- 2158 Chilton Rd. [HAR]
Hines is planning to build an 18-story office building on a 3-lane section of San Felipe between Shepherd and Kirby, across the street from tony River Oaks. The site is the 35,000-sq.-ft. former lushy garden and grounds of a Vermont Commons home, which features several trees and at least one giant oak. “No one knows anything about this,” a source tells Swamplot. “They think a few nice townhouses are about to rise from the earth. That is the story that’s circulating the hood.”
This photo, courtesy of a reader, shows what will eventually hold up the new pedestrian bridge spanning Buffalo Bayou. This view looks south across the muddy water from the Sandy Reed Memorial Trail near Jackson Hill St. and Memorial Dr. toward the Royalton condo tower on Allen Pkwy. Crews have also begun clearing away more trees and brush between this spot and the Adath Yeshurun Cemetery, where the bayou’s master plan shows the Lost Lake will be.
Before this property in the secluded Tall Timbers section of River Oaks was a colorful contemporary by Carlos Jiménez, it was a much smaller home by San Antonio architect O’Neil Ford. Its acre of pie-shaped lot off a winding lane has wide-side frontage along Buffalo Bayou. The property atop rugged terrain listed a week ago with an initial asking price of $4,995,000.
A source close to Blanco’s ownership tells Swamplot that by November the West Alabama bar and grill will close. Meanwhile, Blanco’s will be scouting for a new location, the source says, “somewhere in the area.” Swamplot reported in January that St. John’s School was buying 13 acres of property in River Oaks that include 3406 West Alabama St., where the incongruous honky-tonk and its dusty parking lot — owned for decades by Barry E. DeBakey, the heart surgeon’s son who died in 2007 of liver failure — have been for 30 years.
Houston architect Wylie W. Vale passed away early this morning. He was 96. Vale’s career, according to photographer Ben Hill, who has documented his works, spanned from 1939 to 2001. Working in an array of styles, Vale played a substantial role in shaping the looks of River Oaks, Tanglewood, and Memorial. The home pictured above is in Katy.
Photos: Ben Hill
St. John’s School has purchased 13 acres of land, expanding its 29-acre campus in River Oaks. Headmaster Mark Desjardins tells the Houston Chronicle that the school on Westheimer won’t be developing the new acreage right away and hasn’t decided what will become of the businesses already there at the intersection of W. Alabama and Buffalo Speedway. Those include a fortune teller, the River Oaks Plant House, known for its oversized topiary-like Chia pets (dancing at left), and Blanco’s Bar & Grill, sitting there in a dusty parking lot as though it’s on a far-flung farm road and not right across the street from the 23-story Lamar Tower. (It’s hiding behind the Blanco’s sign in the photo above.)
Courtesy of Swamplot reader James Glassman, here’s a shot of what’s been connected so far under the Shepherd Dr. overpass as it crosses the end of Allen Pkwy. at Buffalo Bayou. Suspended ’neath the cars at this gateway to River Oaks: a new pedestrian bridge, which will link the aptly named Sandy Reed Memorial Trail along the bayou’s South bank with Memorial Dr. to the north. Here’s how it’s drawn out in the Buffalo Bayou master plan: