11/28/18 3:00pm

At least one resident of 224 Emerson St. doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. “The model” — dubbed Francis by the homeowners  — “isn’t attached,” writes the listing agent, “but everything is negotiable.” His current kitchen counter hangout is tucked back on the ground floor of the condo — the furthest east of 6 on the block south of Hawthorne St. in Westmoreland — leaving the house’s more prominent spots available for other kinds of decor.

To get to the first one, head through the gate to the right of the garage door and step through the front door:


Counter Offer
10/05/18 5:15pm

A few of the tenants inside this 7-unit, now-up-for-sale apartment building on Hawthorne St., 2 blocks from Spur 527 appear to be on the same page design-wise. The photo above shows the living room inside one of the building’s 6 one-bedroom apartments done up with a Persian rug, atop which sits a glass tabletop covered in curios surrounding a floral centerpiece.

Now, compare that to that to the living room the building’s sole 2-bedroom unit, shown below:


429 Hawthorne
09/19/16 11:30am

435 Hawthorne St., Westmoreland Historic District, Montrose, Houston, 77006

The once-white house at 435 Hawthorne — where a young LBJ stayed rent-free with his Uncle George in his early 1930’s pre-politickin’ teacher days — is up for grabs again. The 2-story 3-bedroom at the corner with Garrott St. (half a block east of Taft) is back on the market as of just under 2 weeks ago for just under $750,000. The Westmoreland Historic District home was sold back in 2012 for $266,000 and change, and most recently went for about $535,000 in 2013 (post flip-ready redo).

What’s new this time around? You can look for yourself at some of the new finishes in the click-and-drag 360-degree photo tour set up by the current sellers, including some rotate-in-place views inside what’s advertised as a use-it-or-rent-it garage apartment suite out back. The new sales site also notes that the back yard has been redone with an easy-to-please spread of artificial lawn:


Westmoreland Historic District Modern Updates
08/26/16 11:30am

Redo of 3618 Burlington St., Westmoreland Historic District, Houston, 77006

3618-burlington-31That Burlington St. mansion nestled in along the 527 Spur leading from Downtown to 59 is back on the market this week, though the listing implies that the interior redo and whitewashing is still in progress. The house, built between 1897 and 1908 depending on who you ask, went up for sale in the Westmoreland Historic District early last year for $1.8 million. The current owners bought the property that summer for $880,000 and quickly sent an application to the city’s history folks asking for approval to move some doors and windows around, as well as to add a deck out back and a balcony outside the existing second-story doors to nowhere in the master bedroom. (The bricks, already painted brown, appear to have been painted white instead, as has most of the interior.)

The property is now listed at a smidge under $2.4 million. Not pictured or mentioned in the new listing is the 3-post freeway billboard previously seen sunning itself by the pool on the northern end of the front yard, shown below as it appeared in the old listing:


Remaking History
01/22/15 5:15pm



Rising stately on its corner in the Westmoreland Historic District, a well-appointed and well-maintained hundred-year-plus-old mansion fitted with terraces, balconies, and porches features all the craftsmanship of its day — and one very large indicator of the present: this freeway-side billboard in the back yard, by the pool:


In the Shade
08/07/14 3:15pm

Tree Cutting at 201 Westmoreland St., Westmoreland, Houston

Tree Cutting at 201 Westmoreland St., Westmoreland, HoustonThe Waldo Mansion at 201 Westmoreland St. in Westmoreland, best known (well, for its interiors at least) as the terrestrial stomping ground of playboy astronaut Garrett Breedlove, the Jack Nicholson character in Terms of Endearment, is getting a bit of a haircut today. Tree crews have been working all morning to start the process of ridding the site at the corner of Westmoreland and Garrott of “many” of its large surrounding oak trees, a reader tells Swamplot. But only a single tree has been removed so far, as these photos show.


Terms of Dismemberment
07/25/12 3:38pm

Here’s an idea: How about buying that old rundown Houston house where President Lyndon Johnson lived in the early 1930s that nobody seems to want, then trying flip it for more than twice the price? Great idea, but you got beaten to it.

The 1904 farmhouse-style structure on the corner of Hawthorne and Garrott in the Westmoreland Historic District was snatched up for less than $285,000 this past March — about a year after it first went up for sale (for a significantly higher price). As of mid-June the home is back on the MLS, with a few photos of the renovation-in-progress to spur interest. What could the would-be flippers do to the place that would bring in a price around, say . . . $619,900?


06/15/11 2:38pm

The white house at the corner of Hawthorne and Garrott in the Westmoreland Historic District where Lyndon Johnson lived for a couple of years in the early 1930s got a $50,000 price cut at the beginning of this month: It’s now for sale for $375,000. Johnson came to town to teach public speaking and business arithmetic at the old Sam Houston High School downtown; he shared a room in the house with his Uncle George. By the end of 1931, the future president had moved to Washington to become a secretary to newly elected congressman (and King Ranch heir) Richard Kleberg.


