Wilshire Village Apartments: Actual Tenants Actually Being Evicted

At least 2 tenants of the Wilshire Village garden apartments have received eviction notices from the owner, demanding that they vacate the property by the end of February, a source tells Swamplot. The notices, which were signed by Commerce Equities president Matthew Dilick, say that electricity at the property will be turned off after that date. Swamplot’s source also says that the city’s Public Works department is aware of plans for the site.

Wilshire Village is the classically modern but now classically decrepit yellow-brick complex at the southwest corner of West Alabama and Dunlavy, across from Fiesta. The 17 buildings were designed by local architect Eugene Werlin and completed in 1940. Wilshire Village hit a downward spiral in more recent years under the peculiar supervision of its previous owner, who reportedly fought off throngs of eager potential tenants in order to keep the 144-unit complex largely vacant — then declared bankruptcy in 2002 when he was unable to pay the taxes on the property.

Although reports that the 8-acre complex would be demolished have circulated for years, the timing of these eviction notices is a bit of a surprise, given problems other developers are currently having securing construction loans. Equally surprising to many others who have driven past the run-down apartments recently is news that actual tenants are still living there.


In 2005, Dilick announced he would be creating a new master plan for the property, which would include a residential tower of up to 16 stories. More recently, the Houston Business Journal reported that the company planned to put a mid-rise apartment building on the site. Commerce Equities was the developer recently of the stilted Bayou on the Bend apartments on Memorial Drive.

Photos: Jim Parsons, from GHPA’s Houston Deco

62 Comment

  • :-(

    I’ll miss Wilshire Village. I always had an unrealistic hope that it would be restored.

  • I hate “me too” posts. But, yeah, me too. They were once really great.

  • Good riddance. This place has been an eyesore for decades. Even if the place were restored, the improvements would be economically obsolete. Old with the old. In with the new. I, for one, am a fan of progress. I’ve cringed numerous times as some of my favorite places have disappeared over the years. This sure isn’t one of them. Hopefully someone will tear down the shopping center across the street too.

    Separately, I don’t see how anyone is going to get a decent sized project off the drawing board with the credit markets in their current condition. I’m very curious to see what they have planned.

  • It’s a shame there isn’t some money somewhere to preserve the various properties that GHPA lists – given the hundreds of billions of dollars we’ve given to the crooks on Wall Street you’d think Congress would appropriate money to preserve our past. It was a beautiful complex at one point. Some of the apartments have been maintained by the tenants and maintained in the hope that someone would restore the property. No doubt it will be demolished and not only will a developer not care they are demolishing part of our history but the developer also won’t care about the trees.

  • I’d rather see the complex there than a residential tower. I lived just a few blocks away 25 years ago and loved the area because there were no towers. It was all a low-rise neighborhood, modest but good quality houses with some charm. I walked a lot around the area, often to go to the store across the street from these apartments. What is now a Fiesta was then a Safeway with some of the friendliest cashiers around, and not nearly as much sexual tension as the Disco Kroger, which had opened around that time.

  • No, developers do not want to eliminate trees. Developers are not evil. In fact, some of us are even members of Trees for Houston, the Sierra Club and other organizations. Even if you don’t believe that, and instead just assume that all a developer cares about is the bottom line, wouldn’t it make more sense for that developer to care about trees since that’s what you and his other potential customers care about?

  • I always like those apartments and regretted that they were permitted to run down. The right-angle bay windows are really cool. Perhaps if someone does develop something new there, they can include similar windows as a tribute to the past.

    As for the shopping center across the street, that used to be my neighborhood grocery store (before I moved out of the neighborhood). I loved it because it was handy to walk to–let’s face it, not too many grocery stores in Houston are particularly pedestrian-friendly. Again I would have no problem with it being replaced, but any replacement that didn’t include a grocery store would be a diminishment to the neighborhood.

  • I remember HAIF had a rumor several years ago about the owner wanting to put an apartment tower there. I think they even had some architectural elevations.

