04/15/15 1:00pm

Photo by Robert Seale of James Harden in Front of Houston Skyline

How’d the photographer get Houston Rocket star shooting guard James Harden to tower over Downtown Houston’s skyline in that Sports Illustrated spread from February (above)? Careful site selection — plus a plexiglas stage, to deal with the parapet wall:

“The editor already had a specific view in mind,” writes photographer Robert Seale, “and we referenced a rooftop fashion shot I had taken a few years earlier from that same spot. On the plus side when using a parking garage roof, you can control access which is a plus when working with a pro athlete. If we had done this out in the park, we might have gathered a crowd and needed more security guys.”

Here’s a view of the roof at the Marquis Lofts on Sabine at 150 Sabine St. just south of the Old Sixth Ward, where Seale set up the shoot:


Houston Rockets and Towers
04/13/15 12:30pm

Offices of KinneyMorrow Architecture, 2219 Kane St. Old Sixth Ward, HoustonMarked down from 2314 to 2219 Kane St., KinneyMorrow Architecture’s new office in an old structure now on the corner of Sawyer St. is definitely not a house any more. Blame the slot.







House Moves
09/08/14 11:00am

Parking Signs on Union St. Near White St., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

A reader is curious about the source of the new call-if-you’re-gonna-park signs (pictured above) that went up last week on Union St., which breaks off from and parallels Washington Ave, between White and Henderson: “Is this city of Houston? I’ve never seen signs like this before. Or, if this is a private individual, is this legal?” There are no meters installed on the street, the reader says.

The signs are near Julep, which opened at 1919 Washington Ave. in early August after a long gestation period, and the would-be restaurant and bar at 2003 Union St. pictured below, which Swamplot reported on at the same time, more than a year ago:


Operators Are Standing By
03/06/14 12:00pm



Talk about shotgun stylin’: The listing for this double-barreled 1885 cottage in the Old Sixth Ward winks at its straight-shot floor plan with a sure-fire choice of equivalent-vintage decor above a bedroom door (top). Posted Wednesday, the renovated property (with patriotic porch) has a $325K asking price. The last time the home changed hands was 2012, when it sold for $242,000.


Two Across
03/03/14 11:15am

Sign, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, Houston

Tyler Flood, 2019 Washington Ave., Old Sixth Ward, HoustonThe DWI defense specialist whose enormous “Do Not Blow” billboard presided over Washington Ave early this decade (in the words of the Houston Press) “as the enormous and bespectacled eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg looked out on The Great Gatsby‘s Valley of Ashes,” has just purchased the long-vacant 11,604-sq.-ft. wedge-shaped former car lot at 2019 Washington Ave in the Old Sixth Ward. Attorney Tyler Flood (shown standing his ground on the lot, at left) plans to build a 6,700-sq.-ft. 3-story building on the corner of Washington and Henderson — with a café space on the first floor, lease space on the third floor, and his own law firm on the second. He’s hired Element Architects to design the building, which should look something like this:


Do Not Blow It
10/01/13 11:00am

Maybe this mystery has been solved: That old building at 908 Henderson just a block south of Liberty Station on Washington Ave is being converted into a restaurant called Big Eyed Fish. The owners just started posting some pics of the renovations to a Facebook page, and a new website promises that the place — “think southern upscale cuisine,” the website explains — is opening soon.

Photo: via Facebook

09/24/13 12:05pm

Now have at it: SmartGeometrics has made available for free on a website launched yesterday the data from 3D scans of the allegedly leaky, 87,500-sq.-ft. 1927 underground water reservoir near Sabine St. along Buffalo Bayou. Though the Buffalo Bayou Partnership would like to do something cool with the “accidental cathedral,” as Houston Chronicle columnist and cistern sympathizer Lisa Gray has called it, there’s no more funding available. Thus, the partnership is hoping some smart cookie who knows her way around AutoCAD (and programs like it) will use this free data to come up with an idea that woos someone or something else — like, say, Bud Light — to pay to make it happen.

