10/04/10 4:42pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A LOW-COST LIGHTING OPTION FOR THE 59 BRIDGES “Send someone over to Walgreens and you can cover the whole thing in holiday lights for a 100 bucks a bridge. Chevy Chase will install them for free.” [kilray, commenting on What It Would Cost To Get Those 59 Bridge Lights Working Again » Swamplot: Houston’s Real Estate Landscape]

10/01/10 5:05pm

WHAT IT WOULD COST TO GET THOSE 59 BRIDGE LIGHTS WORKING AGAIN Mike McGuff follows up with details on what might be holding up the undangling and rekindling of that fiber-optic lighting on the Dunlavy, Montrose, Hazard, Graustark, Mandell, and Woodhead St. bridges over 59: “The lights originally cost $275,000 when they were first installed. To get the old ones out and the new ones installed, you are looking at a price of $90,000 per bridge. With six bridges, that comes out to more than half a million dollars.” [39online; previously on Swamplot]

09/20/10 11:29pm

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

Answers — of a sort — to your questions-about-town:

  • Southwest Freeway: More than a week after our source noted the problem, that dangling loop of fiber-optic lighting gone dim is still taped to a cable (see photos above) on the Dunlavy St. bridge. TxDOT, the agency in charge of the lights, has swooped in to fix problems with the lights sporadically since at least 2004. But the situation has apparently accelerated to the late-drooping stage. What’s next? Are they just gonna leave us hanging?
  • North Montrose: Pat Wente finds the source of the Regent-Square area jackhammering: demolition of a slab leftover from the Allen House demo on West Dallas (see photo below). And hears Bernard’s somewhat blunt though unofficial assessment of the prognosis for construction on the giant mixed-use project:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

09/15/10 12:51pm

Got an answer to one of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.

  • Southwest Freeway: Driving over the Dunlavy Bridge, a reader spots a loop of fiber-optic lighting cable hanging off the southern end of the structure. Later the same afternoon, the reader snaps these photos, showing that someone had taped the loose strand to one of the bridge cables: “When the bridges over this part of 59 opened a few years back, the lighting was pretty cool, but I don’t think it has worked for a while. Friends and I have wondered who is supposed to be responsible for keeping this up — think one of your readers might know?”
  • North Montrose: Jackhammers have been thrumming for the last couple mornings on West Dallas, reader Pat Wente reports. And she wonders if it might have something to do with Regent Square: “Anybody know of any official new start dates or plans on this long-delayed project?”

And then there’s this little item:

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11/25/08 12:08pm

“Brown finds itself at the epicenter of two major design styles that [have] swept the country,” declares Cote de Texas’s Joni Webb. And those would be? “The Belgian and Industrial looks.”

In Houston at least, Jill Brown appears to have cornered the market on large lantern-style lighting fixtures and European instructional charts. On separate recent visits to her last-name-only shop on the corner of Ferndale and W. Alabama, Webb and fellow design blogger Paloma Contreras documented the finds:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

07/31/07 12:03pm

Hines Parking Garage at Walker and Main downtown

Hines’s new parking garage at the corner of Walker and Main downtown features an innovative lighting design that delivers benefits to neighbors. The problem: drivers parking at night in the unscreened 14-story garage might shine their headlights across the street, directly into residences in the Commerce Towers building across the street. The solution: flood the garage with so much light that cars won’t need to use their headlights at all.

Unfortunately, Commerce Towers residents don’t seem to appreciate all that attention to detail:

it is an extravagant eyesore that expands from Travis to Main (ironically, grossly overshadowing the light rail) and right on Walker. There is no skin on it, and so sits a concrete skeletal nightmare.

Not only is this grotesque structure visually nauseating, it also is a seizure-inducing brightly-lit nightmare! The structure is fleshed out with intensely BRIGHT floodlights on each of its 14 floors, including the roof, that release their ungodly glow (24/7) without obstruction into the living and bedroom units of the Commerce Towers Condominiums!

Hines vice president Clark Davis told the Chronicle two years ago that the garage, which sits on land cleared by demolishing the San Jacinto building, would be “architecturally significant.” Hines developed the garage for the company they sold the property to, Sunbelt Management of Florida.

Photo: HAIF user sevfiv