12/03/18 3:30pm

Last Monday, Clear Creek ISD’s board of trustees put its stamp of approval on the design (shown above) for a new Clear View High School to be built on land adjacent to the existing one. The current building on S. Walnut St. is slated to be knocked down — but perhaps not entirely: According to a press release, the school district “is working with the City of Webster to salvage the art-deco entrance from the old building for a possible Visitor’s Center” that’d show up somewhere not visible in the rendering above. When architect Rudolph G. Schneider helped put the original entrance there in 1939, it was a standout piece of architectural flair for the tiny town. Its conspicuous forehead is flanked by a pair of reliefs depicting a discus-throwing athlete on the left, and a scholar mulling over a globe on the right.

Over time, renovations to the building (originally called Webster High School) did away with other portions of it that’d been around since the beginning. But a few more original features may still be present inside: According to Preservation Houston, “It is not clear how much of the Depression-era building was incorporated into later additions.”

Photos: Clear Creek ISD

Pre-War Webster, Texas
04/14/16 4:45pm

712 Main St., Downtown, Houston, 77002
The Chase-occupied former Gulf Building at 712 Main St. (above) and the 10-story Great Jones building tucked next to it on the corner with Capitol St. are getting made over and rebranded together as The Jones on Main. Planned updates to the 37-story art deco skyscraper, which between 1929 and 1951 housed the Sakowitz department store in its first 5 floors at the corner of Rusk St. and Main, include a de-conversion of the ground level at that corner from office space back to retail usage — here’s a look at the intended floorplan released by developer Midway this morning, with Rusk at the bottom of the frame:


712 + 708
12/08/14 4:28pm


According to Harris County Clerk documents, the Peacock & Plaza apartments at 1414-1416 Austin St. downtown across the street from Root Memorial Square were sold late last month to a Colorado-based development company.

The two Spanish-tinged, red-brick pre-war buildings — one of which is adorned with an eye-catching tile mosaic of a proud peacock, both of which are studded with dark green and white awnings — hold a total of 32 studio apartments.

There’s no off-street parking, but that’s offset in part by “crazy low rents in a prime location,” according to a reader. Prime it is indeed, just across Root Memorial Square from the Toyota Center and blocks from Discovery Green and the convention center. And cheap it is indeed too, at least as of last year, when units were being advertised for $520 a month.


History For Sale
07/30/14 4:15pm

Capitan Theater, 1001 Shaw Ave., Pasadena, Texas

Capitan Theater, 1001 Shaw Ave., Pasadena, TexasThe city of Pasadena is likely to go ahead with the sale of the Corrigan Center at Shaw Ave. and Pasadena Blvd., which includes the once-grand Capitan Theater, to a New Jersey oil-industry inspection and lab-test company called Camin Cargo Control. Under the $4.6 million deal, already approved by city council once earlier this month in a 6-3 vote, the city would lease back the 31,982 sq. ft. of the property — the parts currently occupied by fire department administrative offices and the city’s municipal court. The lease-back wouldn’t include the long-vacant 1,500-seat art deco theater.

But a reader tells Swamplot that decorative pieces from the front of the 1949 theater — which after an exterior renovation looked pretty spiffy until recently (see photo at right from last year) — have already been removed. “The marquee boards, neon, and the whole vertical metal section that said “Pasadena” are gone, leaving just brick behind it,” Spence Gaskin writes. “The marquee stuff had been gone a few weeks at the least, but I just noticed the Pasadena sign removal.”


Art Undecoed
10/01/09 9:36pm

Eastwood clock-watcher Spencer Howard documents the end of the line for the 1935 Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Company building on Harrisburg. Metro doesn’t have any use for the bulk of the Streamline Moderne building in the way of the new light-rail East End Line. But how about grabbing that right-twice-a-day timepiece the building is wearing? The bulky fashion accessory might go with any of several new get-ups envisioned for Eastwood Park across the street.

METRO began the disassembly of the building last week. After several days of careful planning, joints were sawed into the steel frame, stucco clad facade. By the end of the week, a large crane was delivered to the site to assist with the removal of the facade.


09/02/09 2:48pm

All that uproar over the impending demolition of a favorite Streamline Moderne structure in Eastwood seems to have had an effect: Houston architect Sol R. Slaughter’s 1935 Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Company building at 4819 Harrisburg will be preserved!

Sort of. Metro has committed to saving the façade.

Well . . . maybe at least the center part of it.

Okay really, just the top part, above the door. The part with the clock.

Hey, at least it’s not going to go away!

. . . ?

Uh, well . . . architectural antique fan Spencer Howard, who helped sound the alarm about Metro’s demolition plans for the building a few weeks ago, writes in with the latest:

Deconstruction will begin in two weeks, at which point the façade will be placed in storage (yet to be located) until the permanent home is designed (yet to be funded).

But the face-saving fun doesn’t stop there. After a short but brilliant week of investigations, brainstorming, and Photoshop work, Metro has produced a series of proposals for the rescued stretch of stucco that’s likely to be studied and appreciated by historic preservation experts, redevelopment advocates, and postmodern philosophers for some time to come.

Monday’s presentation at the offices of the Greater East End Management District was simply titled “4819 Harrisburg,” but that’s just Metro being modest. Maybe when this thing is resurrected for academic conferences it can be called something like “Representations of Time: Practical Opportunities in Deconstruction and Preservation.”


08/20/09 10:46am

This timely building at 4819 Harrisburg in Eastwood, built in 1935 for the Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Co., showed up in yesterday’s Daily Demolition Report. The architect was Sol R. Slaughter, who also designed a home on the bayou in Idylwood the same year.

The building faces Metro’s new East End Corridor light-rail line. Rice University project manager Spencer Howard writes in with a few details, but isn’t exactly sure what’s going on:

The building was renovated as an artist live/work/gallery just a few years ago.

METRO pledged to save the facade of the building with the clock on it, across from Eastwood Park. They preferred to have someone else buy it and move it, but if that didn’t happen, they were going to move it back on the property and reattach it behind the new setback. Yesterday they sent out the demolition list for next Monday and it was on it. The neighborhood has alerted their gov’t reps.

Another view: