08/01/14 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: A LINEAR PARK TO CONNECT THE MED CENTER TO RICE VILLAGE Drawing of Linear Park Connecting Rice Village to Texas Medical Center“If the Rice Village wants to be a retail goldmine, it should look outside its borders. My suggestion would be a linear public park that would take the residential properties between University and Dryden between the Medical Center at Travis all the way west to Greenbriar.” [infinite_jim, commenting on Haven Is No More; The Allure of the Suburban Town Square] Illustration: Lulu

07/25/14 3:15pm

1919 Swift Blvd., Southgate, Houston

With its streamlined demilune tower and moat-like driveway, an austere 1979 Southgate home could be considered a contemporary castle, particularly in the imaginations of neighborhood youngsters riding around the block of mostly thirties-vintage housing. There’s plenty inside this property’s C-shaped structure to make up for its no-peeking from curbside blankness, however . . .

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White Castle with Sliders
07/10/14 11:01am

By 1:35 in the morning 2 Saturdays ago, Troy Dickerson had left his Rosenberg home and found himself speeding past the Sweetwater and Williams Trace exits on the far-left lane of the Southwest Fwy. while his wife Kristin, who was sitting in the passenger seat, let out a series of screams to work her way through waves of contractions. Almost exactly a half-hour later, their baby, Truett, was born while his mom stood outside the family’s white Toyota pickup, which was by then parked in the valet drop-off area of the Women’s Pavilion at Texas Children’s Hospital, at 6621 Fannin St. in the Med Center (where, perhaps incidentally, the mother works as a childbirth educator).

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Having Baby on Board
04/17/14 11:00am

Proposed New Trauma Building, Memorial Hermann Hospital System Texas Medical Center Campus, Cambridge St. and Taub Rd., Texas Medical Center, Houston

Included in the $650 million expansion and renovation of its Texas Medical Center campus approved by the Memorial Hermann Health System last month: the new, presumably 16-story patient care building across the street from Hermann Park and the Houston Zoo shown at the lower left of the rendering above. It’ll be on the corner of Cambridge St. (renamed from North MacGregor Dr. a while back, while you weren’t paying attention) and Taub Rd. Partially hidden behind it in the image above is a new parking-and-mechanical structure to go with it.

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More Beds for the Med Center
04/09/14 4:01pm

Proposed Hotel and Apartment Tower at 6750 S. Main St., Texas Medical Center, Houston

Update, 9:30 pm: It appears the new hotel tower will fit entirely on the lot directly to the south of the Best Western Plaza Hotel at 6700 S. Main St. We’ve updated this story accordingly.

Medistar and an affiliate of the Redstone Companies are out today with this rendering of the 22-story hotel and apartment tower the firms are planning together for the west side of S. Main St. across the street from the western campus boundary of the Texas Medical Center. Unlike the 40-story hotel and condo tower Medistar had proposed for S. Main across the street from the Texas Medical Center back in 2008 — which stirred up a bit of a fuss with neighbors in neighboring Southgate — this new building, designed by HOK’s Roger Soto, will be set away from the neighborhood’s entrance. It’ll sit next to the Best Western Plaza Hotel, on the 1.35-acre lot at 6750 S. Main St., on the southern end of the block bounded by S. Main, Old Main St., and Travis St. The taller tower Medistar planned in 2008 was intended for a site one block to the north, at the corner of S. Main St. and Dryden.

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The Latest Medical Tourism Hotspot
01/17/14 10:45am

Former Stables Restaurant, 7325 S. Main St., Old Braeswood, Houston

7200 S. Main St. at Greenbriar, Old Braeswood, HoustonThere’s a stub end of North Braeswood Blvd. that extends just east of where the Stables Restaurant (pictured above) stood until 2007 at the corner of Greenbriar Dr. and South Main St. It leads to the St. Nicholas School along the northern bank of Brays Bayou, southwest of the Texas Medical Center. A reader alerts Swamplot that a variance sign has gone up on the now-vacant 8.5-acre parcel (at right) that surrounds the school and extends along S. Main up to Pressler St., and which used to house the Stables, the Red Lion restaurant, and the Bermuda Apartments. The variance lists 7200 Main and Springwoods Realty Company as the developers of the site, but doesn’t announce what the development is. Springwoods Realty is best known in Houston as the developers Springwoods Village, the curious 1,800-acre eco-themed development also of possible Aristotle Onassis origin whose announcement preceded that of the adjacent new ExxonMobil campus south of The Woodlands. And 7200 Main shares the New York address of Springwoods Village’s somewhat mysterious developer, Coventry Development Corp. The variance asks for permission not to extend North Braeswood or terminate it in a cul-de-sac, as would normally be required:

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What’s up at Greenbriar and S. Main?
01/07/14 3:00pm

Baylor Hospital Bldg., 7200 Cambridge St., Houston

The shiny new building on the northwest corner of Old Spanish Trail and Cambridge St. south of the Texas Medical Center that the Baylor College of Medicine built but then let sit as an empty shell for nearly 4 years will soon be filled with hospital beds, the institution announced today. And the complex will eventually become the new home of the successor to the Texas Medical Center’s St. Luke’s Hospital. Catholic Health Initiatives, which has its headquarters in Denver, bought the entire St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System last May for $2 billion; a new nonprofit joint venture between CHI St. Luke’s Health and Baylor will operate the new 250-bed hospital, which will be inserted into the structure’s vacant floors by next spring and bear the unwieldy name of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center McNair Campus.

