04/15/15 1:00pm

Photo by Robert Seale of James Harden in Front of Houston Skyline

How’d the photographer get Houston Rocket star shooting guard James Harden to tower over Downtown Houston’s skyline in that Sports Illustrated spread from February (above)? Careful site selection — plus a plexiglas stage, to deal with the parapet wall:

“The editor already had a specific view in mind,” writes photographer Robert Seale, “and we referenced a rooftop fashion shot I had taken a few years earlier from that same spot. On the plus side when using a parking garage roof, you can control access which is a plus when working with a pro athlete. If we had done this out in the park, we might have gathered a crowd and needed more security guys.”

Here’s a view of the roof at the Marquis Lofts on Sabine at 150 Sabine St. just south of the Old Sixth Ward, where Seale set up the shoot:


Houston Rockets and Towers
04/15/15 11:45am

Olive Garden Restaurant, 2929 Southwest Fwy., Upper Kirby, Houston

Could’ve been a Red Lobster or a Longhorn Steakhouse, but Darden Restaurants went the Olive Garden route with the brand-new feeder-side building-in-a-parking-lot the company built in place of the Greenway Inn & Suites — the hotel at 2929 Southwest Fwy. formerly known as the Houstonaire Motor Inn and the Colonel Sanders’ Inn, which was demolished last fall. The signs on the building, which is still under construction, went up yesterday, reports the reader who snapped these pics:


Tablet Service
04/15/15 8:30am


Photo of St. Emanuel St. mural, East Downtown: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

04/14/15 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE OLD 3849 Inwood Dr., River Oaks, and 2219 Kane St., Old Sixth Ward, HoustonEverything you would want to know about Houston real estate is encapsulated in today’s demo list and the next story immediately after it. A beautiful, classic River Oaks home in outstanding (if not spotless) condition and with plenty of sq. ft. is going to be demoed in order to build some gaudy lot line monster. Then, a tiny turn of the century Victorian bungalow in terrible condition is put on a truck, moved to another location, and lovingly restored inch by inch into a wonderfully creative and artistic work space for a small architectural firm.” [Old School, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: The Fisher Ding] Photos: HAR (3849 Inwood Dr.); KinneyMorrow Architecture (2219 Kane St.)

04/14/15 3:15pm



In Midtown, a 2003 townhome in one of the neighborhood’s pioneer gated-off blocks appears to be a step up — actually, several steps up, particularly from the dual entry threads of treads (top). Interior staircases lead to levels 3 and 4. The property last changed hands in 2005, at $260K, and asks $350K in the listing posted last week. Located at the north end of Midtown, the home faces west (and east) a block or 2 south of the Pierce Elevated. Access to Hwy. 288 on the cross street is a straight shot east.


Take Flight
04/14/15 12:16pm

STAG’S HEAD PUB CAN’T RENEW ITS LEASE, IS CALLING IT QUITS FOR NOW The Stag's Head Pub, 2128 Portsmouth St. at Sandman, Shepherd Plaza, HoustonThe Stag’s Head will be closing later this month, the owner of the Shepherd Plaza pub at 2128 Portsmouth St. reports. “The Landlord has decided not to renew our lease,” writes Michael Holliday on the 15-year-old establishment’s Facebook page. Attempts to negotiate something short term, he indicates, were not successful. “I have been looking to move The Stags to another location for some time but have been unable to find a suitable site.” Holliday says he isn’t giving up on the search, though. [The Stag's Head on Facebook] Photo: Marc Brubaker

04/14/15 11:30am

Park Place Memorial Strip Center, 5801 Memorial Dr., Bayou Bend, Houston

A reader wanted to make sure Swamplot readers had a chance to see the sign that’s gone up on the construction fence surrounding the Park Place Memorial strip center at 5801 Memorial Dr. — on the south side of the street just east of Westcott St. near Bayou Bend — for the new Mattress One store. (It’s the red banner on the far right of the submitted image, above.) When the store opens this August (on the opposite side of the 10,000-sq.-ft. center from Dunkin’ Donuts), it’ll count as the Florida and Texas chain’s fifty-seventh Houston-area location. Also moving in: Express Rolls, Piada Italian Street Food, and Omni Cleaners.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

57 Varieties, Near Donuts
04/14/15 8:30am


Photo of Buffalo Bayou: Alex Steffler via Swamplot Flickr Pool

04/13/15 4:15pm



One of the Inwood Forest properties near the neighborhood’s former golf course and clubhouse seems to have split personality. A stately late seventies contemporary — tiers of windows in a variety of sizes and groupings finish out an assortment of  bump-outs (and bump-ups) — opts for some How the West Was Fun flourishes inside (top). The property, located on Antoine Dr. north of W. Little York, faces a side street but takes its address from the thoroughfare. In its relisting over the weekend, the 1979 custom home’s asking price is set at $214K. A previous listing by the same agent had sought $242K in June 2014, with a reduction to $222K in August.


Western Whims
04/13/15 3:15pm

NEW INSTALLATION MARKS LOCATIONS OF KIRBY DR. WENDY’S OAKS WITH THICK YELLOW RIBBONS Protection for New Trees, Wendy's Restaurant, 5003 Kirby Dr., Upper Kirby, HoustonSpotted at the corner of North Blvd. and Kirby Dr., just north of Rice Village: 6 holes, 6 staked-off areas, and 6 fabric wraps around the Wendy’s drive-thru at 5003 Kirby. Is this another art installation in memory of the removed oaks? Naaah. Probably just the work of city crews, getting ready to plant their replacements. Expenditure of up to $300K for new live oaks — matching the amount paid by the franchise owner as part of a legal settlement for last year’s nighttime tree-hacking incident — was approved by city council back in February. Photo: Swamplot inbox

04/13/15 12:30pm

Offices of KinneyMorrow Architecture, 2219 Kane St. Old Sixth Ward, HoustonMarked down from 2314 to 2219 Kane St., KinneyMorrow Architecture’s new office in an old structure now on the corner of Sawyer St. is definitely not a house any more. Blame the slot.







House Moves