Best Demolition of 2011: Your Nominations, Please

Earlier today, we introduced the first category in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate, celebrating best and most this city has to offer. And now nominations are open in a second category: Best Demolition.

Sure, demolitions are raw, physical acts, but emotional, historical, cultural, artistic, literary, sonic, and ecological aspects are often hard at work too. What property would you honor as Houston’s Best Demo of 2011 — and why?

If you’re like most people and have a little trouble remembering buildings once they’re gone, you can scroll through Swamplot’s archive of demolition stories to refresh your memory. Then add your thoughtful and well-argued nominations for this coveted award to the comments section below — or send them in a private message to Swamplot HQ. For a more thorough description of the nominating process, see these instructions.

Nominations for both award categories announced today will remain open until midnight this Sunday, December 11. But why wait until the last minute to submit your nominations? Could you knock a few out now?

21 Comment

  • Although the name escapes me right now that sugarland mod teardown was probably the most tragic I can recall this year.

  • National Flame & Forge on W 24th. Despite the fact that the property has not yet been redeveloped, its absence already appears to be having an impact on the redevelopment of adjacent properties. Plus, it’s rare to see see such a large tract of vacant land in that part of the inner city.

  • The Chinese museum in Katy, for sure, plus bonus points because it was for the grand parkway which was demolished several times by lawsuits and budgets, only to rise from the dead like thousands of Chinese warrior statues………

  • Downtown YMCA… because I will miss the swimming pool in the dungeon and the disproportionately high number of creepy old naked men hanging around the locker room.

  • I’d like to nominate the removal of the Sheraton Lincoln for its quiet disappearance. I’ll bet the neighboring building tenants would send in a few votes.

  • I nominate The Buffalo Grille.

    While it’s not a glamorous nomination, nor does it have the same clout that a downtown hotel or a Med Center hospital has, there’s no question as to the efficiency of HEB’s demolition of The Buffalo Grille. I shop at HEB Buffalo Market on average once a week, and I never even saw them take it down. One week it was there, the next week it wasn’t. I suppose that’s what happens when Scott McClelland flexes his muscles.

    Also, since this is a nomination for a Swampie, you have to take into consideration two themes that this demo poses. First, posts concerning grocery stores always generates a ton of buzz in the comment sections of Swamplot: Which firm is deigning the new HEB? If the Montrose Kroger is “Disco Kroger,” what is the nickname for the new Kroger in the Heights? And so forth. Second, The Buffalo Grille was torn down for PARKING; how much more Houston can you get than that?

  • *designing, not “deigning”

  • The Sugar Land house was the H. A. Lott house by MacKie & Kamrath. That was pretty sad.

  • The (Archstone?) Apartments on Yale and Heights and the Dirt Bar. This threw the whole anti-Walmart nimby/snob argument on its ear. The Walmart developer was throwing out low income families and a dive bar in order to put in a Starbucks and an Italian restaurant and was getting 6 mil in tax dollars to make it happen.

  • @Marmer, @Lost – another nomination for the MacKie Kamrath Sugarland mod teardown. If the owners had known it was going to be demolished, they would have never sold it. The house was in perfect condition and was move-in ready. Another Kamrath house on Tiel Way was also lost this year.

  • I second marmer’s nomination.

  • I’m gonna go with the impending demo of Fiesta. You know the one. It’s across from the Museum of Food.

  • @Matt, I thought there was a Kamrath teardown on Tiel Way but couldn’t remember for sure if that was this year or earlier.

  • How about the demolition of the original facsia lines of the River Oaks Shopping Center? Weingarten took out the clean 1930’s moderne lines and nice white and black color scheme (though that was NOT original) and tacked on turrets, larger signage, and beige paint.

  • like the gutted french chateau from last year, the sugarland mod teardown is a heartbreaking thought and continues to shed light on how there’s nothing more destructive in society than a houstonian with their own personal taste.

  • @ Marmer — 59 Tiel Way was demolished on January 25th.

    So two significant residential houses by Karl Kamrath lost in one year.

    59 Tiel Way was remuddled in some aspects and damaged badly by Ike, the Sugar Creek house was in good condition.

  • The Flagship Hotel in Galveston has to be nominated — Tillman Fertitta destroys Galveston history, builds another Kemah-esque Disneyland, and kills a man, all in one fell swoop. The best part is he’ll probably end up land-banking the pier until Governor Goodhair lets him build a casino on it.

  • Interior of the W Alabama theatre. Progress!

  • The perfectly restorable bungalow at 745? E 8th St in the Heights that was demolished to make way for a parking lot for Sonoma. This threw the whole save the bungalows argument out on its ear. All of a sudden we learned that it’s only the bungalows that aren’t hindering convenient parking for wine bars that must be saved at all costs.

  • Jimbo– nobody wanted that bungalow torn down except Sonoma!

  • Wasn’t the bungalow behind Sonoma moved rather than torn down? I seem to remember it up on steel supports before it disappeared.