An indiegogo page has just been launched to crowdfund the removal and reuse of an unexpectedly large group of well-preserved 1930s bricks from the now-under-deconstruction Yale St. bridge over White Oak Bayou. The group calling itself Friends of Houston’s Yale Bridge Bricks says the funds will be used to preserve the bricks for reuse both around the bridge and elsewhere around the city.
The fundraising effort shares some organizers with Friends of the Fountain, which launched the late-February campaign to crowdfund the de-restoration and subsequent repair of the Mecom Fountain following its short-lived experiment with limestone couture. That effort raised more than $50,000 toward a $60k goal in one month; Bill Baldwin (of both Friends groups) says it the fountain’s fundraiser received over $100k in total, including offline donations. This latest round of online crowdfunding the preservation of National Register of Historic Places structures is starting the bar higher, with a goal of $100,000 shown on the fundraising page.
Photo of work on Yale St. Bridge and Memorial Park Mattress Firm: Friends of Houston’s Yale Bridge Bricks
Follow the Yale Brick Road
An orange and black construction marquee is now advertising the upcoming closure of the Yale St. bridge over White Oak Bayou just south of I-10, starting the Monday after next and running until the New Year’s Eve after next. The 1931 bridge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is slated for replacement after years of asking crossers to please watch their weight (with 10,000 pounds per axle being the most recent upper limit). The per-axle limit was at 8,000 pounds prior to a 2012 drop to 3,000 (which disqualified some SUVs and minivans). The addition of carbon strips to the structure caused TxDOT’s weight limit to yo-yo back up to 10,000.
The plans for the new bridge floated by TxDOT in 2014 included wider outside vehicle lanes and slightly narrower sidewalks (down to 5 feet from 6). But summary and followup notes from the public meeting held at the end of July 2014 say the design has been updated to include 8-foot-wide shared bike and pedestrian pathways on either side of the bridge, in response to the public comments on the project.
The TxDOT meeting summary notes also documents the agency’s attempt to sell the bridge in the Houston Chronicle:
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Coming Back a New Bridge
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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