11/20/13 11:30am



1800 Waugh Dr., Hyde Park, Montrose, Houston (03)An Oz-like urban vista from an (apparently railing-free) rooftop terrace (top). An artsy interior with multi-level gallery space. The pairing often indicates a Montrose-area address, as is the case with this custom 2003 contemporary with 3 levels of art-friendly living space currently devoted to an installation of frosty, over-sized life savers (above), among other works. The work-live-studio property, located near the Waugh bend in Hyde Park, rolled onto the market late last week. Price tag: $1.3 million. 


Dollars to Donuts
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:


09/03/13 12:15pm

PUSHING THE PIZZA BACK A BIT FROM MONTROSE BLVD. Concerns about how that new Pizaro’s Pizza had been drawn to cozy up to the blind corner at W. Gray and Montrose — and how that might affect people on the street — have caused a change in plans, reports The Highwayman: “Situating the entrance at an angle provides more visibility to pedestrians and people in a wheelchair. Drawings also seem to indicate two directional ramps that provide a little more safety and security for disabled pedestrians.” The new set of drawings — one of which is shown here — will go up before the Planning Commission this Thursday. [The Highwayman; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Braun Enterprises

08/13/13 10:15am

On Friday the volunteer-painted strips of donated scrap wood were weaved through the previously installed steel frame, completing Patrick Renner’s “Funnel Tunnel.” Funded in part by $10,000 from the Houston Arts Alliance, the 6,700-pound, 180-ft. long — umm, thing, wriggles through the live oaks on the Montrose Blvd. median between Bomar and Willard, right in front of Inversion and Art League Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s Molly Glentzer reports: “The wood came from a turn-of-the-century cotton gin that was being dismantled near Interstate 10 East just inside the 610 Loop.”

A few more pics of the thing:


08/05/13 10:15am

A resident at this 1970s apartment complex tells Swamplot that it has been sold and that notices to vacate by the end of September have been sent around: Demolition, the resident suspects, is nigh. The 21-unit, 13,750-sq.-ft. complex sits at 1407 Missouri, between Commonwealth and Waugh in Hyde Park just 2 blocks north of foodie row — Hay Merchant, Underbelly, Blacksmith, etc. — along Westheimer. County records show that the 18,625-sq.-ft. property was sold as recently as March to Legacy Community Health Endowment.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

08/02/13 10:00am

It looks like the squat building on the corner of W. Gray and Montrose will be upgraded into something like this rendering, reports 29-95. Pizaro’s Pizza Napoletana, which also has a spot in Memorial, will be replacing long-time tenants Bobbitt Glass and Southwestern Paint here at 1020 W. Gray, converting the space into a 2,500-sq.-ft. restaurant with a 300-sq.-ft. patio — and 2 of those massive brick ovens, adds Alison Cook. They’re expected to open in about a year.

Rendering: Pizaro’s Pizza

07/26/13 3:00pm

It’s taken a bit longer than Patrick Renner initially expected — he told Glasstire back in January that the “Funnel Tunnel” would be installed in February — but at least the sinuous steel frame that will be covered in repainted salvaged lumber was set up today in Hyde Park. You can see the giant tomato cage on Montrose Blvd., right in front of Inversion and the Art League of Houston.

Photos: Allyn West

06/26/13 11:15am

GAINING IN HOUSTON’S GAYBORHOODS So home prices are rising in urban areas — no surprise there. But nowhere are those prices rising faster than in so-called “gayborhoods.” That’s according to Jed Kolko, crunching the numbers for Trulia: “Neighborhoods where same-sex male couples account for more than 1% of all households (that’s three times the national average) had price increases, on average, of 13.8%. In neighborhoods where same-sex female couples account for more than 1% of all households, prices increased by 16.5% –– more than one-and-a-half times the national increase.” Prime Property’s Nancy Sarnoff adds that in Houston in Rosedale prices are up 16 percent and 14 percent in Hyde Park, where the 1920s Jackson Blvd. bungalow shown here is for sale for $425,000. [Trulia Trends; Prime Property] Photo of 1223 Jackson: HAR

06/20/13 2:00pm

The Mirabeau B. condos apartments in Hyde Park take a lot from the city: The sales center, for example, comprised a pair of recycled shipping containers that were powered by the sun. And now atop the building at 2410 Waugh a photovoltaic canopy is hoarding juice for each of the 14 units; cisterns are stealing rainwater that’s then used on the landscaping and rooftop greenery. Even the development’s moniker has been plagiarized. And so it makes a lot of sense that one of the building’s interior features is inspired by something just as local: a transformer box and a snarl of wires. Houston artist Randy Twaddle, for whom power lines have become something of a muse, installed 65 of these gypsum cement tiles in a 7 ft. by 25 ft. wall at the building’s entrance inside its parking garage. Each 40-pound tile, fabricated by Dallas firm Topocast at a lab at UT Arlington, features a 3D reproduction of one of the particularly twisted scenes that Twaddle can’t seem to help noticing.


08/03/12 12:05pm

The new kid on this otherwise out-of-the-Twenties block of cottages in Hyde Park is on the block again. Built in 2008, the property west of Montrose Blvd. and south of West Gray St. sold in March 2009 at $629,450 and again in September 2011 at $725,000. Last month, the HardiePlanked home on a 4,800-sq.-ft. lot popped up as a new listing one more time, asking $819,000. The house sits behind a fence with an automated gate across a double-wide driveway. Three crisply trimmed dormers rise above the 2-car garage and a recessed, at-grade porch like whitecaps on water. Just a few doors down at Montrose, there’s a convenience store and that 10-year-old, 14-unit, 4-story stucco condoplex known as the Renaissance on Montrose.


07/05/12 1:46pm

For the last 7 or so years, the atomic-ranch-era front of this 1929 bungalow at 1710 Welch St. served as the Scott Childress Studio, a hair salon. If you recognize that name, you likely know at least the outline of the rest of the story that goes with it: Childress was found on the floor of the property one Friday morning this past January, beaten to death with a pipe wrench; his roommate, Reginald Eaglin, was charged with the murder. The home was listed for sale in late February, but there’s a contract pending now. How that ends likely depends on a planning commission hearing scheduled for this afternoon. Up for approval: plans by Carnegie Homes to replace the modern-front house and the 2 apartments behind it — all on 7,500 sq. ft. — with 4 townhome lots along a central drive.

Photo: HAR

06/29/12 12:11pm

“I like how this view makes it look like Fiesta is exploding,” writes engineer and Metro board member Christof Spieler of this photo he snapped last night at dusk. No fire clouds are expected, but the Montrose Fiesta Mart will be closing for good on July 15th — to make way for a Finger Companies apartment complex on the site. Spieler’s photo was taken from the shelter of the half-year-old H-E-B across Dunlavy, just south of West Alabama.

More building-turnover photo fun:


06/27/12 1:09pm

Courtesy of a Swamplot reader who watched some of Houston Habitat for Humanity’s work dismantling the 1925 bungalow at 1310 Welch St. in Hyde Park, here’s an abbreviated photographic guide to the process. Above: the home on June 7th. And here’s how it looked just last weekend, with all the work complete: