The ongoing saga of theÂ Allen’s Landing trees coming downÂ recently in bits and pieces — apparently the handiwork of an elusive Buffalo Bayou beaver or 2 — has come to a likely end with the non-rodent-assisted removal of the final stumps, Swamplot’s semi-regularÂ Franklin St. correspondent and wildlifeÂ tipster notes. But life around the White Oak-BuffaloÂ confluence goes on! Spring is here, which means the ducksÂ have beenÂ out and about, while the cranes are busyÂ pulling fledgling parking garage superstructures up into the air:
Urban wildlife cellphone videographer Christine Wilson sends some footage captured from Allen’s Landing documenting the eons-oldÂ nature vs. civilization struggle,Â which played out earlier this week in the form of tiny ducksÂ dodging theirÂ way through the floating trash fieldÂ where White OakÂ and Buffalo bayous join up. WilsonÂ caught sight (and sound)Â of aÂ duck and 4 ducklings struggling acrossÂ the White Oak outflow toward the Buffalo side of the confluence, which she notes is significantly less debris-spangled. That’s the Harris County Jail in the background for most of the shot, across White Oak from the main building of the University of Houston Downtown. (The footage cuts out mid-scene, but Wilson says the ducks did eventually make it across.)
A charrette will be held at 9AM tomorrow for anyone interested in entering the design competition for the American Institute of Architects’sÂ new Houston chapter headquarters, to be located atÂ 900 Commerce St. across from Spaghetti Warehouse. Â After being outbid on the blue mod Christian Science church on Main St.Â back in January, AIA and Architecture Center Houston are instead purchasing around 8,000 sq. ft. of space in the 1906 B.A. Reisner building, adjacent to the storiedÂ Bayou LoftsÂ occupying much ofÂ the block.Â Part 1 of theÂ competition willÂ solicit ideas only for the 5,400-sq.-ft. storefront, 2,200-sq.-ft. boiler room, and some connections between the spaces;Â teams making it to roundÂ 2 will win a bit of cash and be asked to create detailed designs for the storefront and the building’s facade.
The view of the Reisner building aboveÂ wasÂ snappedÂ from Commerce looking south; below is aÂ black-and-white shot of the building from further east across Travis, taken back in the days of itsÂ early-1900s employment by Southern Rice Products Company:
The no-longer-see-through structure is back to limiting the view from the Harris County Jail across the bayou (visible on the far right, above). A set of stairs are in place alongside the new cistern, along with railings around what appears to be the planned rooftop terrace.
When Houston First and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership announced the complete redo of the former Sunset Coffee building (also known as the International Coffee Company building) at Allen’s Landing last year, they meant it: This pic posted to the Houston First Facebook page doesn’t make it look like there’s a whole lot left — beyond columns and floors — of the 1910 structure parked off Commerce St. between Main and Fannin, but it does allow better glimpses of the Harris County Jail across the bayou through the cleared-out floors.
Following a design from San Antonio architects Lake Flato, the $2.5 million renovation project is scheduled to be complete a year from now. The finished structure will include canoe and kayak rental space on the ground floor facing the bayou and office and event space above. Here’s a rendering of the same from-the-bayou view: