08/04/17 1:00pm

Architectural details, building materials, windows, and flooring are now being picked from the the Midtown building at 1505 Hadley St. known as the Rice Mansion, a reader suggests. The photo sent above from this morning appears to show someone pulling boards from the threshold at the front door. The triple window fronting the building’s attic has already been yanked out.

Also removed from the property: a large amount of Destiny’s Child memorabilia — but that was last year, when the band’s former manager, Mathew Knowles, sold the entire block to the parent company of the neighboring Midtown Advantage BMW car dealership. The Rice Mansion served as the headquarters of Knowles’s Music World Entertainment for 15 years, and was considered the birthplace of the careers of his daughters, Beyoncé and Solange Knowles.

Another building on the property with a Destiny’s Child connection and a later stint as a wedding and event venue — the House of Deréon Media Center at 2204 Crawford St. — was torn down last month.

 

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Killing Time
07/24/17 2:30pm

It appears demolition contractors — or the site’s new owners — saw fit to remove the mural of Destiny’s Child from the House of Deréon Media Center building in Midtown before beginning to break it down last week. The time-lapse video above shows an excavator tearing apart the 2-story structure at 2204 Crawford St. piece by piece on Friday. But the southern façade of the building, which faces Hadley St., looks a little different than it did just a week earlier. Where once hung giant images of Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles, and Michelle Williams, a plain white panel appears — the mural evidently having either been removed or painted over before demolition began.

Strangely, this is not the first sign of deference the demo contractors on site have shown the Bootylicious trio, before the building touted for many years as “The Home of Destiny’s Child” was given the boot. Last week an excavator appeared in front of the mural — only to sneak away a few days later:

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Didn’t Think They Could Handle This
07/21/17 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE MIDTOWN HOME OF DESTINY’S CHILD HAS MET ITS DESTINY “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but House of Deréon is but a memory now, a pile of rubble.” [Fe Bencosme, commenting on Destiny’s Child Mural on House of Deréon Media Center Wins Midtown Demolition Staredown; more here] Photo of House of Deréon Media Center, 2204 Crawford St., Midtown Houston: Jordan

07/18/17 1:15pm

That excavator (pictured above) spotted poking around outside of the former House of Deréon Media Center last week may have disappeared at the end of its brief staredown with a larger than life representation of Beyoncé Knowles and the Destiny’s Child crew — but the structure still looks to be on the chopping block after all, if the demo permits issued yesterday are any indication. Group 1 Realty, an arm of the auto chain that owns nearby Advantage BMW alongside the Pierce Elevated, bought the land last fall from Mathew Knowles; the company also looks to have been snapping up a smattering of other properties in the immediate vicinity since at least early 2015. 

Photo: Jordan

Demo Crews To Get In Formation
07/11/17 11:30am

A reader who visited the site of the House of Deréon Media Center last night notes an unusual outcome to the demolition standoff that began on the Midtown block late last week. The excavator parked outside the former event and wedding venue at 2204 Crawford St. marketed as “The Home of Destiny’s Child” has apparently been removed — and the building, along with other structures that until last year belonged to former Destiny’s Child manager Mathew Knowles‘s Music World Entertainment complex, is still standing. There will be no, no, no demolition, it appears — for now.

A reader’s photo and video of the scene (above) show only a few mudtracks from the excavator remaining — and Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles, and Michelle Williams still staring it down, unmoved.

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Say My Name
07/10/17 9:45am

It appears that what’s left of Mathew Knowles’s Music World Entertainment compound in Midtown is Destiny’s Child now. “Ever since I read that Advantage BMW bought the block,” writes the reader who snapped this photo of the excavator now parked next to the House of Deréon Media Center at 2204 Crawford St., “I have been expecting something to come down.”

The pictured building, designated the “Home of Destiny’s Child” — later an event and wedding venue operated by Knowles, the group’s former manager — sits on the 1.43-acre block bounded by Crawford, Webster, LaBranch, and Hadley that Knowles sold to the corporate owners of the neighboring Midtown Advantage BMW dealership late last year, after (as he later told Nancy Sarnoff) “someone knocked on my door and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Also on the block: the Music World Studios building, where (among others) Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Mario, and Chris Brown recorded — as well as Knowles’s daughters, Beyoncé and Solange. And at 1515 Hadley St., next door to the House of Deréon Media Center, is the 3-story former Rice Mansion, which Knowles had made his company’s headquarters:

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Child of Destiny
02/23/15 4:15pm

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Whatever the renovation vision might have been appears to have been suspended for the Farnham Park property previously owned by fashion designer Tina Knowles, also known as Solange and Beyoncé’s mom. Among the work interrupted: peeled back ceilings and notches in the colonnade encircling the vast main room, left empty but for a lingering set of plans near an abandoned work table.

