01/16/17 11:45am

If you’ve got today off, you could go check out the recently reinstalled Broken Obelisk in front of the Rothko Chapel, dedicated to the doctor back in 1971 (and balanced back in place last month as shown above, following the statue’s extended reparative staycation in Connecticut). Swamplot is pausing for the afternoon to pay a quick visit; we’ll be back tomorrow with our regular coverage of Houston real estate back-and-forth.

Footage of reinstallation of Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk at the Rothko Chapel: Rothko Chapel

Happy Birthday MLK
12/16/16 1:45pm

Post HTX Day for Night Layout
Former Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown, Houston, 77002Here’s the site plan from the folks running the Day for Night festival, showing how the art installations and music stages will be laid out in the decommissioned post office at 401 Franklin St. this weekend. The Downtown building was sold last year to Lovett Commercial, which will be redeveloping the building over the next 8-ish years into a mixed-use complex called Post HTX. The circle sketched onto the gray-shaded area marked above as The Courtyard appears to match up with the circular garden feature visible in this aerial shot (looking northwest across Franklin St.) — here’s a closer view:

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Post-Post Office Downtown
09/16/16 2:00pm

Park(ing) Day 2016, 500 McKinney St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

What’s all this sitting by the meters on the 500 block of McKinney St. today? Allyn West sends over some shots of the parking-spot-sized pocket parks currently occupying a few of Downtown’s on-street spaces. And you, too, can sit there, but only if you hustle: The ephemeral parklets are open for communal use until about 3 PM as part of the annual Park(ing) Day affair, now in its 12th year of instigating fleeting streetscape conversions in hundreds of cities around the world.

One of this year’s parks has its very own ideologically-conflicted seesaw:

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Metered Park(ing)
03/21/16 12:30pm

Jamal Cyrus Art Blocks mural as 901 Main St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

The next piece of Art Blocks art was smoothed into place at the corner of Main St. and Walker this weekend, above the lightrail-facing side of inflation-aware Just a Dollar 19¢ & Budget Food Store. The mural, Jamal Cyrus’s Lightnin’ Field, is one of 4 that will be rotated onto the side of the 1929 building at 901 Main throughout the year leading up to next spring’s Super Bowl. The other projects to pretty up the Main Street Square area include the 60-foot-tall wooden Trumpet Flower that will grow between One City Centre and its parking garage, and the Color Jam street paint-up underway at the corner of Main and McKinney.

The signs for Just a Dollar 19¢ appear to have been artistically blanked as part of the installation; the convenience store, which opened on the corner in the early 1990’s in the former Krupp & Tuffly Shoes building, is shown above from the northbound Main St. Square light-rail station, between the restored facade of the Holy Cross Chapel & Catholic Resource Center (on the right) and the 46-story BG Group Place tower at 811 Main (on the left, across Walker St.). Here’s a twilight shot of the nearly completed mural, with a cherry picker still loitering in the bottom corner:

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Up on Main St.
02/22/16 4:30pm

Rendering of Color Jam at Main at McKinney streets, Downtown, Houston, 77002

Here’s an idea of what the corner of Main and McKinney streets may look like in a few more weeks, as the installation of Jessica Stockholder’s Color Jam Houston proceeds. The above rendering faces south across the north-er of the 2 intersections between the Main Street Square light-rail stops, with its existing semi-neutral stripes and swirls joined by some brighter colors. Stockholder’s installation, modeled after a previous painting of the town for Chicago in 2012, is one of the Downtown District’s temporary Art Blocks projects intended to brighten up the area for the year leading up to the 2017 Houston-hosted Super Bowl and NCAA championship. The Art Blocks initiative also includes the 60-ft-tall Trumpet Flower that will lurk in the alley between One City Center and its parking garage.

A reader tweeted a photo of some of the first blocks of pigment, evidently maneuvered into place late last week:

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Art Blocked at McKinney
02/01/16 5:00pm

Trumpet Flower Painting Event, Market Square, Downtown, Houston, 77002

Preston St. was closed down Saturday afternoon between Travis and Milam, as hundreds of people showed up to Market Square to paint the reclaimed strips of wood that will compose Patrick Renner’s upcoming Trumpet Flower installation.  The sculpture is designed to loom 60 feet above the space between One City Centre and its parking garage downtown (off Main St. Square and Fannin, between Lamar and McKinney).

Renner, of far-more-horizontal Funnel Tunnel fame, is slated to install the towering cone by the end of March, as part of the Art Blocks project planned to jazz up Main Street Square leading up to the 2017 Superbowl.  The tip of the structure will stretch down from the top of the garage and flare out into a furnished canopy shelter at street level. A tiny model of the installation was on display at a side table during the painting free-for-all:

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Sprouting Downtown