Image: Buffalo Bayou Park

09/03/13 10:00am

Dude! Got a snazzy idea for that 1927 underground water reservoir near Sabine St. on Buffalo Bayou, but you just can’t picture what’s down there? Well, grab the potato chips and crank up Pink Floyd, because now you can. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership is reaching out in the hope that entrepreneurs, artists, and visionaries the city over will use the above video, created by SmartGeometrics, for inspiration. (And more 3D images are forthcoming on the partnership’s website.)


08/29/13 11:00am

Even more action in the Old Sixth Ward: A reader sends this photo of the former Bayou City Market on the corner of Henderson and Kane, which appears to have been chosen as the future location of Bun Penny Food & Wine. The reader says that the neighborhood corner store has been closed for a few years. It’s just a few blocks south of the proposed location of that new office building fronting Washington Ave.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

08/28/13 10:00am

So much for that walkable plaza with bike stations and jugglers and food trucks: It appears that an office building is going to go up instead on this underused triangular slice o’ land along Washington Ave. The variance is to reduce the setback from 25 ft. to 5 ft. in order to make room for parking and a 3,517-sq.-ft. office building. The 0.26-acre triangle is bound by Henderson, White, Union, and Washington. A site plan included in the variance request shows that the office would go up on the Henderson side, across the street from Liberty Station.


08/27/13 4:15pm

A reader frequently on the lookout for new TABC signs has noticed one in the window of this former lounge at 908 Henderson, just a block south of Liberty Station on Washington Ave. Says the sign-spotter: “I was always told [this] was going to be a pizza place but never really believed it.” Does that sound too good to be true? County records don’t show a change in ownership of the 1915 3,036-sq.-ft. structure since 2008, but the TABC sign the reader saw does appear to date to this June.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

08/21/13 11:10am

‘SPORTS BAR WITH CLASS’ REPLACING SPORTS BAR ON WASHINGTON AVE The prophecy foretold by that plagiarized message put up in July on Sawyer Park’s marquee has come to pass: A new “sports bar with class,” Social Junkie, will be opening here on Washington Ave on Sept. 13, reports Culturemap. Social Junkie’s owned by Saleem Fernandez, who also owns Roosevelt Bar and 5th Amendment in Midtown. Fernandez tells Culturemap that this bar, like his others, will have a pretty strict dress code — and lotsa sports: “‘Tuesdays we will have a live video broadcast with a Texans player . . . . We will also have a live radio broadcast here — an a.m. sports radio station.'” [Culturemap; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Allyn West

08/19/13 2:15pm

USING PICTURES TO PICTURE USES FOR BUFFALO BAYOU’S BASEMENT There’s still no real plan for that 1927 underground reservoir along Buffalo Bayou near Sabine St. But, reports the Houston Chronicle’s Lisa Gray — one devoted parishioner of this “accidental cathedral” — there’s now a new technology in place that might help would-be entrepreneurs visualize the possibilities: “SmartGeometrics, a company whose main business is creating super-precise 3-D digital models of real places . . . will show video-game-like digital models to the public . . . and will explain how, soon, the data will be available to anyone who wants to plug it into his design software. . . . ‘This is a starting point for us,’ [Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Guy Hagstette] says. ‘We’re trying to decide on the big picture. What should the concept be? Is it environmental art? A giant nightclub? A parking garage?” [Houston Chronicle ($); previously on Swamplot] Photo: SWA Group

07/31/13 11:00am

A reader sends this photo from the Washington Corridor: Is Sawyer Park coming back from the dead this September? The 4-year run of the 2-story sports bar with a checkered past at 2412 Washington came to an end in February. But the marquee — plagiarized from that ubiquitous Dos Equis ad campaign though it might be — suggests that something might be happening sometime soon. HCAD data show that the property hasn’t changed hands. Still, there aren’t any clues or further omens on the bar’s Facebook page or Twitter feed, and calls to Rockwood, what appears to be a design-build firm whose sign hangs from the bar’s terrace, haven’t been returned.

Photo: Swamplot inbox