The past caught up with Houston Cafe & Bakery’s former location at the corner of Tackaberry and Quitman streets last week. The Mexican cafe and panaderia departed to a more northern, more strip-center location at 2435 Fulton St. back in 2015, when Houston ISD bought the Quitman property. A demo permit for the site was issued last Thursday, and by Friday the scene above was already playing out.
Across Tackaberry, soon-t0-be-renamed Jefferson Davis High School is in the early stages of a redo that will upgrade its 1926 building and add some new facilities for the school’s culinary arts and hotel management specialization. Finalized designs from Bay-IBI aren’t out yet, but a community meeting is planned for Thursday of this week, and demo work on some nearby houses has already been going on to make room for expansion.
Here’s a peek at a preliminary site plan from back in 2014, which shows the campus expanding across Tackaberry all the way to Fulton St.:
The drawing shows a new parking lot taking up most of the mostly-residential block where the now-crumbled bakery building had been hanging out. The plans also call for the main entrance to the school to migrate back to Quitman, where it was in 1926.
- Plans for new Davis HS moving forward [HISD News Blog]
- Davis High School [HISD Building Programs]
- Previously on Swamplot: Daily Demolition Report: Blue Candlelight Special; Daily Demolition Report: Mistletoe Stubbed
Photo: RoB via Twitter (photo); Bay-IBI Architects (site plan)
Amazing how that works – we demolish houses and businesses next to schools to make way for parking, meaning there will be fewer homes and errand stops within walking distance of the school. Meanwhile, the red line is only a few blocks away, which could’ve meant fewer employees and students needing to drive there. So now we have HISD paying more money it doesn’t have on acquiring land and building parking infrastructure while simultaneously devauling a public transit asset and decreasing the school’s user base in the area. Great recipe for success, here!
Given HISD’s fumbling of the construction bond proceeds, it is a sure bet that the revamp of Jeff Davis will be over budget. Sometimes, I wonder what skills (besides fogging a mirror) are required to work at the Taj Mahal (aka HISD headquarters).
The school will have about the same amount of parking after the construction as it does now, but ti will be located in a different part of the property. Current parking is on the North side of the school, which will be turned into open space and additional building space.
I very seriously doubt that many of the staff use the Red Line, nor do many of the students.
Quitman and Fulton are two major commercial corridors, tearing them down for parking does a disservice to the neighborhood. The District used real estate funds to purchase these properties and evict residents and businesses and then sit vacant for many months. In the summer or 2015 HISD started to tell people that there would be no expansion of the campus, meaning all of these folks were evicted and they weren’t going to add buildings.
This was a straw that broke the camels back and lead to the community coming together to demand HISD keep it’s promise. Northside activism, and embarrassing press coverage of conditions at Davis (http://www.khou.com/story/news/local/2015/09/29/parents-community-put-pressure-on-hisd-for-new-school/73068654/) contributed to $19 million being approved for Davis as part of the supplemental funds that HISD approved in December. It is still probably not enough to keep the promises that HISD made in 2012, but should go a lot further.
There aren’t enough people living nearby to take the train. Most people commute by car. That is the reality of Houston. Cheap land, cheap parking. I took the light rail from the northern point to Downtown, there is no density on the route, very few stores I would shop at and the stops are too far apart.