Houston House and Lot Flipping: Conceptual Art Meets Sharpstown Deed Restrictions

Sure, Mary Ellen Carroll is gonna pick up this Sharpstown lot across from Bayland Park and the house on it and rotate the whole thing 180 degrees. Oh, and then there’s gonna be that hydroponic curtain-wall fencing system and the solar and geothermal systems and the wi-fi cloud and the fancy door hardware and the bees and all. Still gotta meet the local deed restrictions.

Video: Douglas Britt

23 Comment

  • I do not know who Mary Ellen Carrol is but I do know a lot about homebuilding and remodeling and the economics of such endeavors. I dont know what kind of tripe this person is spouting but I do know that whatever the purpose of the video, there can be no possible economic functionality or incentive to the project that she is describing. Who funds her waste of time? I hope my tax dollars are not going towards this. The simple fact of the matter is that this is a lower middle class location which does not even come close to offering revenue potential to cover the cost involved, so therefore what is its purpose. What possibly can be gained by pie in the sky type projects. Housing affordability is a big issue in this country, even with the downturn or recession impacting values. I see nothing in the project which could possibly lend itself towards benefiting this issue or any economic gain viability for an entrepreneur, so what is its purpose and why does it get publicity on this site.

  • Seems like a perfectly good waste of some peoples time.

    Why doesn’t she just do the project, then have a group come by and see how awesome (or not awesome) it is?

    The sad part is taxpayer money mostly likely went to this waste.

  • No, the sad part (and the “waste of time”) is people who don’t know what they’re talking about getting all outraged over limited information and pretending they do.
    It’s called art. It’s been around for a while. You should look into it.
    Too bad you nay-sayers weren’t around to ridicule Project Row Houses before it happened.

  • Yep, it’s “art” alright, and “artists” always need to point that out for justification.

    And that is some nutty art talk for sure.

    Kinda reminds of some those Commerce Street parties way back in the day.

  • When will these artists stop threatening us with their non-economic projects and time wasting?

  • Yeah, it’s art. But it’s still stupid.

  • Errol,

    There is nothing wrong with calling some art stupid. It’s an opinion and can be very valid after seeing the artist try to explain it.

    I would offer a comparison to the “inversion house” and the “hole-n-the-house” projects to be much more interesting and most likely not wasting tax payer dollars.

  • There was a time when the Beer Can house wasn’t in that great of a neighborhood either. It is still “must see” on a tour of Houston.

  • I still rather go back to the days of art sponsors.

    Where some philanthropist likes and artist work and sponsors them to do more.

    Artists either struggle to make ends meet or were lucky to find someone to fund there works.

    i just have issue spending money on art from taxpayer sources when we are having times where economy is struggling. The NEA and any taxpayer funded art group should not receive any funding unless a surplus exists in funds.
    Since art is not a necessity to live, why not have it’s public funds limited to times when we have extra monies to pay for it.
    In tight time, artist may have to struggle, but isn’t the best artwork always coming from struggling souls?

  • “isn’t the best artwork always coming from struggling souls?”

    I would suggest that anyone who has seen Monet’s paintings of water-lilies at Giverny, or Matisse’s cut-outs (just to name two examples) would disagree! Art comes from many impulses, including pleasure, satisfaction, happiness–love poems, for example.

    And most art is, in fact, sponsored by art patrons, whether rich individuals, private endowments, corporations, or even you or me putting our $5 in the box at CAMH. Government money, as far as I understand, forms only a small part of the total patronage of art.

    (I wonder how much the City of Houston has spent on its sports stadiums compares with how much it has spent on art?)

  • I disagree with the sport stadium funding also (at least for the reason they use).

    Sports stadiums don’t increase tax revenues in surrounding area (at least not enough to recoup expenses). If they were honest that they wanted to spend the money just because a stadium is cool, they may get the support that way.

    Same argument can be made for rail transit (especially in Houston).

    I guess in the end, I would rather the taxpayers had a chance to vote for these expenditures.

  • “The sad part is taxpayer money mostly likely went to this waste.”

    Actually I have it on good authority that only your tax dollars are being used on this project, kjb434.

    “I would offer a comparison to the “inversion house” and the “hole-n-the-house” projects to be much more interesting and most likely not wasting tax payer dollars.”

    Wow, that’s a bizarre assumption to jump to. Art you don’t like is probably on the taxpayer teat; art you do like probably isn’t?

    In any case, Dean Ruck (one of the two artists on those projects) has indeed gotten grants from government agencies like the National Endowment for the Arts (see http://www.houstonpbs.org/publicart/artists.html#dean) and the pair (Havel Ruck Projects) have also gotten grants from the NEA). I don’t know if they got grants for Inversion or Hole, though.

  • Jeez, I guess this is not the place to bring up art.

  • “What possibly can be gained by pie in the sky type projects.”

    Not being so dull.

    And yes, some taxes (VERY little) go toward art grants like those from HAA/CACHH (COH hotel occupancy tax) or Texas Commission on the Arts.
    And egads, monies also go toward art programs which may give otherwise unrealized opportunities to naive artsy wannabes! (And make sure not to buy the TCA “State of the Arts” vanity plate for god’s sake).

  • Houses are not “Art”. Yes, one man some years ago spent his money decorating his own house with beer can tabs. That is fine. He did it with his own money. It is even better if he and/or his heirs make a little money off of his “artwork”. It is not okay however for any kind of tax revenue to go towards frivolous endeavors such as this. I totally agree with most of the others who have responded, that all artists should have to find a private benefactor to fund their “art” and therefore their living. It is not the responsibility of any government entity. The world has too many other more pressing issues and problems to waste time and money on silliness such as this project

  • “Houses are not ‘Art’.”

    Hey, in the future, if I have a question about whether or not something is art (or “art”), can I call you? You apparently are an expert, right?

  • ‘Houses are not “Art”.’
    Let me guess . . . you’re a suburbs of Houston homebuilder?

  • “all artists should have to find a private benefactor to fund their “art” and therefore their living. It is not the responsibility of any government entity.”
    Should that apply to “serious, non-artistic” suburban developments too? What about all the government subsidies that make them possible? What would Katy be without the Katy Freeway? Not to mention the home-mortgage deduction?

    Before you start imposing libertarian fantasy rules on topics you (by your own declaration) know little about, try to imagine their effect on your own (apparently artless) world.

  • Yes, I am Leonardo de PerryHomes. Texas is my canvas and sprawl is my paintbrush. My ouevre is best viewed from 100 miles straight up.

  • RWB,
    Hey, no fair confusing self-made Texas he-man Bob Perry with that waste of time, pie-in-the-sky dreamer Da Vinci. Didn’t Leonardo milk the governments of Milan, Florence, and France for his useless projects?

  • Indeed, Leonardo was totally on the dole. Michelangelo too! All those Renaissance artists (or should I say “artists”?) were. Vasari should have named his book “Lives of the Welfare Queens.”

  • What absolutely galls me is the outrageous fiscal irresponsibility of the Medici administration.

  • Anyone remember the Holstein painted house (black and white spots) that was located in West U by the railroad tracks (Bissonnet and Weslayn area)? Wonder how those neighbors felt about conceptual art?