09/28/10 6:51pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOUR CHANCE TO PICK NEW COLORS FOR THE SKYLANE APARTMENTS “Feel free to e-mail me some color schemes using a paint mfgr color names. I’m terrible at picking out colors. I didn’t plan on changing 219’s colors right away since they just painted it (albeit using colors that I wouldn’t have selected) but if someone can come up with a good look for both, I’ll do it.” [Cody, commenting on A Neighbor’s Plans for the West Alabama Skylanes]

09/28/10 10:54am

The new owner of the 2 “infamous” Skylane apartment complexes on West Alabama is already at work making changes. Montrose apartment investor and real-estate agent Cody Lutsch picked up the 2 foreclosed and red-tagged properties from Enterprise Bank earlier this month. For the 25-unit building at 502 West Alabama (on the corner of Garrott), Lutsch has plans to replace the window units with small ductless split A/C systems, fix some structural issues, switch to monthly instead of weekly rentals, and change the name. Also: He’d like to reduce the crime associated with the property, by adding gates, lights, security cameras, larger trash bins, and maintaining the landscaping.

Lutsch has fewer changes planned for the 32-unit Skylane across the street from Spur 527 at 219 West Alabama (above): He says he’s already begun addressing criminal and safety issues at the property, but otherwise plans to let it run “as it’s been running,” as a pay-by-the-week complex. Lutsch says he hadn’t planned to buy that property originally, but decided the property’s land size, rental income, and location might make it attractive to other investors later on.


07/08/10 5:58pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY “Only in Houston would someone use a blog post about a building’s code violations to advertise FOR the building.” [JCoy, commenting on The Somewhat Public To-Do List Posted at 230 West Alabama]

07/06/10 1:52pm

“Apparently ‘Houston’s newest chic address‘ has some code violations on its hands,” writes the reader who found a well-worn code enforcement tag at 230 West Alabama, the Midtown-ish apartment tower formerly known as Executive House:

I stopped by on Sunday, July 4, to see if the leasing office was open and found this notice on the door. The violation from the City of Houston Code Enforcement Department says: OBTAIN ELECTRICAL PERMIT AND REPAIR UNSAFE ELECTRICAL IMMEDIATELY…OBTAIN PLUMBING PERMIT AND REPAIR UNSAFE PLUMBING IMMEDIATELY…REPAIR UNSAFE STRUCTURAL IMMEDIATELY…SEE REPORT FOR DETAILS…SUBJECT TO CITATIONS DAILY FOR NON-COMPLIANCE. The date in the bottom right hand corner appears to be 04-04-10. I think I’ll keep searching for that apartment elsewhere.

The tag:


05/12/10 4:04pm

Well, whaddya know? Graphic designer Chris Nguyen’s tiny Marshall St. apartment (featured on Swamplot just last week) ended up as the grand U.S. prize winner in Apartment Therapy’s Small, Cool 2010 design contest. No fluke: Nguyen was, uh . . . thinking small from the get-go. Intrigued by the design website’s annual competition and the idea of living in a tiny space, Nguyen began his search for an apartment in Houston last July:

I really wanted this to be about a different way of living and not about compromises, so it was important that all my furniture remained real-sized. I carefully selected what I thought I needed and put away in storage extraneous collections and junk that we all end up hoarding over the years. . . .

I think the bedroom in the house I was living in last was the same size as this entire studio. It was a big room in a big house that was filled with an incredibly increasing amount of big things. That’s how we do it in Texas, right? All the while, I always held an admiration for smartly designed small spaces more commonly found in highly urban dense metropolises or cool under appreciated neighborhoods. Houston is not the first of those things, so I looked for something purposefully small in the latter.

And he found . . . ?


05/07/10 11:52pm

Unfazed by Swamplot’s now 0-and-2 record in promoting local Apartment Therapy design contest submissions (no, that Venue Museum District apartment we showed last week didn’t get too far either), reader Chris Nguyen writes in to ask for votes in the finals of that website’s Small, Cool 2010 design contest. That’s right — entries in 4 divisions have been whittled down to Nguyen’s 450-sq.-ft. Westmoreland district apartment shown here (originally entered in the “Tiny” division) and some other dude’s Brooklyn flat from the “Little” division that’s more than a third larger. The final voting takes place this weekend. Can this tiny Houston pad win it all?

Win or lose, we hope to reveal a bit more about Nguyen’s certifiably small living space later. For now, though, have a look at these pics and the floor plan:


10/20/08 4:16pm

Live Oak Trees and Walkway at Discovery Green, Downtown Houston

Pretending to be a tourist in his hometown, Misha from Tasty Bits puts together a day’s itinerary that includes the Breakfast Klub, the Rothko Chapel, the Menil, Westmoreland and Audubon Place, Nippon, . . . and Discovery Green:

11am: Head to Discovery Green to see exactly how much park $145 million dollars buys you. The corporate sponsorship at this place is a bit “enthusiastic”, but overall Disco Green (that’s what the cool kids call it these days, I hear) is a surprisingly good time. I didn’t bring my bocce balls or a putter, but I did have fun reflecting the best of Kraftwerk off the completely awesome Listening Vessels, designed by Doug Hollis. Being a bit stubborn, I also spent no less than half an hour trying to figure out if the Synchronicity of Color sculpture was interactive. It’s not, but feel free to give it a shot anyway.

The most interesting thing about Discovery Green is not how much it cost, but how much more livable Houston Downtown appears to be than it was as recently as 5 years ago. . . . Though a bit crammed with “features”, the park goes a nice job of combining a nature, architecture and art in a single organic space that anchors a new, far more residential Downtown than ever before.

Photo: Misha