The owners of the quirky Kuhl-Linscomb home-goods store, arrayed in 6 separate repurposed buildings just east of the Upper Kirby Whole Foods Market, have plans to attach a large addition behind and next to the Penguin Arms apartment building at 2902 Revere St. — and to turn the completed building into an additional showroom. The proposed addition to Arthur Moss’s distinctive 1950 structure (above), one of the best surviving examples of the Frank-Lloyd-Wright-meets-diner-mashup ‘Googie’ style, would almost quadruple the amount of space in the building, from the current 5,938 sq. ft. to 23,427 sq. ft. A proposed site plan submitted to the city shows how the addition would hang back and to the side of the structure, preserving views of 3 of the rock-and-glass building’s corners:
Here’s the existing site plan:
Owners Dan Linscomb & Pam Kuhl-Linscomb describe their plans for the midcentury mod Penguin Arms as one of adaptive reuse, claiming that the addition will “create sufficient space to justify its preservation and inclusion” in what they describe as their “village” of shop buildings.
Here’s a plan of the existing Kuhl-Linscomb campus layout . . .
. . . and one of the proposed changes, which appear to include an expansion to the rear of Building 3 as well:
In 2012, Kuhl-Linscomb applied for and received a parking variance from the city to allow a smaller number of parking spaces (45 on-site plus an additional 19 leased off-site — 49 on weekends) than the 119 that would otherwise have been required for their complex, which winds through lots in the 2 blocks surrounded by West Alabama St., Argonne, Revere, and Kipling. The store’s plans for its Penguin Arms addition are revealed in a new application for a separate parking variance for that property, which is scheduled to be heard by the city’s planning commission on August 21. This variance would allow the retailers to include just 10 off-street parking spaces on that site. (It currently has 5.)
“Adding the Penguin and its addition,” the application reads, “is not expected to increase the number of customers; instead it will enable merchandise to be better seen in more ‘elbow room.’ The increase parking is proposed more for locational convenience than for anticipated customer needs.”
- Penguin Arms article [HAIF]
- Previously on Swamplot: Kuhl-Linscomb Plans To Turn Googie Penguin Arms Apartments into Modern Home Goods Showroom; Penguin Arms, Houston’s Only Googie Apartment Building, Is Now for Sale
Photo: Molly Block. Plans: Kuhl-Linscomb
Fantastic! Well played, Kuhl & linscomb!
My first reaction: “Oh no!”, but then I realized it was a good way to save that building from being demolished. Buildings have to adapt to survive.
I always expected to see this on the Daily Demolition Report but this just made my day/week/year. Kuhl-Linscomb will do great things with this and make it sparkle. I say we just give them a Good Brick Award now and call it a day.
Parking for La Maison residents and visitors on Revere will become a huge nightmare with this– I bet. Also, K-L took over what was Cierra furniture next to their beauty, jewelry, etc space, and will be expanding into that portion of their strip-center any day. They’re like the Fred Segal of Houston– which I’m not complaining about.
Penguins don’t have arms!…..oh, it’s joke.
@Emily, I didn’t know it was K-L taking over Cierra. My wallet aches with the thought of what additional merchandise might fill all that extra space. It is my favorite store in Houston, glad to see them doing well enough to expand.
@Emily – no offense, but have you ever been to Kuhl Linscomb? As silly as it’s worded, their parking variance is spot on. This addition is really just saving a building from demolition and allowing their current customers breathing room in the ridiculously overcrowded store. Even during the Christmas season their parking lot isn’t half full. I shop there frequently and am often the only person in the entire “building” I’m browsing. I adore this
store in all it’s crowded, quirky, glory, and am so glad the Penguin Arms will be repurposed. You and yours at La Maison really shouldn’t give this a second thought.