03/26/13 10:30am

DESIGNING HOUSTON’S BICYCLE UNDERBELLY Peter Muessig’s graduate thesis for the Rice School of Architecture imagines a system of symbiotic bike-only features he’s calling “Veloducts” that would be fused on, under, around, and through the city’s existing car-dominated infrastructure. This rendering shows just such a Veloduct, which appears to be similar to those foot bridges already spanning Buffalo Bayou. But OffCite’s Sara C. Rolater explains how a Veloduct is much more ambitious: In variations of concrete, joists, and steel, [a Veloduct] can be grafted onto the pillars of freeways, hang suspended by girders, or stand on its own columns. . . . [allowing] cyclists to capitalize on precisely those systems that have previously hindered them. That [the project] enables different modes of transport to coexist without crowding each other seems especially critical for Houston, where a lack of safe-passage laws have made many of Google Maps’ bright-green highlighted ‘bike-friendly’ roads anything but.” [OffCite; previously on Swamplot] Rendering: Peter Muessig

03/12/13 10:00am

Last week, owners Cheryl and David Bowman of 7919 Glenview Dr. were given a Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston for their renovation of this 1954 mod — one of the original 6, says Cheryl Bowman, built in Glenbrook Valley. Purchased in March 2011, the 2-bedroom, 1,834-sq.-ft. home, shown here from the backyard, wasn’t always such a pretty picture . . .


01/11/13 3:30pm

Last year, the Urban Land Institute Houston gave one of its Development of Distinction Awards to Gulfgate (shown here). Near Telephone Rd., one of the city’s first malls was upgraded to an outdoor strip center with a few restaurants and many links of chain retail: Old Navy, Staples, Ross, Best Buy. (The other 2012 “for-profit” award went to a fancier version of the same: CityCentre.) Typically, a jury selects the winners; but this year the ULI has introduced a new People’s Choice category. Now you can vote for all your favorite developments, such as . . .


06/27/12 5:40pm

Congratulations to tipster Russell Hancock, who won for Swamplot and himself the Photo of the Year award in the Houston Press‘s second annual Houston Web Awards, announced today. Hancock’s mini photo essay about wandering off-course at this year’s Rodeo into a forlorn and mussed-up Astrodome focused attention on the empty sports venue’s state of neglect. Writes the Press‘s Craig Hlavaty: “The resulting photos revealed moldy and torn Astroturf and a litter-strewn building that looked more like a storage facility than the Eighth Wonder of the World. The covert pics also set off a media frenzy, leading first to KHOU’s sanctioned peek at the stadium and, ultimately, a 20-strong public tour for local reporters and talking heads.” Back in March, when Swamplot ran the story, Hancock didn’t want us to use his name, but he tells Swamplot he’s got no problem identifying himself as the photographer now. For taking those photos, sending them to Swamplot, and sparking an important public conversation about Houston’s best-known piece of real estate, he certainly deserves an award.

Photo: Russell Hancock

12/30/09 4:35pm

Who made out with what in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate? Find out here!

This announcement caps an almost month-long process that began with calls for nominations in 9 separate award categories. After the official nominees were presented, voting opened up to all readers.

Winners of the 2009 Swampies: We salute you for your special contributions to this city. It takes a lot to stand out in Houston’s real estate landscape. On Swamplot, Houston’s real-estate fans have noticed you!

Big thanks are due to the many Swamplot readers who’ve taken time to nominate, evaluate, vote, and comment on competitors in each category. Maybe this year there wasn’t so much glamor and excitement and tumult to recognize as there was in 2008. But you pitched in with some smart observations and nominations, and these awards — along with the list of runners-up — provide a pretty good snapshot of the local scene this year. Let us know what you think!

And now: The winners of the 2009 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate are . . .


12/30/09 7:20am

The polls have closed and the votes have been tallied. Now here’s the moment you’ve almost been waiting for! Yes, it’s time to announce the second-place winners of the second annual Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate!

But first, a note of thanks — to all of you who voted, commented, nominated, and cajoled in support of your favorite candidates. You made this extended moment of reflection, recognition, and honor possible. The Swampies belong to you!

Should the actual award winners (we’ll announce them soon) be unable to fulfill their duties for any reason, these second-place winners are ready and willing to serve! Let’s have a big round of digital applause, please, for the 2009 runners-up in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate — the Swampies!

