Just About Time in Eastwood: Great Moments in Houston Clock Rescue and Storage

Eastwood clock-watcher Spencer Howard documents the end of the line for the 1935 Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Company building on Harrisburg. Metro doesn’t have any use for the bulk of the Streamline Moderne building in the way of the new light-rail East End Line. But how about grabbing that right-twice-a-day timepiece the building is wearing? The bulky fashion accessory might go with any of several new get-ups envisioned for Eastwood Park across the street.

METRO began the disassembly of the building last week. After several days of careful planning, joints were sawed into the steel frame, stucco clad facade. By the end of the week, a large crane was delivered to the site to assist with the removal of the facade.


The stucco clock was lifted away for . . . storage.

What remained of the building waited over the weekend to meet its fate.

And on Monday morning, the rest was demolished in a matter of hours.

Photos: Steve Parker (crane); Spencer Howard (all others)

7 Comment

  • Whether that clock sees the light of day or not, bravo Metro for at least trying!

  • Interesting old buildings are going to be torn down in Houston–we all have seen this, we all know this. Saving useful or beautiful parts of those old buildings is better than just trashing it all, Wilshire Village style. So two cheers for Metro.

  • Of course what Metro could be doing is making the light rail development more integrated with the rest of the built environment rather than just cutting a swathe through the City. The Gold Line from Los Angeles to Pasadena is a good example. The original Pasadena Amtrak station was moved about 100ft from it’s original location, renovated and integrated into a mixed use apartment development that actually straddles the rail lines. This gives residential space right at the location of the station for an easy commute into LA and incorporates retail and dining on site for residents.

    Cutting out the clock and relocating it to a pocket park that has absolutely no symbiosis with the rail line is just lazy, cheap development for development’s sake.

  • Jimbo wrote: “lazy, cheap development for development’s sake.”

    That’s what Houston was built on!

  • Cheap is right Jimbo. But as much as I’d like to see historic preservation, there’s a cost to benefit analysis for moving buildings. If it was an Amtrak station or a stop on the Underground Railroad there’d be good reason to move the building. That ain’t the case here. There’s a reason California is deep in the red. Sometimes we just can’t afford the things we want.

  • Never to be seen again…

  • Metro is moving/saving the clock. This is good. Maybe, just maybe, the clock will be incorporated into some new construction after that segment of the line is finished. If not, _then_ we should go back to bashing as usual.