03/25/15 8:30am

Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion Hermann Park

Photo of Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park: Bill Barfield via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/24/15 3:45pm

NOW IT’S 2 MATTRESS STORES MOVING IN RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER AT THE CORNER OF WESTHEIMER AND MONTROSE Mattress Firm and Mattress Pro, 1002 Westheimer Rd. at Montrose Blvd., Montrose, HoustonMontrose watchdogs worried about the aura of chain-store sameness about to descend on the center-of-it-all corner of Westheimer Rd. and Montrose Blvd. once the new Mattress Firm store opens in the former Blockbuster Video spot at 1002 Westheimer: The nation’s largest purveyor of all things mattress understands your concerns. That’s why, this time, it’s mixing it up. As reporter Katherine Feser discovers, a separate store for the same company’s lower-priced (and normally outside-the-Loop) chain, Mattress Pro, will be moving in right next door. [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Katherine Feser/Houston Chronicle

03/24/15 3:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOUSTON’S REALLY GOOD OLD DAYS ARE GONE FOREVER Houston As It Was“The whole Houston region used to be a beautiful coastal plain where my family and extended family lived harmoniously with nature before 5,000,000 people showed up and paved over the whole damn place and called it Houston. Now I’m sad. — Sincerely, Karankawa Nation” [Bernard, commenting on Comment of the Day: What the House Meant] Illustration: Lulu

03/24/15 2:15pm

Reserves at Buffalo Point, Buffalo Speedway South of W. Bellfort St., Buffalo Lakes, Houston

Over at the south end of Buffalo Speedway below West Bellfort, land is being cleared for a new development, these pics from last week show. The view is over the back fence of the 3-year-old Connection at Buffalo Pointe apartments, at 10201 Buffalo Speedway. A reader tells Swamplot some sort of permit document seen on the property labels it the Reserves at Buffalo Point. In a view over the fence but looking a little bit more to the east, most of the trees are still there — for now:


Buffalo Lakes
03/24/15 12:15pm

Note: We’ve added a long-form aerial demolition video (our first ever) to the bottom of this story.

A few days before demo crews began tearing down the strip center at 2905 Travis St., the lone encroachment on the Midtown Superblock’s otherwise longstanding perfect record of vacancy, reader and neighboring property owner Adam Brackman captured this aerial tour of the site, which never veers from the Downtown (north) view.

What’s happened to Superblock since? Pics sent in from another reader show last week’s demo in progress:


Vacant Lot Porn
03/24/15 8:30am


Photo of Rice University: El Kento via Swamplot Flickr Pool

03/23/15 1:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT THE HOUSE MEANT House with Flower Bed“My great-great grandparents purchased the land mentioned in the above article when there were just a few houses on the street, and the street was not yet paved. They built this house and 3 generations of my family lived together under its roof at one time. My grandparents met working at the movie theater that used to stand in the Village Arcade. My grandfather was an usher and my grandmother was a concession girl. He used to sneak her out of her bedroom window for dates when she was 15 and he was 16, a few years before he joined the Navy to fight in WWII. My great-grandfather planted rose bushes in front of his daughter’s bedroom window to stop her from climbing out. When my grandparents were first married, they lived in the house with her parents and grandparents. My parents lived in the house after they got married, and I lived my whole life on Chaucer until I got married. My grandfather remained in the house long after his wife passed, and himself lived there until he passed away early last year. All of my best memories were set within those walls, all the family meals, holidays and birthdays. Driving past the muddy, empty lot felt like looking at someone’s usual armchair after they’ve passed away and expecting to see them sitting there, right as rain. Seeing those beautiful bone-colored porcelain bricks trampled under tire tracks . . . It took the air out of me. I hope that by sharing this history, people will understand that sometimes, a house is more than just 4 walls and a roof; this house was more than just a location and a parcel of land. Sometimes, it is the root that anchors us to our past, to our identity, to our origin.” [B Ferguson, commenting on Two Home Demos Mark Rice University’s Continuing March into Rice Village] Illustration: Lulu

03/23/15 11:00am



Windows have been replaced in a 1979 Shadowbriar home, its listing earlier this week at $375K proudly declares. But . . . where are they? Walls of solid brick and a deeply sloping roof appear to seal up the façade curbside (top); the deck out back has just a few panes by the French door access. What windows there are, however, appear to be heavy lifters:


The Mortar Shell
03/23/15 10:00am

JUST A BUNCH OF GUYS HANGING OUT ON THE ASTRODOME ROOF Visitors to Astrodome Roof, HoustonAstrodome security wasn’t the tightest during the Rodeo of 2012, it appears. That’s when builder Russell Hancock snuck inside the unused stadium and sent photos of some of the sorry scenes he found there to Swamplot — sparking a spate of media interest in the long-ignored venue. But Hancock wasn’t the Astrodome’s only unauthorized visitor that year. Brewskies in hand, 4 dudes with cameraphones also snuck into the structure, though it appears they spent much of their time exploring the structure’s peripheral spaces. Over this past weekend, one of the 4 posted an album of pix from their years-ago nighttime venture, the stars of which are the explorers themselves; with blanked-out faces, they’re seen hanging out in locker rooms, hiding in ice machines, operating the scoreboard controls, and pretending to tend bar in an upper-level suite. The highlight, though, is clearly the roofwalk: “After walking around on the top floor,” the anonymous poster writes, “I decided we should try to find our way onto the roof. Not kidding at all — the first door I opened, what looked like a closet door, had a ladder in it. So of course we climbed that shit. It went up about 15 ft. to a hatch that wasn’t locked. So we popped our head out and there was the roof. To the Astrodome. It was surreal. We started to climb up the sky lights to try to get to the top, but about 20—30 ft. up we realized that was probably not the best idea.” [imgur] Photos: Astrodome713

03/23/15 8:30am

Biscuit Paint Wall on Biscuit Home at 1435 Westheimer

Photo of Wall at Biscuit Home, 1435 Westheimer Rd.: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool