04/14/10 10:59am

Ah, there’s no rest for a hardworking interior designer, even on vacation:

Each summer I go through a little drill when we arrive at our rental:   I walk through the unit and hide all the pillows, accessories, paintings, fake plants, area rugs and assorted clutter in the guest closet.  I can’t do anything about the paint job, so I just pretend it’s not there. Over the years I have accumulated an assortment of ready made slipcovers for the rentals, along with throw pillows, drop cloths, and Indian bedspreads which make great cover ups for nasty condo furniture. The picture above is off the rental web site – isn’t that couch a beauty?

And presto! What’s the scene after Joni Webb’s little annual adventure in summer rental redecorating?


12/14/09 1:45pm

You know you want to see it: Yesterday’s “controlled demolition” of the hobbled 31-story Ocean Tower condo at the northern end of South Padre Island. Controlled Demolition’s dynamite work took down the tallest reinforced-concrete structure ever to be imploded.

A few more videos below. South Padre sure knows how to party!


12/11/09 9:04am

Here’s a little drive-by tour with expert commentary on the lost and leaning Ocean Tower on South Padre Island, slated for implosion this Sunday at 9 a.m. The condo tower has supposed to have 31 levels, but accumulated many more stories: Construction was halted last year after one side of the building sunk more than 14 inches into the sand.

Three months after topping out the tower last spring, developer Antun Domit sent a letter to buyers noting that a problem of “differential settlement” had occurred:

Unfortunately, there is a layer or stratum of which the engineers tell us is “expandable clay”, meaning that it is a clay stratum that compresses [when] weight is placed upon it. Although our foundation is engineered to a depth above that stratum, the weight pressing on the stratum has caused sinking of the building on it.

But there’s a fix for that!