Metro Taking Cover Now that Macy’s Implosion’s Impending

Mark your calendars! The implosion of the big brick box that used to shelter Macy’s and Foley’s has been scheduled bright and early: It’ll go down at 6:10 a.m. Sunday, September 22. The Kenneth Franzheim-designed department store at 1110 Main St. has already suffered some selective chunkage, and it looks like serial crusher Cherry Demolition will be in charge of setting off the final charges.

Though Cherry is pretty experienced with this sort of thing, the building’s proximity to the light rail line seems to have spurred Metro into some serious contingency planning: Internal documents show that Metro has set up alternative service for anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks in case something goes wrong.

Here’s the plan: The trains will stop running on the evening of Friday, September 20, to give Metro plenty of time to remove poles, wires, brackets, supports, etc. A contractor has been hired to “Utilize Containers,” says those documents, and build a wall around the water spouts and decorations at the Main Street Square station catty-corner from the building. Meanwhile, Metro will be double-checking its insurance policy.

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That map shows the “restricted area” that Cherry Demolition has set. Metro says it will decide by 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon after the implosion whether — and, of course, for how long — it will need to implement the “bus bridge” to mitigate service interruptions and redirect the passengers of some 35 bus and 20 Park and Ride routes that come in and out of Main Street Square.

Images: Jim Parsons (Foley’s); Cherry Demolition (map)

14 Comment

  • Houston, City that would rather forget its past. Goodbye Foley’s. Another icon bites the dust.

  • Good bye to Houston’s version of Macy’s–it’s interesting, that the original John Wannamakers is still in Philadelphia, the original Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Lord and Taylor still standing in NYC, the original Maison Blache in NOLA still standing as the Ritz Carlton, original Neimans still in Dallas, original Joske’s building still in San Antonio –and Houston, well Houston rips everything down, so whose surprised they don’t give a shit about the old Foley’s–some mediocre crap built by some Swedish firm will fill the void–sic transic Gloria -

  • Now it’s time for Metro to complain about how the construction is bad for business.

  • Nothing like a nice Sunday morning implosion!

  • Properly done, Cherry could take out Macy’s and Metro in one blast. A two birds with one stone trick.

  • Great, I live in the restricted area…

  • This town. Hell in a handbasket this year. (I’m sure the longer-term residents would say it’s been a lengthier process.) In 2008, I was so proud to live in a city that still had a department store downtown… one of my qualifications for “real cities.” Of course, it – like everything in Houston – is gone. Blow it up! Put some faux-Tuscan monstrosity in its place! $3K/month condos, with crappy chain restaurants on the first floor! Wheeeeee! Houston, good luck on your spiral into Atlantification. Atlanta SUCKS. It didn’t always suck, it just sucked after it did what you are doing now. You’re starting to suck in the same way, and I hope I’m not around to see the end result.

  • As an Architect, that building is not a great piece of architecture and is a horrible building for a city. It is not the downtown NYC Macys building. Take a look. That building has no windows and no streetscape with retail. The only poeple who like to walk by that building are the ones who sleep next to it. I don’t know what is going to go in its place, but it will be no worse. however it would be great if we actually got some ground floor stores and a nice looking building they we wont want to tear down in 30 years.

    You actually need to consider the building being torn down, not just be against all development. Houston is finally on the upswing and trying to correct the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately it is never fast enough and it wont be the great city you want it to be in 5 years. It takes generations of planning and cultural thinking shifts to change a city. Come back in 30 years, there will be a downtown with at least two light rail lines and multiple neighborhoods of hirghrise residential with bars, restaurants and grocery stores at the street level. It wasnt very long ago you couldn’t pay people to live in lower manhattan or chelsea.

  • @MontroseMG:

    what an odd comment – what is “Atlantafication” anyway? Atlanta’s preserved a lot more of its history than we ever have. They even still have their downtown department store (Rich’s) building, although it serves a different purpose now.

    The loss of Foley’s sucks, but architecturally it came from a dark era and we don’t really need to mourn it. Plenty of other “real” cities no longer have a downtown department store, yet life carries on.

  • worked at Foley’s from 1953-1959 good old happy days my dad,wife, mother inlaw.

  • Progress is a good thing for Houston’s economy – and while sad – I say blow it up! I just wish they’d put in a TARGET instead of an office bldg!

  • The old Foley’s building has a bit of style that will be missed. But let’s be real, folks. Since before 2000 I’ve wondered how it stayed open with the meager patronage, and it’s right in the heart of what is now the central business district. It’s worth far more for the land than for the store. For those who decry the loss, I ask this, if it’s so important to you, why didn’t you buy it?

    My office is right across the street. I plan to put up a webcam or at least post the video afterward.

  • Let the countdown begin! Little over a week out and things are getting pretty interesting around the old Macy’s.

  • 100% agree with DD. I am excited about the possibilities for the future. The building has no windows and does not add a lot to downtown.