    The grocery store will probably love the new development. A lot of new potential customers. Also, the existing building was a drug and gang haven with lots of homeless camping out.

  • Two things:
    1) I hope the windows are salvaged.

    2) Note the difference between responsible developers and predatory developers. Of course the predatory developers think they are responsible too, so this is a judment made from the outside.

  • This is such a great apartment building. I always thought the design was so very unique. It was my wish that someone with enough money and love for architecture would step in and somehow save this building. It is going to be a sad day when another cookie cutter complex or townhomes go up. God forbid another shopping center. Some in Houston really do not give a damn about history, culture, or the arts.

  • I still don’t understand the fascination with the architecture of this place.

    I have walked on the ground (during the bright daylight hours).

    To me it appears to be Soviet apartment building. The use of square bay windows appears to be a cheap way of adding interest.

    Having these buildings cleared with the trees left is a much better site than leaving these there (even if restored).

  • kjb, are there any historical buildings you do like? If so, which ones? Just curious.

  • Having lived on the west side of this complex in a Sul Ross fourplex for many years, and visited some of its stainless steel kitchens, I have to say that the place was once glorious (those lamps over the gates!) but is now far beyond economical repair. The old owner’s interest in maintaining (and, as Swamplot notes RENTING) the apartments was negligible.

  • I am with those of you who had wished someone would take on a restoration, but the place has been derelict for so long, it was obvious that it would have to happen out of love cuz it wouldn’t work money-wise. I mean, it’s such a great location (even though there are some other ratty properties nearby)that surely various folks have put the pencil to that idea more than once over the years.

    That said, I think a big part of the charm of the place is in the courtyards rather than the stuctures.

  • I like old buildings that are worth salvaging.

    Salvaging for salvaging sake is to me a waste. If the building is viable, then restoring it worth it.

    Some historic structures (non-commercial) should be maintained. In this category falls churches and government buildings.

    Historic homes should be restored if there is an owner who wants to do it. Being originally from Louisiana, I seen lots of older, smaller plantations homes get saved and torn down. In my small town along, 4 were saved and 6 in the area bit the dust. Two of the saved homes were transformed into businesses such as a bed and breakfast and museum. The others were renovated by dedicated owners. One homes named “Rienzi Plantation” was to be the vacation home of Queen Isabella of Spain. Or if she was overthrown she would escape to it.

    Another nearby was featured in Interview with a Vampire, but it is also a museum.

    The apartments in question to me have no real intrinsic value nor historic value. Architecture can be remade, but if there is no real history to it, why save it.

    Historic commercial buildings fall into a special category. If someone can invest in it and make it worth while to keep it. Then go for it. If that specific commercial building holds historic value to the community because of it’s past and no one wants to save it, then it should looked into to be absorbed into a museum’s care, state park system, national park system.

    Houston happened to be a city that grew from it commerce roots versus being a political center. Very few great public works or religious buildings were built here. A city like Galveston or New Orleans has a much richer history to draw on to save buildings that depict it’s history. Houston’s history is relatively modern.

  • I lived there 20 years ago just out of college. The apartments are wonderfully planned, 5 closets, ironing board cabinet, attic fans, big bathrooms with windows, wood floors, shoe rails in the closets, and those corner windows with crank open windows and screens that cross ventilate, and make the apartments sunny and cheerful.

    You think you can get all that in one of those cookie cutter residential towers? No you can’t. Sure you can slap a granite counter down and squeeze in a steam shower, but good architecture only comes out of the brains of good architects, and Werlin was one of these good architects.

    In Houston, with our housing costs roughly half what the rest of the country pays, it doesn’t make much financial sense to renovate Wilshire Village. Which is a damned shame, because courtyard apartments with less architectural value, and in more delapidated states have been restored in California and Florida.

    The difference in this Houston version is the wide open spaces between the apartment blocks, it was a very lovely and humane environment to live in once.

  • That is what I miss about the way old apartment complexes were built. They wrapped buildings around greenspace.

  • I’d like to say that ‘worth salvaging’ is in the eye of the beholder, and, preservation requires an eye for all kinds of detail to recognize SPECIAL – whether due to historic precedent, novelty, craft, sculptural effect, rarity…
    Clunky, early fluorescent lights or boring, early curtain-wall Highrises MAY be important to save because they are physical representations of those innovations in an area. Houston is not SUPER OLD but its architecture defines it, nonetheless.
    In a discussion of architectural preservation, it seems to me to be snobbery to say Louisiana’s plantations are more valuable than Texas’ icehouses, that a church is more special than a corner gas-station; that walnut block paneling is of greater importance than rough cypress board siding.
    Those gridded, steel ‘picture windows’ in this complex are iconic and old state-of-the-art, and even the sentimentality around the love of them, I feel, is part of what determines historic significance.

  • What snobbery?

    The example of Texas icehouses is a good one. I love icehouses. On the other hand, saving is that big of an investment. That’s also why they are here to stay.

    Actually, many in the save neighborhoods group may actually consider an icehouse to be an eyesore.

    I’m by no means saying Texas and/or Houston does have architecture to save.

    A great commercial example: St. Arnolds’s Brewery. The company is moving into there new headquarters just north of downtown. The facility they purchased is the old HISD food services building. A great old wharehouse/factory building built in 1914.

  • As a resident of Wilshire Village for the past 5 years I would like to say that I am very upset that they are going to tear down this complex. The developer just would like to put up yet another high rise apartment complex that will be an eyesore. I would rather have the wonderful courtyards here rather then some steel thing going 16 stories into the sky. I’m sure the neighbors around here would also not like to have a 16 story building in their neighborhood.

    The thing that most of you do not understand is that there are many older residents here that are on very fixed incomes. Some of these residents are even disabled. Due to being able to pay a reasonable rent they are able to live on their very small income.
    The thing that makes me mad about the way this was handled is that the developer did not give the residents 30 days notice. They actually typed up the letter on the 30th day and then stuck it in the mail. Some people just received the letter and now they are faced with trying to find housing in 23 days. This might sound like a good amount of time but I’m sure the elderly people will have a very difficult time finding a new place to live that they can afford.

    So while you are cheering for it to come down stop and think there are elderly people here who have little money and are disabled and now are going to be homeless.

  • This place just gave me the creeps like something out of a horror movie when I rode my scooter past it once. I rode off in utter terror.

  • Dawn,

    If what you say is true, then why aren’t you going to actually news organizations with this story? If disabled elderly are being run out of a dilapidated apartment, the story spells broadcast EMMY to any reporter.

    There are plenty of apartments that are lost cost and are in better shape near this complex. Could you help them relocate since you know they live there and you also live there?

    Outside of the architectural preservation that some people are for in this complex, most people agree the complex is in no condition to remain as is.

  • When I first moved to Houston I lived a few blocks from this place and it always used to creep me out when I walked past it on my way to Fiesta. It was such a shock for me to walk through Southampton and then see this run down building in such close proximity to a nice neighborhood (I wasn’t used to the contrast you see between different neighborhoods in close proximity in Houston). Anyways, I’d much rather see a pedestrian friendly mixed use high-rise in it’s place. This place is sort of interesting, but not interesting enough for me to really care if they tear it down.

  • To kjb434,

    I’ve talked to a city council member and I’ve been told that there really is no help for these elderly people.

    Yes, there is reasonable priced housing in the area but when I say they were paying low rent here I mean really low rent. It would be shock to everyone to hear how little they pay. Of course, when you social security is only $600 a month a couple hundred for rent still seems like a lot.

    As for helping them, I will but remember I also have to find a place to live and work. I work a full time job at a theatre so my schedule at best is crazy.

    It’s always easy for those not affected to give great advice and have wonderful opinions. I hope none of you with your wonderful opinions have a contractor decide to tear down the place you live.