The same joint venture will also run the existing 850-bed St. Luke’s hospital on Bertner Ave., now conveniently known as the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center TMC. But that Texas Medical Center institution appears to be going south: A yet-to-be-created master plan and timeline will guide the eventual replacement of that facility — it’ll move south of Brays Bayou to the McNair Campus, which is outside the official boundaries of the Texas Medical Center:

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Back to Health
10/28/13 5:00pm

And here, from a reader perched at the top level of MD Anderson’s Braeswood Garage at Braeswood Blvd. and Pressler St., are photos of the land- and tree-clearing going on for the new just-across-the-bayou-from-the-Med Center apartments that Mill Creek Residential is going ahead with — after abandoning plans for a slightly larger complex (as close as it could get to Dynamo Stadium without crossing Dowling) in East Downtown. The photos are taken looking south, over Brays Bayou; the TMC South Extension Lot is behind the site, which fronts Wyndale.

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10/14/13 1:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: EAST DOWNTOWN, BROUGHT TO YOU BY MONTROSE “I totally agree with what’s going on in EADO. Face it. It’s way too close to everywhere people want to be not to turn around. And I don’t see any bubble bursting as it’s not inflated at all. Things are still super cheap. Our strategy for EADO, 3rd ward, and med center area can be summarized in 3 words: “BUY BUY BUY” (and sell in Montrose, at stupid high prices, to get the cash to do so).” [Cody, commenting on Townhouses Going Up in East Downtown] Illustration: Lulu

09/03/13 11:00am

THE LAST REMAINING PIECE OF THE PRUDENTIAL TOWER It made it: The 1952 Peter Hurd mural, formerly of the wall of the demolished Kenneth Franzheim-designed Prudential Tower in the Med Center, has completed its 2-year stop-and-go journey from 1100 Holcome Blvd., to a storage space in Midland, to the brand-new Artesia Public Library in northern southeastern New Mexico. The largest ever to be transported, the 16-ft.-by-46-ft. mural, titled “The Future Belongs To Those Who Prepare For It,” underwent a successful 20-hour installation last week, reports Swamplot commenter Artesia_NM Resident. And Albuquerque’s KOB Eyewitness News reports that the big unveiling of the big thing is planned for November 9. [KOB; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Candace Garcia

08/20/13 3:15pm

ANOTHER HIGHRISE SQUEEZING INTO THE MED CENTER? Real Estate Bisnow’s Catie Dixon reports that this 2-acre parcel on the edge of the Med Center, overlooking Brays Bayou and being overlooked by the 40-story condo tower The Spires right next door, might become the site of another highrise. ARA, which is marketing the property here on the corner of Cambridge and Holcombe Blvd., tells Dixon that though the site is not yet on the market, there has already been interest in it both from an apartment builder and a hotel developer. [Real Estate Bisnow] Image: ARA

11/09/12 2:35pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: BOOING A DEBAKEY HIGH SCHOOL FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONS MOVE TO THE OLD SHAMROCK HOTEL SITE “Any biomedical educational institution gains considerable strength by being closely associated with TMC. There’s a much higher credibility and visibility factor. And as a bonus, students may be visited by Glenn McCarthy’s ghost.” [Chef, commenting on Headlines: Houston Club Shacking Up with Plaza Club; Galveston’s Port of Call Dreams]

09/10/12 3:33pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW BIG WAS THE SHAMROCK HOTEL SWIMMING POOL AGAIN? “They didn’t have boat races. We did do waterski shows there for several years.” [gary, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Shamrock Hotel Shine and Fall]

09/07/12 8:42pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE SHAMROCK HOTEL SHINE AND FALL “Wasn’t the greatest building, because Frank Lloyd Wright said so? The same guy who hated every skyscraper in New York City? This was Houston’s most famous landmark before the Astrodome. It was what people around the country thought of when they thought of the city. The point of the Frank Lloyd Wright story should be that the nation’s most famous architect HAD to make a visit there and give his opinion, it was that renowned. It captured a whole era of the city’s history — its rollicking, mid-century, oil-rich extravagance — better than any other building. But it made sense to tear it down because, gosh, it would have required renovating and updating. Oh, and the ceiling heights were low! With that reasoning, any historic building in the world would be torn down at some point.” [Mike, commenting on The Park Where Houston Architecture Critics Go To Sharpen Their Chops]