They are:


11/24/09 4:42pm

Swamplot will be taking Thursday and Friday off this week for a long and well-deserved giblet bath. But guess what we’ve got coming up next week!

That’s right: It’s time for the second annual Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate! Last year, the first time around, Swamplot received nominations, counted votes, and parceled out awards in 10 categories, including Most Fattening Real Estate Development and Best Teardown. Who makes the nominations for the Swampies? Our readers. Who votes on the winners in each of those categories? Our readers do! And who writes all those clever comments that make the whole thing so much fun? You do!

We’ll likely make a few adjustments in the category mix for this round. This year there probably won’t be enough contenders for the Most Grandiose Development category, what with the downturn and all. And we’ll probably want to add a few categories that focus on the peculiar qualities of particular neighborhoods — those civic clubs can really turn out the votes! But to make the Swampies the best they can be, we need your help!

If you have any suggestions for how the awards should be handled this year, including ideas for new categories or nominating methods, send them in! If you’re a designer who can’t stand to see us use that blue-ribbon awards logo for another year, make us up a new one and send it!

If you don’t have any particular suggestions or designs to contribute, you might want to spend a little time warming up for the nominations with a little review. What were the notable events in Houston real estate this past year? Where were the standouts? The lockouts? We hope you’ll take time over the coming week to reflect on all this city has brought us. The Swampies belong to you!

12/30/08 7:04am

Here they are at last: the winners of the first-ever Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate! Swamplot’s real-estate-obsessed readers swarmed over the official nominees in 10 distinct award categories. The results celebrate the best and most in a tumultuous year.

This announcement caps an almost month-long process that began with calls for nominations in each award category. After the official nominees were presented, voting opened up to all readers.

The competition was fierce. In some categories, only a few votes separated the winners from the runners-up. Swamplot salutes the award winners for their special contributions to this city. Thanks are due also to the many Swamplot readers who offered brilliant or well-considered nominations, for raising the stakes; to the many others of you who worked hard to promote your favorite candidates, for making this a more exciting contest; and to all participants in Houston’s peculiar real-estate scene, for giving us so much to write about every day.

Who ended up on top?

Presenting the winners of the 2008 Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate:


12/29/08 7:35pm

The first-ever Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate went . . . swimmingly! More than 500 votes were cast in support of nominees in 10 separate categories. Thanks again to all of you who voted, nominated, commented, and cajoled in support of your favorites. Many readers, with their eyes on the prizes, sent out emails to friends and neighbors, Twittered, and annoyed their Facebook friends . . . just to get them to vote.

So what were the results?

We’ll get to the winners in an upcoming post. First, though, come the runners-up. You know what it means: If, for any reason, a winner of the Swamplot Awards is unable to fulfill its duty at any time during the upcoming year, the runner-up in the category will be asked to step in.

Yes, they are ready! Yes, they are willing to serve! A big round of applause, please, for the 2008 second-place winners of the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate . . . the Swampies!


12/29/08 7:45am

Voting has ended in the first-ever Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate: The polls closed at midnight, after a flurry of last-minute votes.

Swamplot’s election judges have already begun tabulating the results, and we’ll announce them just as soon as they are ready right here. A big thank you to all who got involved by making nominations, rallying friends to your cause, or voting! Your participation heightened the competition and improved the value of the awards considerably.

If you’re one of the many Swamplot newcomers who found this site as a result of the awards, please have a look around — and be sure to check back regularly. You’ll find interesting new stories posted here about the latest in Houston real estate, neighborhoods, architecture, landscape, and related topics several times during the day.

12/28/08 2:10pm

There are still a few good voting hours left in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate. But the polls close at midnight tonight!

A few of the categories are being very hotly contested. Round up like-minded real-estate-fan friends and help sway the results! You can find details on the categories and voting in this post below.

12/24/08 3:55pm

Just a reminder: there’s still time to vote! All votes in the Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate must be in by midnight this Sunday, December 28th.

Here, again, are the categories:

All of them are listed on this page. Complete voting rules and suggestions are here.

And we’re off! Swamplot wishes everyone a safe and dry holiday. We’ll be back on Monday.

Photo of Brown Promenade, Discovery Green: Flickr user sulla55

12/24/08 9:54am

A lot of votes have already come in for the first-ever Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate! But some categories have been more popular than others.

If you want to know where your vote can make a real difference in the results, take a look at these individual awards categories. Read all about the worthy nominees, then add your vote!

Every vote counts!