    As for the wanting to see a pedestrian friendly high rise please when is the last time you saw a pedestrain friendly high rise in houston?!? They build to the very edge of the property and leave no trees because it takes up property. All the wonderful 70+ year old trees will be torn down and gone. All the animals here that have a little space of grass will relocate or be killed during construction.

    As for the news…they don’t really give a damn. The Chronicle wants to think about printing an article but I’m sure by the time they actually get their @@it together the place will be leveled.

  • I just love all the anger directed at evil developers. Guess what? It is the property owner that decides what and when to do something to his property.
    Developers have probably been itching to get to this property for years with no luck.

    Point your anger where it belongs.. at the owner who has finally decided to give in.
    Then.. put yourself in the owner’s shoes. You have a dilapidated property probably worth more each year in taxes than he is bringing in with the small percentage of renters.
    As the property owner, would you be able to afford hemorrhaging money in order to provide cheap housing for fixed income?

    So dont blame the developer.. blame the owner.. then realize that if you were the owner, financially you’d be forced to do the same thing eventually.

  • Highrises and gated communities impede the ability to have pedestrian friendly communities. In fact, they impede the ability to have just plain friendly communities.

  • How could a 16 story tower fit on property that’s bordered on one side by Dunlavy, a 2 lane blacktop with ditches on the side, and Alabama which is only 3 lanes wide. Isn’t this the same sort of problem as the Rice Village area tower? some nice plot of land that’s served by too small residential streets?

    What bank would lend money for this development? knowing that all of it’s neighbors would be against the traffic congestion caused by it?

    And the intersection of Alabama and Dunlavy reliably floods to 18 inches deep every time we get torrential rain.

    The City of Houston should buy the property and renovate it building by building for the independent elderly. Or respect the foot print of the original structures and build 4 story apartment buildings in their place, reserving the green space and the trees.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have apartments in the Montrose for our parents and old friends that are on bus lines and convenient to shopping and doctors?

  • I have always wondered what the status was of this place. I didnt think that anyone lived there but from what I have read on this wesbite and others there seems to be a true sense of community there. Not just a bunch of low income riff raff. I agree, dont blame the devlopers the owner was the ass that kicked these folks out with less than 30 days notice. Certainly he knew of the plans to sell the property before then. I hope the local news does get ahold of this story for the sake of the elderly that live there.

  • Scott B., I like the way you think.

    There is a senior living highrise on Memorial Drive that was a Holiday Inn a LONG TIME AGO. It is near downtown. Both that one and the one at the corner of Heights Blvd. and 20th St. have greatly reduced rent for seniors. I don’t know if it is as low as you need, but I think it was like $350/mo when my mom lived there (again, I may be misremembering, it was 2004). Certainly worth looking into. There are also some senior living apartments on Heights Blvd. I have no idea what they are asking, but they are old apartments.

  • Oh, and Margo, most low income people are good folks. They are just quieter than the riff-raff, so they are not as evident.

  • A 16-story building and corresponding traffic in place of the Wilshire Apartments? Time to buy a tow truck and get ready for all the cars that will go into the Dunlavy ditches!

    I agree with Scott – very few affordable places for seniors anymore. This was hearsay, but a friend looking for a place for his dad was told that Heights Tower, being Section 8, had to use any available apartments shortly after Ike for displaced Sec. 8 Galveston area residents and Heights House had a waiting list.

    I always thought these apartments were great. I remember visiting a family friend who lived there back when Fiesta was still Weingarten’s and sold pastel-dyed baby chicks at Easter, so you KNOW how long ago that was!

  • It always gets me when people say that such-and-such a building shouldn’t be preserved because Houston — unlike Galveston or New Orleans — doesn’t have a history worth saving. That’s just about as ignorant a view as “This building should be torn down because it’s ugly and in bad shape.” Both have cost Houston a great deal over the years.

    Does everyone like Wilshire Village’s architecture? No. Does everyone like the architecture of every historic building in Galveston or New Orleans? No, but they help make those cities what they are. Just because Houston isn’t loaded with Victorian commercial buildings or gracious Southern mansions doesn’t mean that we have nothing here of merit.

    Wilshire Village is important because it shows just how much thought went into city apartments in its day. This is not throwaway architecture: The layout of the buildings, the landscaping, the floor plans, the interior amenities, the materials used in the buildings — you won’t find that in 99 percent of new construction, and I’m almost sure it won’t be there in whatever goes up in Wilshire Village’s place.

  • Thank you, Jim. I am positive that more thought went into the design of this apartment complex than the mail-order Victorian houses in Galveston, or some of the plantation houses in Louisiana

  • I’ve thought for some time that the “best” option for that property would be to leave two or three buildings intact, renovate them, and put a mid/hi-rise on the rest of the site. No need to “preserve” the whole site, just keep a representative sample and reuse the rest of the land.

    The other two options are wasteful; full teardown is a waste of historic architecture, and full preservation is a waste of perfectly good developable land.

  • I live across the street from Wilshire Village and am almost as horrified by what is happening as the people it’s happening to.

    I suspect that the city is rather better informed about what is going on than anyone is prepared to mention on record. It can hardly be a coincidence that street and sewage repairs are currently taking place behind Wilshire Village on Sul Ross.

    Having lived in Houston and Montrose for many years (although perhaps not for many more years to come), I can’t say that any of this surprises me. The bulldozers will likely arrive as soon as the last resident and squatter has been rounded up.

    A local publication I contribute to wants to do a story about this. I urge any current or former Wilshire Village resident who wants to talk about this to drop me a line. It’s poor solace to someone who’s losing their home, but it would be nice to at least shine some daylight on what is occurring.

  • that email address, BTW, is m-martin@earthwire.net

  • These were once quite beautiful. A friend’s parents
    were newlyweds there, a good 60 years ago. Now the elderly, poor
    residents have less than a month to move.

    The same thing happened to the elderly poor residents of the truly
    garden apartments that used to be between Buffalo Speedway and Edloe
    just south of Westpark (now a massive Kroger shopping center, with a
    few lines of pecan trees in a ghostly outline of the former streets);
    and to the ones in the similar 1940’s-era apartments along Cambridge
    between Holcombe and S. MacGregor, that Baylor destroyed in order to
    build its ill-fated hospital.

    All these apartment complexes had lawns, trees, common areas, even
    outdoor clotheslines, and were genuine communities. There is no
    equivalent to replace them.

  • A pocket park would be nice.

    A city ordinance preventing any building taller than 3 or 4 stories on land surrounded by small streets of two or three lanes would prevent traffic jams and restrict tall buildings to the freeway corridors capable of handling the traffic.

    At this time crossing Alabama on Dunlavy takes two light cycles more often than not. When the wooden behemoth on Richmond and Dunlavy is occupied with many car driving residents and the light rail slows cross traffic on Richmond, the neighborhood will be gridlocked.
    Soon rubber on heels will be faster than rubber on wheels (with a nod to Lightnin’ Hopkins).

    Ah, Progress!

  • Dear KJB434,

    Re: Your comment “Also, the existing building was a drug and gang haven with lots of homeless camping out.”

    You might want to get your facts straight before you make incorrect public pronouncement about which you have limited knowledge.

    I’ve lived in Wilshire Village for the last 14 years, and have never seen any gang members, or homeless camping out.

    I’ve walked through the complex at all hours of the day & night, and have never felt my safety in danger — or been accosted.

    What I have seen at Wilshire Village is a diverse, quirky community of fascinating Houstonians: seniors living on fixed incomes; young heterosexual couples; Latino families with young children; gays and lesbians, Rice graduate students, and artists.

    It seems like this might be the type of neighborhood that Houston could use more of: a diverse melting pot in which residents from different backgrounds live in respectful community, with reasonable rents.

