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.
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
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]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: MACKIE AND KAMRATH DENTAL BUILDING WAS GETTING A BIT LONG IN THE TOOTH “That building may have looked good from the outside (from a distance; up close you could see the re-bar holding the granite slabs on) but it was WAY outdated on the inside. No way was it set up for a class of 100 students, which is what the School of Dentistry now enrolls every year.
I taught in a basement classroom there for 4 years. Between the complete lack of reliable electricity to all of the outlets and the jury-rigged data cables and conduits, it was a minor miracle we didn’t burn the place down or break someone’s neck during labs. And don’t get me started on the thermostats! Never knew if I was gonna need a sweater or a shower after class.” [Sunsets, commenting on M.D. Anderson Planning To Extract Dental Branch from Med Center]
The 1955 building Houston architects MacKie and Kamrath designed (along with several later additions) for the University of Texas Dental Branch will be removed from its home at the corner of MD Anderson Blvd. and Moursund in the Med Center, according to the Texas Historical Commission. The UT School of Dentistry abandoned the 5-story, granite-faced building earlier this year for a new 300,000-sq.-ft. facility in the new UT Health Science Center Research Park south of the Med Center proper (and OST) at 7500 Cambridge St. UT’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which owns the Med Center site, hasn’t yet announced a schedule for the demolition.
UT’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center plans to build this 8-ish story pavilion, called The Pavilion, in front of the Alkek hospital at the corner of Bertner and Bates streets in the Med Center — replacing the pavilion-like rotunda that stands there now. The new building will house the center’s interventional radiology department (on its third floor) as well as 11 new operating rooms. The 185,000-sq.-ft. structure, designed by Dallas’s HKS, includes 2 partial-height floors for maintenance above the operating rooms plus a mechanical floor at the top. Construction is expected to cost $102 million, and be complete by the end of 2015. An accompanying $96 million renovation of the adjacent Alkek hospital will extend into 2019.
The all-day buffet line for Filipino dishes and Mongolian stir fry just west of the Med Center could be winding down. This standalone building at 2416 W. Holcombe, home to Gold Ribbon Bake Shop and Restaurant since the mid-nineties, has been listed for lease by Pipeline Realty. Located in the shadows of a recently completed storage facility, the property shares a back parking lot with an adjacent medical office. There are 48 parking spaces by day and another 40 after office hours. Interestingly, a sign on the door says the place is hiring, seeking new hires who speak English and Tagalog.
Yesterday a few technical glitches got in the way of Swamplot’s plans to post videos showing the last moments of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Houston Main Building, the iconic 18-story limestone-clad building at 1100 Holcombe Blvd. once known as the Prudential Tower, which was demolished over the weekend. But they’re here now. Enjoy!
Jarringly, the official video below tacks an animated version of M.D. Anderson’s “Making Cancer History” tagline onto the end of the well-documented urban rupture — allowing us to imagine that this violent implosion is merely the urban expression of the institution’s core cancer-eradicating mission. Cancer be gone! in 10 . . . 9 . . .
There are no good accessible viewing areas for this weekend’s scheduled implosion of the Houston Main Building at 1100 Holcombe, the folks at M.D. Anderson insist. (That space they’re squeezing media reps into to watch the big bang? Too small.) But why get up so early on a Sunday morning just to catch a few lungfuls of white powder anyway? Instead, you can watch the festive destruction of the iconic former Prudential Buildinglive on the webfrom this link. The dynamite is scheduled to go off January 8th at 7:52 am (unless, of course, one of those Life Flight helicopters is coming in). And there’ll be higher-res video available later.