New Laundry Tag Could Soon Hang from Gibbs Boats’ Redone Building as a Sign of Its Pre-Nautical Past

Next Saturday, Houston’s historic commission is set to consider a request that new old signage be installed on the former Gibbs Boats building at 1110 W. Gray as part of the renovation to turn it into a new shopping center dubbed Rêve Montrose. The QUALITY LAUNDRY lettering is a nod to the 1936 structure’s original tenant — pictured above — which turned the place over to Gibbs in 1958. According to the rendering above, the replica sign and accompanying pyramidal support structure are set to be installed in the same location as the originals.

Since the Oxberry Group announced its redo plan for the building in March, some of its W. Gray façade has been scratched off, revealing traces of the original brick underneath where the G in Gibbs used to front the street:


Other changes slated for the building where Gibbs jumped ship 4 years ago: the re-placement of its fin-like art deco parapet above the W. Gray entrance, replacement of its shed-roofed portion nearest to Montrose Blvd. with a patio, the addition of a clock tower between existing 1- and 2-story sections of the structure, and the tacking-on of an extra retail portion in the former boatyard at the north end of the property.

Images: Houston Archeological and Historical Commission

W. Gray and Montrose

12 Comment

  • This will be a spectacular addition to the Montrose streetscape; I hope the restored portions of the building are as detailed as the original.
    Would have been nice if the original fenestration could also have been duplicated, but we’ll take what we can get. Applause to whoever’s behind this project.

  • Wow, that’s actually spectacular. Is this from The Onion? Or is it April Fool’s Day? Things like this just aren’t done around here.

  • Are you watching this River Oaks Shopping Center? In 40 years someone might undo all the unfortunate changes you’ve made.

  • Absolutely love the future plans of this property. Really glad that they are restoring the historical aesthetics of the building.

  • A nice little stretch forming along Montrose. New apartments will begin to rise next to this in the coming months (replacing El Tiempo).

  • Nice, but adding the old Laundry sign… idk. Will there be a laundromat? A Cleaner’s?
    Agree with GoogleMaster.

  • Fingers crossed that we get another mattress store to set up shop in this nice new center.

  • Not a big fan of the idea of reinstalling the sign. While I applaud the efforts of restoring the building to much of it’s historic character, there is a point to where such efforts have gone too far. What does it add to the building’s interest and curb appeal. I’d say, leave this off as it misleads and misdirects people’s attention.

  • I totally understand the complaints about that laundry sign. I’d hate to be driving down the street with a basket of dingy clothes, only to pull in and realize I’ve wasted my time. Same thing happened the last time I was in San Antonio. I had a sudden hankerin’ for a can of cheap beer and headed for the Pearl Brewery (because of the giant sign you can see from the freeway), but I was really let down when all I could find were interesting restaurants, cafes, and shops. /sarcasm

  • I guess that’s how you know gentrification is complete. Signs of sincerity become signs of irony.

  • Memebag- Irony? They’ll need another sign for that service.

  • Chris B: HAHA!