  • KJB434, the historical value of Wilshire Village is all the greater because of the near complete destruction of Allen Parkway Villages. It’s one of the only remaining Depression-era public housing projects we have left. You wrote, “Houston’s history is relatively modern.” That’s a point in favor of Wilshire Village–not that I’m hopeful about it.

    I do think what will happen is that the Montrose area homeowners will become as activated as Southampton and Boulevard Oaks. I really thought the economy was going to delay the very needed political debate about how to plan for Houston’s population growth, but perhaps it’s still going to happen.

  • While the Wilshire apartments may be too far gone for restoration to economic viability, the land beneath them may be the only surviving 8-acre tract filled with such stately trees inside the Loop. The Wilshire tract is too precious to be sacrificed for a high rise or even a mid rise building. No matter what the developer claims, such a structure would overwhelm the campus-like setting. One developer’s profit would be a pittance compared to the city’s larger loss. Redevelop the tract,if necessary, in a way that works in sympathy with this gem.

  • If anyone is interested, there is now a Facebook group called “Wilshire Village Friends and Neighbors” (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=51088162341)

  • While the Wilshire apartments may be too far gone for restoration to economic viability …

    With enough thought and care, most historic buildings can be restored in ways that make them economically viable while preserving their architectural and historical significance. It happens all the time in other cities, but Houston has rarely picked up on the concept, unfortunately.

  • I just read on HAIF that those horrible Carter’s Grove apartments on N. Shepherd are being renovated into condos! Isn’t that where some kids got electrocuted and the city ran in and condemned the place? All I remembered is news stories with people living in apartments with holes in the ceiling and wires sticking out of the walls, etc. – all the photos I’ve seen from the inhabited apartments at Wilshire Village have been very nice. Seems ironic that a place like Carter’s Grove could be saved – guess where there’s a will, there’s a way.

  • All those charming Art Deco hotels in Miami Beach were in a hell of lot worse shape than the Wilshire Village apartments. Why do Houstonians think that some peeling paint and some rotten soffit boards are enough reason to tear down an old building.

    People wonder on Swamplot why developers and their employees are so disparaged? Well look around – look at how everything that’s unique and fascinating about Houston is torn down and replaced with 3rd rate crap architecture.

    Allen Parkway Village is a good example, it was also designed by Wilshire Village’s Werlin, and what had been beautiful renovatable Moderne garden apartments has been replaced by ticky tacky MFB vinyl sided crap that won’t last another 20 years.

  • Not only that but wasn’t it already on the National Register of Historic Places?

  • Houstonians are not the ones promoting tear downs. I am a fifth generation Houstonian, and I am for restoration. The problem is we have no (I’m going to use the Z word) zoning. We are a city that attracts the quick buck developers (aka predatory developers) for that very reason. It is very sad. Think Shamrock Hotel. If the Alamo had been in Houston it would be a condo complex.

  • Movocelot, I don’t know if Wilshire Village is on the National Register or not, but National Register listing doesn’t carry any protections with it. A lot of people don’t realize that. Remember that Freedmen’s Town was also a NR-listed area, and most of it has been destroyed.

  • Just pray to God that the developer does not contact the architect (or psycho) who designed the godawful Bayou on the Bend midrise.

    I hate to see these go.

  • JT-

    I don’t know how to break this to you gently, so I won’t even try……IT’S THE SAME DEVELOPER.

    His name is Matt Dilick. He got his start working for Landry’s Restaurants. If you want a handle on his architectural sensibilities, take a good look at the aforementioned ‘Bayou on the Bend’…..or at the Kemah boardwalk.

    In other interesting news, a city council member has expressed serious doubt that the eviction notices and threats of electrical service termination issuing from Mr. Dilick’s office are even legal. If this is true, Mr. Dilick’s name would appear to suffer from a surplus consonant and a surplus vowel.

