03/28/17 2:30pm

2309 Wichita St., Riverside Terrace, Houston

The Chron’s Craig Hlavaty reports from the scene of still-ongoing renovations to the bedecked and multi-turreted home at 2309 Wichita St., better known as the castle-like former duplex, orphanage, and daycare facility in Riverside Terrace that former owner and VA nurse Charles Fondow spent 31-odd years renovating and expanding as his own quirky residence, inspired by his sightseeing travels in Russia and Green Bay, Wisconsin. Fondow died in 2011, his life’s work incomplete. New owner Nick Ugarov, who picked up the property from a bank sale in 2014, has continued Fondow’s legacy with a multi-year renovation project of his own:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Almost Done
08/31/16 1:00pm

Former Site of Planned HCC College of Health Sciences’ Medical Science & Technology Early College Charter High School, Hwy. 288 and North MacGregor Way, Third Ward, Houston

A meeting is set for September 7th to take public input on the city’s plan to purchase the long-vacant land at the northeast corner of SH 288 and MacGregor to let H-E-B build a store on the site (at the edges of a few of Houston’s USDA-defined food deserts). The city says the meeting and comment period (which lasts through September 11) are standard parts of its 8-step program when developing within the floodplain — Brays Bayou is just to the left of the frame above (snapped back in 2014), which the southeastern corner of the land as the facade-and-foreclosure-twin Mosaic and Montage towers peek over from west of 288.

The land is currently owned by Houston Community College; the college system bought the tract (reportedly for the second time) back in 2013 as the proposed site of the elaborately monikered HCC Coleman College of Health Sciences’ Medical Science & Technology Early College Charter High School. The city would bundle the land together with some adjacent already-city-owned property to lease it to H-E-B, and the grocery chain would be able to buy the whole package once all 72,000 sq. ft. of new store are constructed and certified for occupancy. 

Photo: Swamplot inbox

Flood Plain Food Desert
05/12/16 4:45pm

3430 S Parkwood Dr., Riverside Terrace, Houston, 77021

The Parkwood Park-side home owned by former Varnett School administrators Marian Cluff and Alsie Cluff, Sr., hit the market early this week. The couple was indicted 10 months ago on federal charges including tax evasion, conspiracy, and embezzlement of more than $2 million in funds meant for students of the charter school’s 3 outside-the-Loop campuses. Incidentally, the current $3.5 million asking price for the house is more than $2 million above what the pair originally paid for the place (the 1941 mansion was sold to the Cluffs in 2011 for $1.3 million), but about 1,200 sq. ft. of space was added to the house during renovations in 2013, according to county records.

And now, your chance to investigate the 2-acre, 6-bedroom property a little further:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Scrutiny in MacGregor
04/16/15 12:45pm

IT’S THURSDAY, APRIL 16TH. WHERE’S THAT RIVERSIDE TERRACE MOD WE CAN SMASH UP? Bar from Home in Riverside Terrace, HoustonThis was the appointed day we were all supposed learn the address of a certain 1950s Mod “tear-down” estate sale somewhere in Riverside Terrace where all would be welcome to bring hammers and crowbars to wrestle loose a few well-installed vintage items. So where is it? Sorry — gotta wait 1 more day to find out, the listing from JBD Estate Sales tells us. On account of the weather, the sale has been postponed until this Saturday and Sunday, April 18th and 19th. Accordingly, the big location reveal will have to wait for tomorrow. But 97 photos of the wares offered have now been posted, and they include a few crowbar-worthy items, such as the custom cabinetry pictured here. What’s the occasion? “Desiring a change of lifestyle and design, my clients sold their old home in Old Braeswood and bought this house to tear down and build a new smaller contemporary home for retirement,” reads the copy. “Furnishing for sale in this 4000 sq. ft. house are a combination from both houses plus some consigned items.” [EstateSales.net] Photo: JBD Estate Sales

03/10/15 3:30pm

JONESING TO SMASH UP AND GRAB STUFF FROM A RIVERSIDE TERRACE MOD? HERE’S A FIX COMING IN ABOUT 5 WEEKS Sign for JBD Estate Sale, HoustonThe anticipation is almost unbearable: What 1950s-era Riverside Terrace Mod will visitors have the opportunity to loot, bang up, and yank out the goodies from? That’s right: This isn’t just any estate sale, but a “tear-down estate sale,” reads the teaser from JBD Estate Sales. Which means the company is asking you to “bring your hammer and crowbar,” along with “your own help & vehicle for removing & loading large items!” Oh where, oh where will this be? Somewhere in the 77021, but the company isn’t telling until the morning of Thursday, April 16th — the sale runs that weekend. [EstateSales.net] Photo: JBD Estate Sales

12/16/14 1:00pm

2602-riverside-01

Known to passersby as much for its solid (though decorative) brick-and-stone wall as for the neoclassical and French-ish features that peek over it, this baronial 1930 home in Riverside Terrace arrived on the market a week ago. What wonders await beyond its fortifications? Well, for starters there’s the $1.5 million asking price for a property a couple blocks north of Brays Bayou and a couple blocks east of Hwy. 288. Have a peek at a few more:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Behind the Brick Wall
10/24/14 11:15am

4601 Roseneath Dr., Riverside Terrace, Houston

4601 Roseneath Dr., Riverside Terrace, HoustonThis yellow 2-story at 4601 N. Roseneath Dr., which has been on the market since April, popped up in a new listing earlier this month sporting the same $850,000 asking price. It sits on a 1.2-acre lot below Brays Bayou, just south of the University of Houston campus. Since 1994, the 1937 property has been the home of Earnest Gibson III, the longtime president of Riverside Hospital. Earlier this week, a federal jury convicted Gibson, his son, and 2 others of various conspiracy charges in connection with a $158 million Medicare fraud scheme centered around patients at the hospital. All are scheduled to be sentenced next February.

