Salon Stefano: The One That Got Away

Yesterday’s city council vote makes the status of 4 more historic districts much clearer. Avondale West, Norhill, Boulevard Oaks, and First Montrose Commons will now officially join 10 other existing districts under the protection of new preservation restrictions that don’t allow owners to do whatever they want if they just wait 90 days. The new preservation ordinance described a multi-step “reconsideration” process that might have led to the dissolution of any of the districts or redrawn their boundaries. But that didn’t happen here: These 14 districts will stay the same — well, almost. There is one property that got away.

It’s this 1929 building, home to Salon Stefano and an adjacent parking lot, at 3802 Roseland St. Last year, the property was included in the new First Montrose Commons Historic District. And now it’s out, scot-free. How did it manage to escape?


Well, it wasn’t too hard: First Montrose Commons didn’t really want the hair salon and the parking lot to be part of its historic hood in the first place. 3802 Roseland wasn’t even included in the original petition for the district. “The block is entirely commercial, and we are primarily an association of homeowners and residents,” FMC neighborhood association president Jason Ginsburg tells Swamplot. But after the petition was submitted, the city ended up drawing the actual boundaries, and added that lot in the northwest corner of the historic district. When city council voted to approve the district last summer, the hair salon was included.

But after the new preservation ordinance was passed, a representative of the property owner — a limited partnership called 3815 Montrose Blvd. — contacted council member Wanda Adams and asked if there was a way out. The neighborhood association told Adams it wouldn’t oppose a quick exit. Planning director Marlene Gafrick trimmed 3802 Roseland out of the district in the recommendation she sent to city council last month, and the council approved those new boundaries yesterday; but the deal had already been struck.

Photos: Candace Garcia

3 Comment

  • I know nothing about presrevation districts, but Solan Stefano is where I get my hair done. Love it!

  • I really don’t like preservation districts.

  • If you want to know how this one got out of the management district, just look at who owns it. Not the LLC in HCAD (which are normally just “Address, LLC”), but who owns the LLC. Or heck, just go by that building of the address listed.
    Hint, it’s Claude Wynn (in case you didn’t see the huge “Claude Wynn Interests” sign on the building). You know, the guy who runs the Montrose Management District. This guy has major pull with city council. He might argue for the management district (then try to exempt himself, or not pay), then argue for a historic district (then get his properties free from it’s regulations like he did with this one)… see where I’m going here?
    The guy is smart. He knows how to get things done. He’s not like the rest of us chumps trying to run a business without city council influence.
    I want to be like him when I grow up.