  • M.Martin, your post has me crying and laughing at the same time.

  • Emme – Zoning is not the magical cure for unpopular development or “predatory developers”. Whatever that means. One of my departments as a budget analyst for the City of Austin in the 80’s was Planning and Zoning. Even then Austin had zoning and ordinances galore. There is a thing called variances and sitting in many P&Z commission meetings I saw very few that were not granted. Money talks and bull$$$t walks. BTW, I think Wilshire Village looks very cool and I too wish it could be restored.

  • M Martin

    I realize that we are talking about the same developer. His approval of Barfbag on the Bend’s polyglot of architectural elements proves he has no taste. Of course,the architect or firm that designed the place should have their license revoked. Here’s a cry out to all you developers–for chrissakes just get in your car and drive to Dallas and see that life exists beyond Hardiplank and spray on stucco.

  • I’ve lived here for 8 wonderful years. It’s home. I have never seen gang members, crackheads, or homeless people in here. It’s been most wonderfully quiet. It’s been almost like living in the country with the sound of birds in the mornings, with squirrels climbing the oak and magnolia trees, and the sound of the wind rustling through the branches. Imagine your favorite home as your roots and they are severed. Do that and you’ll realize how we, that live here, feel about the impending eviction. No, I don’t have central air and heat. No, I don’t have an automatic dishwasher, a garbage disposal, trash compactor, or washer/dryer connections. However, I do have airy cross-breezes that help cool the apartment without running the window units. I have trees where the grandkids have climbed and fought the pirates at sea. I have space to walk in, hardwood floors that require no upkeep, no vacuuming. It’s a shame, but if you notice the comments, you’ll see that those of us who live here or have enjoyed this residence in the past, are the ones who don’t want to see it go. The ones who have NO connection with living here, want it demolished. Just remember, what you get may be worse than what you have. Imagine the traffic congestion, the strain on the utility lines, and the further flooding that will happen with a higher concentration of population on the same 8 acres. Eight acres will house a HELL of lot of people. Do you honestly think that the neighborhood can stand much more? I think Alaska is looking better and better as a place to live. Good bye to Wilshire Village and the kind heart of the owner, and good luck to the people who live around here and have to deal with the further onslaught of “progress.”

  • well the city came by today to slap up notices that the slumlords haven’t complied with their “safety” requests, so they’ll start barricading up the stairwells.
    “Help! I’m trapped in here and can’t get out!” LOL

  • Aw yes it would take the soulless eyes of an engineer not to see the intrinsic beauty of the place. Beauty can be found in the large green park like open spaces filled with mature live oaks, magnolia trees, and gardenias. Even though antiquated, the apartments themselves were light filled and very spacious with hardwood floors and quality period details. Any one who has lived there knows it beauty.
    I live there for many years from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s. Most of the occupants were the elderly and students who appreciated the very low rents smack dab in the heart of the city. A small group of architect students, myself included, treasured our apartments. There was always a waiting list to rent a place there.
    I no long live in Houston and my friend who works for the City of Houston informed me of Wilshires fate. It is sad to hear that it will be gone the next time I visit Houston, it will be missed by me and I would think anyone who lived there.

  • You have to wonder how long the live oak and magnolia trees and gardenia bushes will last. The trees of course take up valuable land that can be redeveloped. And the gardenia bushes of course no longer define any courtyards since the courtyards no longer exist.

    Life is fair. Unfortunately it’s filled with schmucks.

    Most of them developers who never saw an open space filled with trees they wouldn’t rather replace with rent-producing units.

  • Actually, it seems that efforts *may* be taken to spare at least some of the trees on the Wilshire Village property. From my vantage point across the street, I can see orange plastic fencing surrounding a number of trees…I can also see at least two bulldozers on the property, as well as a lot of broken-up pavement in the parking lots behind the apartments.

    I fear that the end is near and that I am soon bidding farewell to an old friend–but if we *do* see some of trees spared, that is at least some solace.