Trio of Houses Across from Black Hole on Castle Ct. Is Coming Down

1310 Castle Ct., Castle Court, Houston

After a bit of coffee on the side patio of the Black Hole Coffee House at 4504 Graustark St., a sighting of bright green sewer-disconnect notices on the front doors of 3 ninety-something-year-old houses across the street, and a little online permit research, reader Christopher Newsom has some news to announce: The homes at 1304, 1308, and 1310 Castle Ct. (pictured above and below) are about to be demolished. According to HCAD records, the same owner has owned all 3 properties for more than 25 years.


1308 Castle Ct., Castle Court, Houston

1304 Castle Ct., Castle Court, Houston

“Black Hole’s side patio is about to get a radically altered view,” Newsom notes. Together, the 3 side-by-side properties — one in from the corner of Graustark — sit on 18,550 sq. ft. of land across from the soon-to-be-demolished Place Apartments

Photos: Christopher Newsom

Point of No Return

15 Comment

  • Sad to see more antique housing die. I’m guessing more multi-story rentals. Has replacing quality single-family with high density apartments ever turned out to be a good idea in the long term?

  • Let us guess what will rise from the rubble: more crappy NC stucco monstrosities.

  • My brother came home from WWII, bought the 1310 Castle Court home and moved there with his wife when they married in 1946. Two of his children were born there and I visited many times. It’s one that should have been preserved. But, that’s Houston. What a mess that street will be with all the construction, but maybe not as bad as Bissonnet is going to be. I think the city clerks who give the OKs on these construction sites must be asleep on the job. Ashby should never have been approved.

  • Very sad, they will likely be replaced by a set of garish modern “cube” houses. Or half a dozen or more narrow townhomes with stucco walls.

    I doubt that anything built on this property will last half as long as what is replacing it.

  • Shame, nice looking homes getting wrecked for tba. Hope the trees can be spared.

  • anyone know why the improvement values on the tax records jumped so much between years 2013 and 2014? on one property it increased by a multiple of 5 times while on the other poperty it had doubled.

    nice looking houses, but as they were pretty much worthless on the city tax records I can’t imagine these were any sort of quality homes without some major renovations needed. i’m guesss townhomes if anything.

  • More UGLY coming soon to Montrose.

    I echo Dana-X. Has his kind of apartment frenzy EVER worked out in the long run?

    Remember Sharpstown? Greenspoint anyone?

    Believe it or not, those apartments were fabulous in their day.

  • My mother always used to lament the destruction of Kenwood which was a block over from Castle Court. I wish I could find some pictures of that street.

  • In 1860 the population density of NYC was 3,891 people per square mile. Houston today is 3,371. Were there a bunch of people in NYC around 1860 decrying the densification of NY to 11,381 by 1900? I’m not saying that Houston is like NYC but the world is only filling up with more people. In 1940 there were only a little over 2 billion people on the planet….today there are over 7 billion people. It is insane to think that the world, especially cities, are not going to change and become much much denser to accommodate this growth. What else are we going to do? Where are all these people going to live.? The inner loop of Houston is where all of the action is at..demand is driving this. Some cities help mitigate a lot of the growing pains with comprehensive plans…I guess Houston has swamplot and the invisible hand……

  • I kind of agree, Duston. Densification is not a bad thing, necessarily. It’s not the WHAT, but the HOW of things that deserves attention. And, yes, swamplot is a limited agent of change. If only we could find a way to “cuff’ that invisible hand.

  • Duston, pointing out the obvious does nothing to convince these folks. If you look at the demographic changes in this city and state over the last 10 years then the influx of apartments and multi-family properties in the expensive inner loop and elsewhere makes complete sense and has been driven by demand for 10yrs and counting. cities should not be required to maintain a set standard of living for all resident but instead focus on creating an environment that allows for the best wealth creation for all parties involved.
    most NIMBY folks tend to ignore any and all of the obvious tax subsidies that favor our current Pro-rentier and Pro-rich biased housing market. build the UGLY and let the NIMBY’s scream.
    a lot of this is a direct result of younger generations not being able to afford the same standards of living as past generations. if you don’t like the look of townhomes then start changing policies to allow for younger folks to get paid wages that would actually allow them to buy and refurbish these old homes at tremendous cost or at least buy new and aesthetically pleasing homes that are NIMBY-sanctioned and approved, but no way is that ever going to happen with our current economy and without major reforms.

  • My wife and I were the final occupants if the upstairs apartment if that property (1310). The owners name was Mary Jane Rosenbaum. We were her final tenants- she and her husband lived next door.
    Her family had owner all 3 properties at least since the 30’s, maybe the 40’s- not sure. But they rented out 2 if the 3 properties for many years.

  • Only one of the houses – unfortunately, the one in the middle – was worth keeping. The one on the east end has looked close to collapse for a while, and the westernmost one is just blah. But even the pretty one (in the top photo here) had issues – obvious foundation problems, as well as windowbox a/c and all that. I’d love more info on the rather odd thing still under slow construction at the end of the block (directly across from Black Hole), though. Could be a showroom for something (big bay windows), or just an odd person’s house… there was a guard posted there for a while, during demo of the previous house and for a bit of the new construction…

  • Aack, not the top photo (where the best feature is the doorway), the second photo is the house that has looked to be in the best condition.

  • Dana-X/Duston… on the local Nextdoor discussions, there are quite a few people incensed and “disgusted” by rising home and apartment rental prices, usually citing some late 1980s not-inflation-adjusted price as the way things should be. Perhaps, to them, it would be a good thing if we went the way of Sharpstown, with massive overconstruction and masses of vacancies leading to price decreases (and neighborhood quality decreases).