04/14/14 10:30am

Vacant Lot at 411 Lovett Blvd., Former Site of Bullock-City Federation Mansion, Montrose, Houston

Demolition of 411 Lovett Blvd., Avondale, Montrose, HoustonA bulletin board with a request for “comments” went up last week on the fence fronting the now-vacant site at 411 Lovett Blvd. in Avondale, where the 1906 Bullock–City Federation Mansion was torn down earlier this year (see photo at right). Yes, the metal fence along Lovett Blvd. is still standing. Passers-by have been adding their thoughts.

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Suggestion Box
03/06/14 10:00am

Demolition of Bullock-City Federation Mansion, 411 Lovett St., Avondale, Montrose, Houston

If you’re listening to KPFT this morning and are wondering what those crashing sounds are in the background, it’s just an excavator ripping chunks out of the 1906 Bullock–City Federation Mansion next door to the radio station’s studios, at 411 Lovett Blvd. Demolition permits for the recently renovated 8,000-sq.-ft. structure and a separate building in back were granted by the city on Monday. That night, a reader reported to Swamplot that workers were removing windows, mouldings, doors, a mailbox, and flooring late into the evening. But hardcore exterior demo work appears to have begun yesterday afternoon.

The former wedding and event venue turned high-tech office building (with a complete renovation completed in 2005) was recently sold to developers who are reportedly planning to build townhomes on the three-quarters-of-an-acre site at the corner of Taft and Lovett Blvd. Its previous owners touted the structure as the first Houston building ever to have central air conditioning. (It was retrofitted with custom iron ceiling medallions that served as AC vents and chandelier mounts in 1926.)

These photos were taken by a reader around 7:30 this morning:

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Making History of Air Conditioning History
02/28/14 4:45pm

Bullock Mansion, 411 Lovett Blvd. at Taft St., Avondale, Montrose, Houston

Bullock Mansion, 411 Lovett Blvd. at Taft St., Avondale, Montrose, HoustonReaders are reporting to Swamplot that the end appears nigh for the 1906 Bullock-City Federation Mansion at 411 Lovett Blvd. in Montrose. Salvage and demolition crews have been at work there for much of the week, removing wood floors and gutting other pieces from the fancy interior. Portions of the garden (see photo at left) have been torn up to disconnect sewer lines. The new owners have reportedly said they have plans to build townhomes on the site once the existing building is demolished.

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Restored 2005, Demolished 2014
02/18/14 2:45pm

3534-miramar-01

3534-miramar-04

“Little Castle” or “Tree House”? This coastal property forged of sticks and stones in Shoreacres is known by either name; it’s a 1932-built landmark near the Houston Yacht Club in La Porte. Thick, rough cut rocks clad much of the exterior, which comes with a chimney-hugging turret (top). Near its breeze-facing entry off a patio, 4 ‘faux bois’ pine trees — one of which looks a bit squirrely (above) — lend their support.

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Rocky and Squirrely
07/23/13 10:00am

GALVESTON HISTORICAL FOUNDATION CLOSES ON BISHOP’S PALACE With the Moody Foundation’s $1.5 million donation as a nice starter, the Galveston Historical Foundation was able to raise the rest of the $3 million it needed to buy the 1892 Bishop’s Palace from the Catholic archdiocese and keep it open as a museum. Designed by Nicholas Clayton for Col. Walter Gresham, the 17,420-sq.-ft. Victorian mansion at the corner of 14th and Broadway had housed clergy since 1921 before the foundation opened it up for tours. The Houston Chronicle reports that the archdiocese plans to use the windfall to renovate the St. Mary’s Basilica, also in in Galveston, while the foundation “plans to restore the roof, the front of the building and do repainting [and] other general repairs” to the Palace. [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo: Galveston Historical Foundation

07/01/13 10:00am

Just a little after 5 p.m. on Friday, according to one reader, the Schauer Filling Station was bitten into by this burly chomper and brought down. (Apparently, a demo permit had been received earlier that day.) The vacant 1929 station on the corner of Oxford and 14th St. in the Heights had been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. And some readers seem to have had grand plans for the ol’ property. Bill writes: “I was wanting to open an outdoor coffee/ice cream shop there but last I looked (when it was publicly advertised) those 3 houses were for sale together for some crazy stupid amount of money. Nothing a coffee/ice cream shop could pay for.”

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06/28/13 3:45pm

Despite its spot on National Register of Historic Places, the 1929 Schauer Filling Station doesn’t seem to be much longer for this world — nor the equally old, if not equally historic homes on the property at the corner of Oxford and 14th St. in the Heights. At least that’s what a few readers have been hearing: “All of the folks that were living in these houses,” writes one, “have been moved out (I think they were relatives of the previous owners) and the neighborhood chatter is that the new owners will be leveling everything on the property.”

Besides the filling station, that would include the 676-sq.-ft. house at 1408 Oxford that dates to 1899, and the 1,104-sq.-ft. blue bungalow, also dating to 1929, visible in the photo above that was taken earlier this June. County records do show that the properties at 1404 and 1408 Oxford had been owned recently by one Hazel C. Schauer.

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06/11/13 10:00am

UNLOADING GALVESTON’S BISHOP’S PALACE The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese has put up for sale the 1892 Bishop’s Palace, a.k.a. Gresham’s Castle, at 14th and Broadway. The price? $3 million. But the archdiocese isn’t going to let just anyone buy the 17,420-sq.-ft. Victorian clergy digs-turned-museum — at least not for a while: “The Galveston Historical Foundation has an exclusive right until the end of this month to raise . . . the money or the archdiocese can open the sale to all comers,” reports the Houston Chronicle. Foundation director W. Dwayne Jones tells the Chronicle that they’ve already raised $2.3 million. And why the sale? “Jones said the archdiocese has been looking to get out of the museum business for a while. ‘They are in the business of saving souls.’” [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Galveston Historical Foundation

05/22/13 2:00pm

This li’l Victorian on Kane St. dates to 1890 — that’s according to the plaque by the door. (You can’t miss it.) In the Old Sixth Ward south of Washington and east of Sawyer St., this lot at 2211 Kane actually has 2 houses — the historic one you see here front and slightly off-center and another at the back of the 5,000-sq.-ft. property. Each has 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, accented throughout by stained glass and staged for the listing with wine glasses. The price for the two of ‘em? $319,000.

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05/09/13 10:30am

All that hard work installing new wind turbines and solar panels and employee vegetable gardens at the Houston Permitting Center — or even the talk about building a hot dog stand inside — hasn’t seem to have affected its historic status, since the former Butler Brothers Building on Washington Ave in the Old Sixth Ward was given a protected landmark designation yesterday. And what does the newly historic and well-preserved Permitting Center plan to do with this street cred? Why, host historic preservation fairs, of course!

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