Mod Richmond Ave. Church Ready To Fall for New Apartments

Construction fencing has already gone up around the Central Presbyterian Church at 3788 Richmond near Greenway Plaza, a reader reports. The Modern church campus was designed in 1962 by Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson — just a few years before the same local architecture firm set to work on a small project called the Astrodome. Two years ago the congregation moved a couple miles northwest to merge with the St. Philip Presbyterian Church, just outside the Loop on San Felipe. Houston Mod fans have been trying to save the vacant church from demolition ever since.

But the church buildings won’t be sticking around for long.


The Morgan Group recently closed on the 4.5 acre property, and now plans to demolish the church and begin construction on a 341-unit, 4-story apartment complex on the site, which is adjacent to the planned Cummins stop on Metro’s long-delayed University Line. That’s also almost across the street from another Morgan Group project, which went up a few years ago behind the Costco on the site of the former HISD headquarters — another big Mod box.

Designed by Houston’s Wallace Garcia Wilson Architects, the new apartments will look something like this when they open sometime at the end of next year:

A view of the church campus in better days:

Photos: Swamplot inbox (fence); Houston Mod (campus). Rendering: The Morgan Group

21 Comment

  • Yeaaaahhh, more apartments in this area is what we really need, NOT!
    They can’t rent out what is already there, and when the bottom falls out (again) we will be left with yet another Sharpstown situation where only thugs are willing to live there…..

  • Oh because $1400 for a 700 foot one bed room shoe box is so affordable and necessary.. Rolls eyes..

  • Good news. This area is ripe for infill… there are a ton of old garden condos and apartments in this area that I think will share a similar fate in the next 5 years.

  • Texmex01, I find it hard to believe that a company would pay to increase its rentable space on a block if it isn’t already making money on what it has.

  • Wow, so I’m a thug for living in Sharpstown?

  • If you live in on of the crap gang run Apt buildings left over from the 80s oil boom, then yes, yes you probably are…

  • is nothing sacred anymore in Houston?

  • I live in an awesome mid-century mod house in Sharpstown… with beautiful live oaks, a kick-ass backyard, awesome neighbors and a quick 9 mile commute to Montrose. I think Sharpstown is one of the best kept hidden gems of Houston! Oh, and I am far away from being described as a “thug” = )

  • RJ, good on you for keeping the neighborhood up, I was talking about all of the crap apartments owned by out of state slumlords that refuse to take care of the properties, you know what I’m talking about, if not just go out this evening and look for the HPD Helo circling with a spotlight, they will lead the way there…

  • More density. More population inside the Loop. More disposable income available to neighboring businesses. On top of that, we get to remove a non-tax-paying entity with a tax-paying entity that owns a property worth $30-40 million that will generate $1 million or more of tax revenue EVERY YEAR to local tax jurisdictions.

    Memo to the City of Houston: Please explain why we gave away the Summit / Compaq Center to Joel Osteen for practically nothing???????

  • Houston Mod had the church open for a farewell tour. It is a well-built and inspiring facility, carefully planned in every detail. I will be sorry to see it go away and be replaced by ordinary apartments.

  • I bet those Sharpstown thugs will shop the Walmart in the Heights.

  • Please tell me that somehow, some way, the faceted glass windows are being salvaged. Please…..

  • “…a quick 9 mile commute to Montrose.” What’s quick about 9 miles in SW Houston?

  • I live at the the current Morgan property across the street, it’s exciting that a new complex will go up. Unfortunately, since it will be Morgan owned and managed means tough luck for the residents. Morgan is pretty crappy when it comes to managing properties, at least at 3333…

  • sure it’s nice the city will be getting more tax money out of it, but I’d like to think they could’ve found a better way to reuse/remodel the property in it’s current state rather than tear it down..

  • …and the forty year old oaks in the back parking lot began falling victim to the backhoe today. Very sad to see those old trees chewed up and laying in pieces on the ground.

  • Bob,
    Yes, the stained glass is being salvaged. The old pipe organ went to UT and many other art pieces were saved.
    It is unfortunate to see this go, but it is just a building. The Church is the people.

    Mark 13
    1 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
    2 “Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

  • Jeremy:
    I would add that in about 5.4 billion years, the sun will grow hot enough to cause hydrogen fusion in its outer shell, which will cause it to expand into a red giant, incinerating Earth. Therefore, why should anyone bother with preserving beautiful buildings (or anything else, for that matter)?

  • Reductio ad absurdum!

    I’m hardly a preservationist, but I do think we should do what we can to save worthwhile buildings. I also think we should be willing to let buildings die. Selling this campus was not an easy decision.

    If you want to learn more about the inclusive community of St. Philip Presbyterian, come check out our BBQ on Saturday, September 10. Food is served at 6pm. All are welcome.

  • I’ve spent many hours tuning the beautiful Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ here, and I’m very sad to think that this beautiful building no longer exists. There are manyh churches that should be torn down, but beautiful examples of modern architecture like this one shnould e preserved. Sadly, we may live to see all beautiful buildings torn down and have for our children only books containing pictures of what once was but is no more.