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
09/08/16 1:00pm

The Conservatory, Gardens of Bammel Lane/Gardens of River Oaks, 2807 Bammel Ln., Greenway, Houston, 77098

Looks like the glassy structure above will be jumping gardens, per the announcement last week from the wedding venue formerly known as the Gardens of Bammel Lane (which took the new name Gardens of River Oaks late in July). The conservatory building will head north to the Gardens at Madeley Manor in Conroe once the Bammel Ln. venue shuts down in December. The rest of the garden’s structures and landscaping will likely be removed by less delicate means to make way for the planned 26-story Villa Borghese highrise, depicted below with Downtown peeking over its shoulder from the east:

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Conservatory Conservation
07/26/16 1:00pm

Former Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown, Houston, 77002

Barbara Jordan Post Office, 401 Franklin St., Downtown HoustonThe former Barbara Jordan Post Office campus at 401 Franklin St. is on its way toward a new career (as highlighted by yesterday’s news that trippy music and art festival Day for Night will be hosted on the property this year). The new stage name for the 16-acre planned mixed-use space near Buffalo Bayou isn’t quite set yet — PaperCity says that Lovett has been calling the property Central Post, but an active Facebook account using the name Post HTX (and staking claim to the 401 Franklin address) has been posting photos of the inside and promising updates on progress at the site.

Demo permits for some interior walls were issued back in October after the property’s summertime sale last year. Those concrete fins on the outside of the post office’s Franklin-facing midrise section are creating the stripy light pattern visible in the interior shot up top; here’s more of Post HTX’s photos of the building, pre-redo:

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Franklin St. Remake
07/26/16 10:45am

LIFE HTX, 2512 Woodhead St., Montrose, Houston, 77019

An evening update on that wood-adorned metal structure at 2512 Woodhead St., behind The Upper Hand salon: all of the slats are in place along with the LIFE HTX signage, and the company appears to have hosted its first event in late May. The venue’s website says that the 4,000-sq.-ft. space can hold up to 250 people, though you’ll have to start hiring extra security guards if you tip past 100. The setup also allows renters to project the giant images of their choice onto the interior walls (or just hang things on them instead).

The space is across Woodhead from the Eagle Express Cleaners, the AZ Food Mart, and Bravo Key & Lock, at the Shamrock gas station:

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Marked Up in Montrose
06/29/16 10:30am

Hughes Manor, 2811 Washington Ave., Houston, 77007

Hughes Manor logoThe spot formerly known as Hughes Hangar appears to be ditching the airport theme following the closure earlier this year of both the nightclub and its across-the-parking-lot companion The De Gaulle. Remodeling of the area between the 2 buildings has been underway as well — above is the ex-bar’s former back patio, now an open lawn shielded from view of Washington Ave.

The space appears to be reopening as an events venue; the new name is Hughes Manor, and the new logo (shown here) is also similar to the old:

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Return Trip
06/16/16 3:45pm

TRUMP’S LAST-MINUTE VENUE SCRAMBLE ENDS AT WOODLANDS MARRIOTT, GILLEY’S BAR The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 1601 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, TX 77380Yesterday morning presumptive GOP presidential nominee and figurehead of an alleged real estate education scam Donald Trump briefly appeared to have cancelled public rallies scheduled for Dallas tonight and Houston tomorrow, in both cases for lack of a venue. Multiple major Dallas-Forth Worth-area convention centers, citing unusually short notice and security concerns, reportedly refused to host the event. The campaign announced hours later that it would be holding tonight’s rally at a Gilley’s-branded nightclub in Dallas; tomorrow’s Houston event landed a convention room in the Woodlands Waterway Marriott immediately next door to Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. During the interrim, the Houston Press tried to help Trump out, checking on availability at venues ranging from NRG Stadium to the Sam Houston Race Park, as well as some concert spots; a Warehouse Live employee told reporter Diana Wray that the venue was otherwise engaged for Friday, but that the hypothetical pairing of a Trump rally with tomorrow night’s planned BET-sponsored Trap Karaoke night would be “something to see.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Press] Photo of Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center at 1601 Lake Robbins Dr.: Marriott International

06/30/15 12:45pm

The Dunlavy, Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, Houston

The Dunlavy, Lost Lake, Buffalo Bayou Park, North Montrose, HoustonA reader sends pics of 3 notable new features near the western end of Buffalo Bayou Park that appear to be just about complete: The multi-purpose private event space known as The Dunlavy, overlooking a restored and upgraded pond now called Lost Lake — and its signature central feature, a bell-mouth spillway to suck up the overflow, referred to more commonly as a morning glory. That’s the hole in the middle of the water feature; if you look closely at the photos of it below you can see the odd sight of the tip of a construction ladder peeking out at the top:

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And the Dunlavy, Almost Done
12/18/14 2:00pm

bella-terraza-exterior

That opulent Italianate edifice at 2840 Chimney Rock Rd. that formerly housed the Bella Terraza (later Villa Rinata) reception hall has been sold by former uneasy business partners and willing courtroom foes Stephen Montieth Clarke and Harris L. Kempner III, but the property at 2840 Chimney Rock is still generating litigation. This time around, Clarke’s attorney Brantly Harris is suing Kempner’s attorney Robert E. Bone.

