10/20/14 2:00pm

115 Arnold St., Rice Military, Houston

The steel-framed doubled-up home at 115 Arnold St. in Rice Military (pictured above) owned by Houston restaurateur Ouisie Jones and her husband Harry Jones earned its demolition permit yesterday, a few months after the property was sold to a developer — for $2.2 million. (It was asking $2.65 million this past March, when Swamplot featured it.) The 24,915-sq.-ft. property is being joined with the slightly larger plot of land under the adjacent warehouse building at 5202 Chandler St. to make space for an F-shaped 22-townhome development.

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Redevelopment on the Menu
03/24/14 2:00pm

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Wide open spaces are inside as well as outside a 1994 contemporary home of steel and Galvalume siding on a heavily landscaped half-an-acre unrestricted lot tucked into the southern hinterlands of Rice Military. The green-screened property first appeared on the market back in January. Its price tag dropped by $100K last week — to $2.65 million.

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Ouisie’s House and Garden
03/12/14 1:30pm

Martel Building, Former Rice Museum, Rice University, Houston

The Brown Foundation has agreed to provide funds for Rice University to disassemble the corrugated campus building once known as the Rice Museum and reassemble it on a site in the Fourth Ward, the school’s student newspaper reports. A story posted last night by the Rice Thresher‘s Jieya Wen doesn’t precisely identify the intended new location of the building, but art professor and photographer Geoff Winningham tells her that plans are being developed to turn the metal-sided structure into a public art center on its new site: “The building was designed so that it can be disassembled and moved in parts,” he tells Wen. “The university has agreed to allow [the] building to stand for a couple more weeks [in order] to come up with the actual plan for moving the building.”

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A More Public Art Center
03/11/14 10:45am

Former Rice Museum, Rice University, HoustonAn excavator may now be parked onsite, but alumni objections have prompted officials at Rice University to delay demolition of the 45-year-old corrugated metal building identified as the “Art Barn” — but known for decades as the home of Rice’s School of Continuing Studies, and before that the Rice Museum. The university’s plan “is still to remove the building from campus,” a spokesperson tells Swamplot. But exactly what form that removal might take is now apparently up for discussion. Officials now plan to “explore a couple of options for removing the building.”

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‘Stay of Execution’
02/24/14 1:30pm

Former Rice Museum, Rice University, HoustonFormer Rice Museum, Rice University, Houston

Online arts publication Glasstire is reporting that Rice University’s public-affairs office has confirmed plans to demolish the University’s most famous metal-sided structure. Known since the mid-1980s as the School of Continuing Studies Speros P. Martel Building, the southern half of the 45-year-old duo was dubbed the “Art Barn,” and was originally home to the Rice Museum, a predecessor to the Menil Collection.

John and Dominique de Menil paid for the construction of both corrugated buildings in 1969, and selected the architects, Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry. The structures were created to house Rice’s art and art history departments, along with the de Menils’ Institute for the Arts, which the couple moved from the University of St. Thomas after a dispute with that institution. The de Menils later left Rice to start their own little Menil Collection in Montrose. The simple, unassuming design of the structures they left behind became the inspiration and model for a series of “Tin Houses” — Galvalume-clad homes designed by Houston architects primarily in the West End and Rice Military area.

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But Andy Warhol’s Tree Will Stay
05/21/13 3:15pm

That steel frame on Centenary St. that roused some West U residents to name-calling and concern-raising 2 years ago now has a steel house built around it — and a single father and his two sons inside. Still, says architect Cameron Armstrong, the build wasn’t as smooth as it might have been: “[C]ertain neighbors were actually quite hostile — they heckled the subcontractors (and not always from across the street!), and made numerous frivolous complaints to the police about things like (non-existent) parking violations by workers. . . . They thought they were living on a street with a predictable visual future, which turned out not to be the case.” Adds Armstrong: “[I]t’s hard to identify substantive objections. . . . The good news is that most of the neighbors are just fine with how the design turned out.”

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04/08/11 5:12pm

In an email to the West University city council, public works director Chris Peifer sounds the alarm about the steel-frame home with metal siding currently under construction at 2723 Centenary St., a couple blocks west of Kirby: “As the street view of this structure will deviate greatly from the typical street view/appearance of the neighborhood I wanted to give you notification,” Peifer writes, after noting that the city doesn’t prohibit the use of the materials on the home or regulate “personal taste or esthetics.” And then he adds this: “FYI…Heads up. There are high value properties directly adjacent to this property that may take exception.”

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05/28/08 1:51pm

5421 Dickson St., Rice Military, Houston

Remember when it looked like the entire West End was going to go . . . metal? It was going to be the Tin House District: Hot young architects inserting daring steel-sided homes between ramshackle bungalows . . . with great sensitivity to the sleepy little neighborhood.

Here’s a Rice Military home Natalye Appel designed for Sarah Balinskas in 1992. And it’s for lease! Have a peek inside . . .

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