We don’t have all that many to spare, but it appears that there will soon be one fewer thin-shell paraboloid roof in Houston: HISD says it plans to demolish the 1958 James M. Delmar Fieldhouse (known now as the Delmar-Tusa Fieldhouse) and build a new facility in its place. According to a press release, the old stadium is “currently in poor condition with major roof leaks, flooding problems in the locker rooms and a sports medicine area that falls short of athletic league standards.”
The 5,000-seat swayback fieldhouse is located at 2020 Mangum Rd., just outside the Loop in Lazybrook and Timbergrove. Designed by Milton McGinty, who also had a hand in the Rice Stadium, the gym served as the home court in the ’60s for UH and the Elvin Hayes-powered Coogs. But it would seem that HISD wants to make haste and move on from that history: “The goal is to have the site ready for construction as soon as possible and complete the replacement facility by late 2016.”
A pair of new restaurants are moving into old places in the Lazybrook and Timbergrove area. The former Queen Burger at 1802 W. 18th St., shown here, is being renovated and rechristened as Hughie’s Tavern and Grill. (A menu posted on Hughie’s Facebook describes the food as “Asian fusion.”) No date’s been given for the opening. And not half a mile away at 1951 W. T.C. Jester there’ll be a new Spaghetti Western . . .
A small group of homeowners that includes residents of Timbergrove, Brookwoods Estates, and Holly Park have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration claiming that the agency approved the expansion of Hwy. 290 along the 38-mile stretch from 610 to FM 2920 last August without properly analyzing how noise from the project would affect their properties. In the filing, the plaintiffs say they are not opposed to the project, but are concerned that TxDOT’s environmental studies of its planned elevated roadways at the 610 and I-10 interchanges — some of which will reach as high as 100 ft. in the air — didn’t account for noise impacts on Memorial Park and the Houston Arboretum as well.
For a while, it looked like the effort to save the last five acres of the West 11th Street Park property from impending townhome development was going to fail. Having put up those acres of parkland as collateral for a bridge loan from Amegy Bank that allowed the city to purchase the remaining fifteen acres of the park, the Houston Parks Board had given park supporters only until August to raise $3.75 million to pay off the loan.
Private donors reaching into their own pockets were able to raise only about a quarter of a million dollars. Meanwhile, one donor was looking in other pockets: In the last legislative session, State Senator John Whitmire was able to slide funding for the park into the state budget for local parks grants. After some confusion, it now appears that Whitmire’s bill will allow the property, long a merely undeveloped HISD property with tall trees, to become an official city park.
Now what happens to the private funds already raised for that purpose?