The suit has but one, well, Bone of contention, but it’s a wee bit knotty:

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Courts
08/14/14 1:15pm

Swiss Alp Dance Hall, 7024 N. US Hwy. 77, Schulenberg, Texas

Swiss Alp Dance Hall, 7024 N. US Hwy. 77, Schulenberg, TexasSeeking a spot about halfway along the drive from Houston to San Antonio where you might be able to kick up your heels — and hang your shingle? Look no further than the tin-roofed Swiss Alp Dance Hall on Hwy. 77 between Schulenburg and La Grange. The concert and wedding venue, which was built in the early 1900s but “remains very much as it was back in the 1950s,” was listed for sale earlier this week.

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Swiss Alp
12/19/13 10:30am

Rendering of Proposed Office Building at 1885 St. James Place, Houston

Wedding, Courtyard on St. James Place, 1885 St. James Pl., HoustonThis striped confection is what developers are planning to put in place of the Courtyard on St. James Place, an ivy-bedecked wedding venue beloved — or at least remembered — by hundreds of Houston spouses and divorcees and tucked into the southwest corner of the office-building complex near the corner of San Felipe and Yorktown, northwest of the Galleria. Though the rendering doesn’t reveal much about the surfaces planned for the new structure, a comment from Jones Lang Lasalle’s Chris Decker, in charge of marketing the 13-story office building, says that “upper-level floors will feature exterior balconies and decorative masonry that will complement the sophisticated look of the limestone aggregate block window wall.” A colleague refers to it as a “niche-type jewel.” The 135,000-sq.-ft collection of offices — with what appears to be an attached 2-story segment modeled after a smaller groom’s cake — will sit on top of a parking-garage-podium base.

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Fondant Memories
10/23/13 11:00am

ADDING UP THE ASTRODOLLARS Teevee reporter Ted Oberg finds that the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation expects to make about $4 million a year on the New Dome, once it’s cleaned up and converted into 350,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space for things like, say, bowling competitions, hardware shows, or the Quidditch World Championships. “[But] costs,” cautions Oberg, “will eat up $3.9 million of it.” Still, HCSCC chair Edgar Colon seems undaunted by these figures: “It will be self-sufficient.” [abc13; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: New Dome PAC

10/16/13 3:45pm

Here’s a rendering of the renovations that JT ARC Studio has drawn up that show a 1938 house and former Methodist Hospital storage space gussied up into an art gallery. Located just south of W. Gray at 1707 Waugh in Hyde Park, the gallery and event space, to be called 1707 Collective, plans to open this spring. And it appears that work on the 1,674-sq.-ft. multipurpose building, which HCAD records show was finished in 1938 and renovated in 1990, is already underway:

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09/09/13 3:15pm

Since many of the big-headed attendees here at David Adickes’s former SculpturWorx compound are already dressed in formal wear — well, except for the Beatles — it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the Vanderbilt, the new event space with the highfalutin name being prepped for an opening later this month. A reader reports that the Vanderbilt has applied for its liquor license, and you can see one of those telltale TABC signs hanging beneath the plywood in the window at the top of the stairs.

Photo: Allyn West

10/30/12 3:45pm

The Astrodome at last has a new purpose, the managers of Reliant Park have announced. The 47-year-old flexible sports stadium will serve as a storage facility for neighboring Reliant Stadium’s new $1.2 million new-generation AstroTurf when it’s not being used on the Houston Texans’ home field. Reliant Stadium’s actual-grass-on-trays field will now be reserved for professional football; the artificial surface will be rolled out there for high-school and college football games and other events.

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06/20/12 11:37am

Dancers ranging through the 100,000-sq.-ft. former JCPenney at the West Oaks Mall — now known as the West Oaks Art House — “got pretty vigorous,” explains local art blogger Robert Boyd, who attended one of the inaugural performances in Houston’s newest, largest, and loneliest independent arts facility. One of them kicked the hole in the wall pictured at right. No grief from the free-range arts center’s laid-back L.A. landlord, though: “I kind of love the hole in the wall,” Pacific Retail’s Sharsten Plenge tells him. “It is like a souvenir of the energy that Suchu graced WOAH with.” (Yes, Plenge is an artist herself.)

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