quite law office any day over a loud bar…even if the law office services the loud drunks at the bars :). There seems to be a lot of exciting new things developing in or around this neighborhood these days.

  • Let me guess–this guy is a “friend” of Swamplot and so let’s have no negative comments about him being an ambulance chaser and trying to get drunk drivers off–sorry if I can’t abide Swamplot, my best friend was killed my a drunk driver so pardon me if I think this guy is a grade A tool–but hey go ahead and post pics of him , with his cat that are the canary smirk and shill for his business–maybe he’ll advertise on Swamplot and you can make a little money–fantastic!

  • OSW=One Sixth Warrior. What does this story have to do with action figures? I hate abbreviations.

  • OSW- Old Sixth Ward.

    Last I checked, even drunk people are entitled to due process.

  • I’d sure hate to go through life with the negativity that drips from every one of certain people who post.

  • Shorter Shannon: How dare people accused of crimes be allowed a defense!

  • For once, I agree with Shannon. If you’re three sheets to the wind and have to blindly reach for your phone to call this dude if you’re pulled over for a DWI/DUI, seriously WTF? Your tacky/gaudy billboard was good enough to obnoxiously light up Washington Avenue, but all of a sudden, you’re looking for refinement and taste on your own property? Please.
    @Perplexed, OSW = Old Sixth Ward

  • Is it perhaps a sign of local inebriation inundation and an impending street trend shift when a lawyer for drunk drivers decides to hang his shingle there?

  • This guy, which most of you consider a scumbag based solely on what you’ve seen on tv or some other ridiculous stigma, is the same guy you’ll be calling when you find yourself in a jam or accused of something you didn’t do (see the Michael Morton case and get back with me). Get an education and get real. Being a lawyer is an honest profession and this guy is no different. Most of you are wrapped around the idea that if he’s a defense lawyer he must work for the devil. It’s a ridiculous and notion. And if you think that way, I feel sorry for you.

  • Shannon, please please proofread your posts. Sometimes what rolls off your keypad comes off as utter nonsense, making it difficult to take you seriously, much less get the full effect of your statement.

  • karma–I appreciate your concern for my grammar, you see I usually comment on Swamplot on via my iPhone and it’s normally done quickly, I find my iPhone interfaces poorly with Swamplot making the page constantly jump and making it very hard to text and almost impossible to correct without erasing the comment–I apologize if your offended by the weird autocorrect etc–perhaps you should just skip my comments all together, we seem always at odds anyway –as for lawyers, and this one in particular, you see I don’t drink and drive so I’ll never have any need for his services, when you see your best friend at the morgue killed by a fucking drunk driver, it tends to make a life long impression on you. If the law profession wants to have respect, stop the ridiculous advertising, stop being paid to lie, stop representing people you known damn well are lying, stop shaking down people by suing everyone–there is a reason the profession is rated so low, it’s well earned –sure there are good lawyers, my grandfather was one of the most respected lawyers in Dallas, and both of my parents were/are attorneys, so please don’t lecture me on lawyers, one year at SMU law school was enough!

  • @Shannon – Sorry you couldn’t handle SMU… Loved my time there.

    How many people on here support drunk driving? Tally – 0. You’re a little immature my friend. I also know a couple people taken by drunk driving incedents. It is an awful thing. But to associate his line of business with the kind of person he is – or more relevant here, the kind of contribution this building will be to OSW – is laughable and absurd.

    I suggest you keep your personal ‘feelings’ to yourself. Go join MADD or something if it really has such an affect on you. Make something good of it. Or… you can spread negativity and attack people who you don’t know or have any right to judge. Go here http://www.madd.org/ if you need.

    I like the buidling. It has multiple uses and is a great comprimise in a historic district. I have even met Tyler Flood. He seems nicer than you.

  • I went to UT undergrad, believe me SMU was a major come down, but I partied thru UT so had to settle for dear old Dad pulling a few strings to get me into that joke of a law school–it was impossible to flunk out, get real–I just decided the law was not for me, end of story. Loved the Georgian Architecture and my runs thru Highland Park down to Reverchon. As for your ridiculing my love for my friend and his death, that’s on you–it’s irony that your write a comment like that as a way to make me look bad, when in reality you made yourself look bad—have someone read back to you (maybe your Mother, or a family member of one of those people who were injured in a DWI) what you wrote and ask them whether they think you were witty –I’m guessing, not–

  • As for SMU Law–remember Harriet Miers?—the firestorm about having a SMU Law grad (yikes!) on the Supreme Ct–it was so bad, Bush had to pull her nomination and make no mistake the main disqualification for her was second tier (barely) SMU Law credentials.

  • “Let me guess–this guy is a “friend” of Swamplot and so let’s have no negative comments about him being an ambulance chaser and trying to get drunk drivers off–sorry if I can’t abide Swamplot, my best friend was killed my a drunk driver so pardon me if I think this guy is a grade A tool–but hey go ahead and post pics of him , with his cat that are the canary smirk and shill for his business–maybe he’ll advertise on Swamplot and you can make a little money–fantastic!”

    Naturally, every time the editor posts an article on Swamplot, he should consider the myriad of personal peccadillos and tragic back stories of every reader lest he offend someone. Good God, could you be more of a narcissist? And for someone who apparently despises the law profession, you certainly exhibit the pomposity
    and arrogance stereotypically associated with attorneys.

    And there was nothing wrong with Andoni’s post. Your narcissism is in overdrive my dear.

  • i like the building. it’s a weird/neglected lot and i appreciate that what is going on it will serve multiple functions. i like that he is repurposing the sign. i also appreciate that he came and spoke with the OSW in person about his plans and responded to our questions and concerns. hopeful sign of a good neighbor that could possibly encourage more development in the immediate area (im thinking of the boarded up brick building across the street.)

  • Shannon, I’m sorry to hear of your painful experience.

    However, the fact remains that in this country even the clearly guilty have the right not to get railroaded, just as you have the right to tell us what’s on your mind. Above and beyond that, there are people who are mischarged, who are over charged, or who shouldn’t have been charged in the first place. Without representation, none of them will have their rights protected. That puts all of us at risk – if you doubt that, just look at the recent news reports about how everybody seems to be behaving better when cops have cameras rolling at all times.

    Advertising is a tool for those who have a product or service to make themselves known to those who are looking for that product or service, and for those who are looking to buy to find what they want. The US Supreme court determined that the legal profession has a Constitutional right to advertise decades ago. The State Bar regulates that advertising to some extent, primarily to try to be sure that whatever claims are made are truthful. Like it or not, though, nobody regulates tastefulness, other than perhaps the market itself. It’s just not possible to empirically describe or enforce such a subjective criterion.

    Specifically as to “don’t blow” – I don’t pretend to know the reasoning behind the why Breathalyzers can tell us who is or isn’t drunk. However, I know defense lawyers other than Mr. Flood who will give the same advice when asked one on one. I am also aware that there can be issues with calibration of the machines, qualifications of the operator, and perhaps some remaining issues regarding reliability and preservation of evidence. We all know people who become impaired on practically nothing, and others with greater tolerance. Finally, we do still have a Constitutional right against self incrimination.

  • I wonder how many people have written “Blow Me,” in their resignation letters to Tyler Flood’s firm.
    But in all seriousness, that’s a devilish little site. Element Architects deserves a big round of applause for making it work. The building isn’t really developed as a design, so I’ll reserve my judgement on that part of it.

  • For as long as police are no paragon of virtue, there must be courts. And courts, being inherently complicated and intellectually inaccessible to a layperson, need middlemen. That’s lawyering. Lawyers do indeed tend to be unscrupulous; it is their job to defend their clients, even if they think their own clients are probably guilty. But they aren’t government and they aren’t law enforcement. That’s important.

    Shannon, the legal profession is not for everyone and I completely understand why you didn’t want to pursue it for a career. People said that I should go to law school too, but I did not want to be a lawyer. I’ve known too many older lawyers that are assholes and treat the younger ones like crap; and I’ve known too many younger ones that hate the profession and struggle to pay their student debt. However, they provide a service to the layman, even to damn well-informed laymen like myself. Their necessity is not lost on me.

  • Pro tip: color the parking lots green to make the rendered property look more attractive than it will be once it’s built.

    Also, that was some great forward-thinking on their part to keep most of the land paved for parking. It’ll continue the car dependence and keep his DWI business hopping.

  • Glad to see that Mr. Flood is able to move forward with this project and that he is sensitive to the area and design. People in Houston love to say, “If you do not like what is there, buy it and do what you want with it!” He is doing just that. Good for him and his firm. As for attacks on him personally, grow up. He is a nice guy with a great family. Haters gonna’ hate. Get a life.

    Shannon – wow! I hope you have this much venom for the drunk driver, car maker of said drunk driver, the establishment where the drunk driver was as well as the distillers of all of the brands of alcohol that were consumed by drunk driver. Shouldn’t you spread the hate and blame on everybody equally?

    You need a pet rock or something.

  • My more pressing concern is the lack of ‘Shannon filter’ on this website. I don’t know how many more tirades from her I can take.

  • Carpetbagger: you expect him to build a 9′ wide building on that space instead? (9′ is about all you ‘re left with there once you count the required landscape setbacks and building lines.). Plus, what do you expect him to do about the City of Houston Parking Ordinance? Restaurants and bars usually have more stringent parking requirements than simple retail.
    I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say they managed to turn goat piss into gasoline on this site, but it’s a tough little sliver of land to get any building to work on.

  • c.l. for comment of the day. enough is enough.

  • Thanks for all the comments, the positive ones and well…the other thought provoking comments as well. The parking spaces are colored green because the plan is to make them green grass using a honeycomb support base underneath. Trying to keep it as green as possible for the neighborhood.

  • I was wondering when we would here from Mr. Flood–right on cue.

  • Tyler Flood alert!!!

    Leave it to Shannon to make a bunch of non-lawyers feel sorry for Tyler. But, since Shannon chose to spew vitriol across the board, let me school her on insulting lawyer jargon. As a criminal defense attorney, Tyler Flood would not be an “ambulance chaser”. Ambulance chasers are personal injury lawyers, you know, like the one who represented the estate of your dead friend against the drunk driver’s insurance company.

  • IIRC, Shannon is a guy. I’m sure he doesn’t care, but just so you know.

  • i am glad to see that mr. flood is going to save the sign. it brings back memories for me. many years ago my mother, a war widow, bought a 1938 ford from clark motors. it was sitting under that sign when it was for sale.

  • If you support this project and a nice building being built to replace the unsightly concrete that exists now please email me a note saying so to tyler@tylerflood.com. Today!