Pastor and developer Kirbyjon Caldwell and his wife Suzette Caldwell bought the property from the Knowleses in 2012 for $2.9 million, when the ask was $3.4 million. In its listing earlier this month, the house appears to be half gutted and in a state of disarray. Its price tag starts a bit lower too, at $2.85 million.

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Re-Don’t
06/25/13 10:00am

BEYONCé’S DAD COULDN’T FIND THE SCRATCH TO MAKE ASTRODOME SPLASH One of those 19 bids that the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation never really asked for and passed over anyway for its own proposing that the Astrodome be converted into a slimmer, shallower, convention center was submitted, reports the Houston Chronicle’s Kiah Collier, by Beyoncé Knowles’s father. Well, maybe “submitted” is too strong a word: Apparently, Mathew Knowles emailed HCSCC honcho Willie Loston with a promise to email again later with an idea for a Splashtown-like concept for the Dome. But there was never any “financial backing,” reports Collier. (You can almost hear ’em singing: If you liked it, you shoulda tried to pay for it.) Today, the HCSCC will be recommending its $194 million idea to the commissioners court. And where’s that money supposed to come from? Here’s Collier: “Loston said he suspects the court will refer the plan to the county budget or infrastructure office ‘for further study.’ The budget office has said it will look for ways to generate revenue so the county won’t have to ask taxpayers to foot the entire bill.” [Houston Politics; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: HCSCC

02/04/13 1:30pm

If Beyoncé still wants this deeply discounted Piney Point Village mansion for her mother, she might have to bring back Sasha Fierce and grab a paddle: It’s going up on February 19 for auction. The 21,640-sq.-ft., 4-kitchen rental property near Briar Forest was listed as recently as January 3 at $5.9 million — and, says the website of California-based auction house Premier Estates, that’s just where bids will start.

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01/18/13 3:00pm

MICHAEL JORDAN’S ALL-STAR BIRTHDAY BASH IN MANSION BEYONCé LIKES FOR HER MOM? Though rumors suggest that Beyoncé might soon snap it up for her mother, Tina, this steeply discounted Piney Point Village mansion near Buffalo Bayou has been the getaway destination for luxury-seeking out-of-towners like rapper Wiz Khalifa, reports CultureMap’s Shelby Hodge. According to its Vacation Rentals By Owner listing, the 21,640-sq.-ft. lodging goes for $25,000 a week from September to April — chump change for an NBA demigod like Michael Jordan, who, reports Hodge, might be renting the mansion to get his 50th birthday on while he’s in town during NBA All-Star Weekend in February. The VRBO listing doesn’t mention a security deposit; let’s hope Jordan hires someone to clean up before Beyoncé’s mom moves in. [Houston Chronicle; CultureMap; previously on Swamplot] Photos: HAR

01/07/13 10:00am

So these apartments might not have the same shimmery glamour as their namesake, Beyoncé Knowles. But the pop star and Houston native, moved by the devastation in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, did chip in with her sister, Solange, and mother, Tina — as well as Destiny’s Child co-star Kelly Rowland, St. John’s United, and Temenos CDC — to help provide housing for Houston’s low-income and homeless populations.

The 43-unit building (shown above) at 1719 Gray went up in 2007. Now, Temenos has laid out on its website plans for a second building — with almost twice as many units as the original — at 2200 Jefferson, less than a mile away on the east side of I-45.

There’s no mention whether Beyoncé is involved in Phase II. But there are renderings:

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01/27/12 6:11pm

MAYOR PARKER NOT BACKING BEYONCé MONUMENT IDEA, BUT SHE’S COOL WITH THE TUNES In announcing plans for a fundraising venture that would include construction of some sort of monument to Houston native Beyoncé Knowles, Armdeonce Ventures’ Marcus Mitchell indicated last night that there was  official civic support behind the project. “We’ve gotten support from the city of Houston, from the mayor,” Mitchell told Fox 26 reporter Kristin Kane. “We’re waiting for a very nice letter from the mayor right now.” But if Mayor Parker sends him one, the letter may not include what Mitchell is after. Just out from the Twitter feed of Janice Evans, a spokesperson for the mayor: “Fox is wrong. The City of Houston is not behind, working with or having anything to do with an effort to build a monument honoring Beyonce.” To soften the blow, she adds, later: “But we do heart Beyonce and her music.” [MyFox Houston; Twitter] Photo from Run the World video: Beyonce Online