9 Comment

  • What? NO! Can’t they preserve this piece of history?

  • don’t laugh too much, in freedman’s district these shotgun shatholes are considered historic. somewhere in the heights, there is somebody crying foul, i can also assure you.

    i often equate “historic preservationists” with people who are economically obsolete in a changed neighborhood landscape. remember, these were the same people who were able to live on the extreme cheap, with an laughably low basis of holding cost; and someday, at their leisure, will be rewarded for their years of deferred property maintenance with considerable profit for their lack of attention to their property.

    so the voices that cry foul when outdated, structurally UNsound properties are removed from the landscape, have nothing to shake my belief that 75% of pre-World War II housing is not worth saving.

    There is a gray area here, though. The other 25% deserves consideration for revival and preservation, but it’s for the individual property owner OR established community to decide, not any other outside groups.

    oh, and I live in a historic preservation area. it has cost me thousands upon thousands to work within this system of silliness. the only reason i subjected myself to it, was because the property i brought back to life was one i truly would have done the same for, with or without the rules.

  • HTX – I think Northside Girl was kidding. We do that a lot here.

  • Agreed, Claire de Lune. I don’t know of any preservation-minded individual who thinks EVERY old structure should be saved. We may sigh for what could have been if someone had taken care of the proprety, but an unsafe structure with damage past repair benefits no one. Then again, we do have a few Mary Kay LeTourneau types here who don’t think a building is worth existing if it doesn’t need burping and changing.

  • Mary Kay LeTourneau types? Can this please, pretty please be comment of the day????

  • Freedman’s town is not a historic district under the City’s historic preservation ordinance. In fact, it is an excellent example of why historic districts are needed.
    Freedman’s town was where freed slaves settled after emancipation. The land was crap due to the flooding from the bayous. The residents built roads out of brick made by hand and constructed utilities. They basically built a thriving community out of swampland with their own hands. The area decayed and turned into crack town in the 1980s. In the late 1980s, Residents and activists were able to put over 500 buildings on the national register of historic places. Today, less than 30 of those buildings remain. And the effort to preserve the shot gun shacks was based on the historic and cultural value of the buildings, not just for the architecture. Had Freedman’s town had the protection of the current historic ordinance and a fraction of the kind of tax assistance that goes to stadiums, grand parkways and Walmarts, a significant piece of American history could have been saved and become a national tourist destination along the lines of Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
    Thus, the claim that preservationist just want to preserve any old junky building in Houston is just about as true as the claim that private historic preservation efforts can be effective.

  • Old School for mayor.

  • Somehow I’m certain that Old School would have an entirely different view of historic preservation of Freedman’s Town if he actually owned any of the houses there and the rules he seems to love were costing him 75% of the value of his home when he was ready to sell.

    The market isn’t perfect, but I trust it a lot more than I do a bunch of politicians, NIBMY’s, and do-good-ers who think they know what’s best for MY property.

    If you want to save something, BUY IT. Then you can do with it as you please.

  • Bernard for mayor!