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

09/03/14 5:15pm

HOW TO DO RIVERSIDE TERRACE ON $647.32 A DAY 2620 Riverside Dr., Riverside Terrace, HoustonThis 1930 brick and half-timbered 4-bedroom home on Riverside Dr. in Riverside Terrace sold for $205,000 on January 14th. With no apparent updates, the unrenovated property, which sits on a 12,560-sq.-ft. lot, sold again at the end of August — for $350,000. [HAR]

09/02/14 2:45pm

BUYERS WILL RESTORE WEINGARTEN MANSION, EXPAND KITCHEN, CALL IT HOME 4000 S. MacGregor Way, Riverside Terrace, HoustonThe owner of a offshore-drilling-rig fabricating company in Baytown and his wife, a real estate agent, have bought the former Weingarten mansion at 4000 S. MacGregor Way in Riverside Terrace — and they’re announcing plans to restore the property with the help of architect David Bucek, whose firm was responsible for the redo of the Menil house. Darryl and Lori Schroeder tell Nancy Sarnoff they plan to live in the 1935 home and “keep as much original as we can” — but that apparently doesn’t mean holding the kitchen to its current size. Darryl Schroeder tells Sarnoff they bid full asking price, or $2.25 million, for the decaying estate designed by Joseph Finger for grocery-store magnate Joseph Weingarten. MLS records appear to show he’s being a bit modest, however: They record a sales price of $2.75 million, or $500,000 over the asking price. (The discrepancy might otherwise be explained by the Schroeders’ additional $500,000 purchase of the 1.58-acre property next door at 3932 S. MacGregor Way, though that property was listed separately.) Readers hoping the 4.73-acre property might one day find its way into the hands of the neighboring University of Houston, possibly as a house for a future president, take note: The 68-year-old president of Lone Star Energy Fabricating is a UH alumnus. [Prime Property; previously on Swamplot] Photo: HAR

07/24/14 2:15pm

Former Weingarten Mansion, 4000 S. MacGregor Way, Riverside Terrace, Houston

Former Weingarten Mansion, 4000 S. MacGregor Way, Riverside Terrace, Houston

The MacGregor Way mansion built for the family of Houston grocery pioneer Joseph Weingarten went up for sale last week, providing Houston oldtimers and other more recent converts to old-school real estate ogling a first opportunity to confirm or contradict their suspicions about what the interior of the once-proud 1939 Joseph Finger-designed estate looks like in its . . . uh, unattended state.

The listing photos don’t disappoint, providing an air of grandeur to the vast interiors — peeling paint, leaky window units, rumpled carpet and all. Better yet, the 4-bedroom, 5,480-sq.-ft. property on 4.73 acres (most of them in the 100-year floodplain) has no deed restrictions or historical protections, which sets the Brays Bayou-side perch in Riverside Terrace as the latest scene of a no-schemes-barred Houston-style bidding-and-bitching rumble. (Multiple offers have already been submitted by developers eager to scrape the home and carve up the property into separate homesites).

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

This Was His Home, It Is For Sale
06/26/14 3:30pm

504_hr3404800-13

504_hr3404800-3

Is it any wonder that this custom studio-home of a fine arts photography gallery owner is camera ready? From curbside, it comes with a limelight finish. Rice architecture prof Carlos Jiménez, who’s designed art museums, homes, and warehouses alike, incorporated ingredients of each in this 2011 project. A week ago, the Riverside Terrace property went up for sale with a $650,000 asking price.

The sloping roof accommodates a partial second story, as well as lofty living and a large, column-free exhibition space at ground level:

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Flash Finish
06/23/14 11:45am

M+A Architecture Studio, 5910 Grace Ln., Houston

CES Environmental Services Trucks, 4904 Griggs Rd., MacGregor Terrace, HoustonFrom a top-floor perch in their tiny, handcrafted, award-winning live-work compound at 5910 Grace Ln. (featured a while back in Dwell magazine), architect Mark Schatz and designer Anne Eamon had front-row seats to the ongoing smelly, toxic, and deadly shitshow that marked the over-the-back-fence tenure of CES Environmental Services, in its facility at 4904 Griggs Rd., just a mile and a half south of the UH campus. Among the joys they were able to plug their noses and record was this tableau from July 2009: “In the first photograph [Schatz] took of the scene unfolding below him, shot like all the rest with the eye of an architect, perfectly framing the site, the tank farm is to the left, and a worker races from the right to the warehouse, which has a smoking hole blown through the roof. In a subsequent photo, oxygen tanks are wheeled in. Then the oxygen tanks fall over. Then a forklift shows up, and a crew starts setting the oxygen tanks upright. All this time, while they go through this Three Stooges routine, their co-worker is lying inside the warehouse covered in burns. You can see the back of a metal cylindrical tanker truck in the photos. [Schatz and Eamon] learn later that the fatally burned worker had opened the hatch on the tanker and switched on his flashlight to peer in. A spark from the flashlight set off a flash fire.”

CONTINUE READING THIS STORY

Toxics by Design