Explosive Fifth Ward Bungalow Bandshell Just About Ready for Its Breakout Jam Session

Sculptor Dan Havel sends in photos of the construction he and fellow demo artist Dean Ruck have been working on for months in a new pocket park at 3705 Lyons Ave. More than a month before its debut as the backdrop for a community concert (yes, that’s a stage poking out from the front), Havel says their project is “substantially complete,” though there are still a few more details to fill in, including stairs for the stage and some landscaping. Working from a ready-to-be-knocked-down house from a couple miles northeast at 3012 Erastus St., Havel and Ruck added, ahem, a whole lot of support to the interior, as these photos taken earlier in the summer show:


Those are new 2x4s taking the place of the interior walls. On the outside, there’s repurposed siding, shiplap, flooring, door jams, door and window trim, and “any piece of 1x we could get our hands on,” reports Havel. Some of it came from the house itself, but most of it came from other teardowns in the Fifth Ward — and the city’s ReUse Warehouse.

More recent pics of the almost-finished structure:

Havel and Ruck — still best known in Houston for the temporary funnel structure they created from 2 former Art League of Houston bungalows on Montrose a few years back, still enshrined on the window of the Inversion Coffee House — call this project “5th Ward Jam,” after the history of zydecko, blues, R&B, soul, and hiphop jam sessions in the Fifth Ward . . . and their own improvisational techniques on the Sawzall. Their work was funded by a grant from the Houston Arts Alliance and support from the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation. The opening concert — organized by the Alliance’s Folklife and Traditional Arts Program and focusing on Fifth Ward history — is scheduled for October 1.

Photos: Havel Ruck Projects

10 Comment

  • +100 for public art and creativity. Hopefully this one will have a longer shelf life than the inversion house(s).

  • . Their work was funded by a grant from the Houston Arts Alliance and support from the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation.

    *sigh* I wonder if it will get a “db” tag soon? Maybe they can incorporate a whole bunch of those into a crude exterior wall paper.

  • This artpiece is cool. The Art League Funnel House was amazing—crawled through it- almost gashed my leg on a nail.

  • Cool, looks like my last contractor was involved.

  • did these guys do the random 2×4 wall inside the new Les Givral restaurant on Washington?

  • I like it, but how do they know when it is *done*?

  • These guys do great work, and this would be a perfect outdoor venue for music when the weather cools.

    Phil, I am not sure if they were involved with that 2×4 work at Les Girvals, I thought they used the 2008 Olympic ‘bird’s nest’ as inspiration. I have wondered if it was actually engineered, or just built randomly on the spot, as well as what kind of code applies to a structure like that and what the inspector must have said when the drawing was presented.

  • What to say? They are a beautiful chaos about to happen. Just fantastic.

  • Looks like crap.

  • Looks like crap freaking awesome. (Fixed.)