01/11/17 1:30pm

Transmission Line Tower Installation, Westpark Dr., 77081

Transmission Line Tower Installation, Westpark Dr., 77081The view this week around Westpark Dr. at the West Loop includes both the old lattice towers currently holding CenterPoint’s electrical transmission lines and the taller, skinnier single pole models that will be taking over the gig. A reader captured some side-by-side portraits of the old towers and their replacements, which CenterPoint is deploying to raise the lines out of the way of TxDOT’s proposed future edits to the 610-59 interchange tangle. The cherry picker above is shown tethered to one of the new towers in the easement just west of 610; the top shot shows a pole up on the east side of the freeway between the Loop Central office midrises and the Danny Jackson Family Bark Park (which closed down last summer so CenterPoint could work on the land the county had been using as the park’s parking lot).

Here’s a ground-level shot at the base of an old-and-new tower pair just outside the dog park, with some Houston Garden Center inventory in the background for scale:

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Bark Park Sparks
08/26/16 1:30pm

Witch Hat Installation at Park for Humans and Dogs

Park for Humans & Dogs, Sawyer St., Sawyer Heights, 77007If the top of that pointy gazebo currently camped out at the about-to-open Park for Humans and Dogs by Glenwood Cemetery looks familiar, it’s because it’s been lurking around the Houston landscape for the last 115 years or so. This morning Susie Tommaney inventories the history and internet lore surrounding the house at 2201 Fannin St., from which a cupola nicknamed the Witch’s Hat was plucked just before the home’s 1997 demolition. “Not many people realize that the cupola was saved,” TIRZ 13 chair Claude Anello tells Swamplot, sending along the photo above of the hat’s installation, as well as his account of the hat’s rediscovery, reshaping, and ground-up career-building:

“I got a call a few years ago from Carl Detering, who had stored it in his outdoor storage yard at Detering’s on Washington. He was selling the property and told me that someone needed to get it or he would be forced to throw it in the dumpster. When I went to look at it, it had basically melted, [and] a tree had grown up through the middle of it (removed prior to photos) . . . Several people told us that it was beyond repair, but we dismantled it, had it reconstructed, and designed the park around it. It sat on the ground for a couple of years while we dealt with issues related to park design and permitting.”

Here’s a few tree-free glamour shots of the Hat prior to those reconstructive procedures, circa late 2013:

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Sawyer St. Comeback
07/29/16 10:45am

Park for Humans & Dogs, Sawyer St., Sawyer Heights, 77007

Most of the low mounds of dirt appear to be in place now at the carefully labeled Park for Human & Dogs on Sawyer between Union and Decatur streets (though there’s still grass to plant and a port-a-potty to extract). The park-to-be (across from beaver-free barbecue pub Beaver’s) sits on city-owned land backed backed up against the Glenwood Cemetery and the 2411 Washington apartment complex. The Old Sixth Ward Redevelopment Authority (e.g., TIRZ 13) was given to go-ahead to build on the site back in October.

Wavy playhouse designer Metalab currently has a few renderings of the project up on their website; those tiny hills popping up around the property make an appearance, as does the spindly gazebo off to the left above (which the firm says reemployed the Witch Hat, the salvaged cupola of an 1899 house demolished in 1997 at 2201 Fannin St.):

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People-Friendly on Sawyer
07/22/16 11:30am

Jackson Dog Park, 4828 1/2 Loop Central Dr., Pin Oak, Houston, 77081

Update, 2:30 pm: Commissioner Steve Radack tells Swamplot that the dog park itself will also be closed while the parking area is inaccessible. This article has been updated.

Jackson Dog Park, 4828 1/2 Loop Central Dr., Pin Oak, Houston, 77081 A well-labeled notice was spotted by a reader at the Danny Jackson Family Dog Park on Westpark Dr. (south of the Houston Post-turned-Chronicle complex, just inside the West Loop). The sign includes what appears to be a letter addressed to Mike McMahan of Harris County Precinct 3’s parks department, affectionately sign by CenterPoint Energy (which owns the electrical transmission corridor currently borrowed in part as parking for the linear dog run). The note indicates that some or all of the dog park’s lot may be off limits as the company takes care of some work to raise its transmission structures (which cross over the 610 Loop just south of where Westpark crosses under), to get them out of the way of some TxDOT road work planned for the area.

Swamplot is still waiting to hear back as to whether the park itself will stay open Precinct 3 says that the park itself will also be closed during the work period, which the letter says will run from August 15th through June 1, 2017. We’ll update as soon as we have more info; meanwhile, here’s a closeup of the text:

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Marking Territory
11/12/14 4:00pm

LAST CALL FOR THE BONEYARD DRINKERY Boneyard-bye-byeIt wasn’t the first Houston ingesting establishment to be permitted by the city to allow canine companions and their owners to co-lounge on its patio (that honor belongs to the now-shuttered Ziggy’s on Fairview) but with its attached 7,000-sq.-ft. dog park, the Boneyard Drinkery lived up to its reputation as the quintessential outdoorish hangout where panters, drinkers, and occasional barkers all could coexist in relative harmony. And now, after 4 years, it’s closing. A note posted to the Boneyard Facebook page indicates the property at 8150 Washington Ave. is being sold, and the bar and park will both close on November 30th. “Due to the size of property needed for this concept,” reads the note, “and the outrageous increase of property value in Houston over the last few years, we will not be relocating.” [Facebook; Photo: Boneyard Drinkery via Facebook]