Parked High on the Wall of Kirby Building, Mini Cooper Still Gets Ticket

A red tag from the City of Houston, a reader reports, has been posted on the window at Internum, the design and interiors store at 3303 Kirby where this Mini Cooper’s been mounted since December 18. “Remove car from building front,” the City of Houston violation reads, “barricade sidewalks at front — do this immediately.” The violation is dated December 27, but as of this morning the car’s still hanging in there.


The sticker says that this is the second violation for “unpermitted work” issued to Internum since the Mini was hoisted into place by crane (shown below) and somehow secured to the stucco. It’s not clear whether the orange construction barrels and reflective signs placed on the sidewalks in front will count as barricades in the city inspector’s eyes.

Photos: SK (red tag and sidewalk); Loves Swamplot (crane); Lisa Garvin (others)

35 Comment

  • Why would the city want the car removed? I think its badass. I guess they think it will fall off the wall.

  • It wasn’t blocking the sidewalk, so the city had them add the baricades to ensure pedestrians had to walk out into the street to go around.

  • What does Cody have to say about the City of Houston wantonly handing out red tags. How dare they.

  • I find it hard to believe that this establishment would suspend a car over a public sidewalk without getting the proper city approvals, so maybe there are other issues here, like they failed to use the approved retention devices perhaps. If they actually did attach the Mini without the City’s OK first, I would seriously question their common (or business) sense.

  • Its not a real car. Its made of fiberglass.

  • If the car hangs over public right of way, there is a problem. If the car is completely on private/commercial property, shouldn’t be an issue.

    I’m ready for CoH to classify it as a sign and want a sign permit.

  • I saw it and though, “wow, that’s reallt cool for Houston.”

    And now, look at this. I am so not surprised.

    The City of Houston strikes out the cool factor again. What a drag.

  • Duh its cool and lord knows the Houston cool police will not stand for anything that is not bland and dated

  • It’s just like a Houstonian to symbolically defy gravity by parking.

  • It’s all about $(Money).

  • Even if it is fiberglass, how is it attached?

  • There are a few obvious reasons for this; it hangs out over the public ROW infringing on the setback line, safety over the sidewalk, probably considered a sign similar to the blue sax on Richmond Ave and, if they have had other issues with permits, then the COH will watch like hyenas to wait for the next infraction.

  • If they only had a ladder long enough to get a wheel clamp on that thing….

  • I can’t wait to hear the outcome of this. As JMD pointed out, it’s not a real car, it’s a car-shaped sign. Does the city need to approve any signs larger than a certain area, or volume, or weight?

  • Looks like a new sign to me, which requires a sign permit. But it could all be Pop Art, faux-violation included.

  • I don’t know why the barricades are necessary. It’s Houston, the sidewalks aren’t going to see any use.

  • Don’t blame Internum–Bubba the Holder’s Roach drove it there

  • Anything affixed to an external wall of a building in Houston requires a sign permit. Even a painted piece of plywood.

  • No sign company can block off a street and put a sign up without proper permits.

    Obviously that’s not the issue. Good job for your detective work swamplot. Way to turn something nice for the city into a negative, irrelevant story. Running out of things to write about?

  • Yes, Lance has it right. Just too cool for Houston. Leave innovation to Austin.

    “From Lance:
    I saw it and though, “wow, that’s reallt cool for Houston.”
    And now, look at this. I am so not surprised.
    The City of Houston strikes out the cool factor again. What a drag.”

  • Looks like it hangs over a sidewalk which is *usually* a public way for pedestrians which would therefore trigger local sign code regulations. Not sure if this is a public sidewalk.

  • No sign company can block off a busy main street for hours during the week not to mention install a sign on a commercial property without the proper permits. Obviously that’s not the issue…they would be liable ans would not risk that. Rather than speculate and critisize, enjoy the improvements to the city of Houston that Upper Kirby has to offer

  • They can replace it with a giant fiberglas cockroach.

  • As it’s been pointed out, the car is not real; it’s a hollow, fiberglass shell. The red tags come from the City’s inability to classify it. Just saw it on KHOU as well:–185963872.html

  • @MJ, hahaha that is FUNNY! sad, but funny. Thx!

  • From PYEWACKET2:
    Even if it is fiberglass, how is it attached?
    Double-sided scotch tape. What are you so worried about?

  • In defense of the city, if you look at it from directly below, it’s kinda scary.

  • Internum cannot buy better advertising. This went viral on Jalopnik among other places.

  • Jerry… that is kinda the point… smh

  • I’m trying to find the difference between a Kroger sign attached to the front of a Kroger store and a fiberglass car attached to the front of this building. I would imagine they weigh a similar amount and impinge on the public’s safety below in a similar fashion.

  • Sarcasm alert:
    I wonder if Cody put them up to this, just to keep the prius patrol busy and away from his properties for a day?
    It does sort of re-enforce my belief that the COH is one of the most bureaucratic places between New York and San Francisco.

  • I was there today and it seems it’s resolved, so the Mini will be parked there for a while.
    By the way, they have really cool furniture.

  • @#26 Jerry—

    Who said I was worried? I’m just curious.

    No need to get nasty.

  • omg, I laughed so hard at this post. Now I want to attach a car to one of my buildings just to get a red tag that says “Remove car from building”. That’s much cooler than the lame red tags I normally get. Goes to show that truth IS often funnier than fiction.
    miss_msry, regarding what I think about the red tag… I only ASSUME what the owner of the building did was legal, and that it was put up with safety in mind. A property owner has a lot of motivation to make sure something attached to a building doesn’t fall off and crush someone. He also has a (possible) lien holder and insurance provider to police such actions .

    So my off the cuff opinion is the city should leave the guy alone. I think it’s pretty cool. What will happen, IMO, is the City will be happy to get some “Sign Permit” money from him.
    (When I last bought a property that had a sign on it, I painted over it as I didn’t want the property associated with the previous management. I’d get letter after letter from the city telling me to get a “sign permit” ($). I told them I painted over it and it really wasn’t a “sign” anymore. They insisted, so I finally just knocked it down. I was then told I wasn’t allowed to take it down w/o permit. No, I’m not kidding)

  • I’m pretty sure those giant Christmas wreaths in Highland Village weighed more than this thing, and were a lot less cool.

    How can it be a “sign” with no words on it?