In case you missed them late last month, here are a few renderings of Park Place at Buffalo Bayou, the 18-story office tower Pinto Realty Partners is putting up on Willia St., atop the rim of the Spotts Park bowl at Memorial Dr. and Waugh Dr., just north of Buffalo Bayou and atop the dust of the demolished Masterson YWCA.
Kirksey Architects is designing the building, which will offer 250,000 sq.-ft- of office space, a ground-floor fitness center (where you might hear the ghosts of a generation of exercisers past), and a Spotts Park-facing 8-story parking garage.
The site has been vacant since 2011, when wrecking crews took down the previous occupant: Taft Architects’ postmodern-regional Masterson YWCA, which had been sitting vacant for 6 years by then. In 2006, the YMCA bought the building from the YWCA for $6.8 million.
YMCA CEO Clark Baker stated at the time that it was their intention to restore “the building to the award-winning status it once enjoyed.“
However, according to an internal YMCA document forwarded to Swamplot in 2011, engineers called in by the YMCA to survey the building discovered “multiple structural deficiencies” too expensive to remedy. And in the 1999 printing of the second edition of the AIA Houston Architectural Guide, Stephen Fox wrote that whatever its aesthetic charms, this was “a cheaply constructed building” wherein “the results of initial economies have begun to show.“
The Y sold the scraped lot to Pinto Urban Builders LLC in December 2012.
- High-end office building underway west of downtown [Prime Property]
- Previously on Swamplot: Houston YMCA Might Just Flip the Old Masterson YWCA — After It Finishes Tearing Down the Building; Saying Goodbye to Houston’s Classic PoMo Y
Renderings: Kirksey Architects; Photo of YWCA: Taft Architects