Second Category in the Swampies: Best Demolition of 2013

Earlier today we introduced the first category in this year’s Swamplot Awards for Houston Real Estate, celebrating the Houston area’s finest design clichés. Now, nominations are open for the second category: Best Demolition.

Demolitions are such a regular occurrence in Houston that they warrant their own daily report on Swamplot. But we’re looking for that special teardown that stands out from all the rest. Last year, it was the Park Memorial Condominiums. What property would you honor this time around, and why?

Send us your thoughtful and well-argued nominations to the comments section below — or send them in a private message to our tips line. For more on the nomination process, refer to these instructions.

Nominations for both award categories announced today will remain open until midnight this Sunday, December 8. We’ll introduce more categories tomorrow, so why not submit your nominations for the first 2 categories today?

The 2013 Swampies

24 Comment

  • Bring on the Swampies. And may the best examples in each category bring forth lots of comments / snarky criticism ala Swamplot,etc.

  • Any of the old apartment buildings in the Montrose. That are being replaced by new,improved “luxury” buildings.

  • Kelly Courts! From a drug ridden ghetto to large park for the family. This shows how one voice has a tremendous impact on a neighborhood.

  • Patrick, I think the old apartment buildings are being torn down in Montrose. The new luxury apartments are being built in the Montrose.

  • The Macy’s building, full stop. Sure, the name was gone since 2006 and the golden days years before that, but damn if that wasn’t a unique architectural treasure lost there.

  • The Astrodome pillars. Because you don’t steal a beach all at once, you do it a grain of sand at a time.

  • Second Macy’s. It was quite the site. Miss having a place to shop this Christmas season I will miss it more than I have the Dome.

  • I agree- it HAS to be Foley’s / Macy’s !!

  • The demolition of the rundown funeral home on Hyde Park Blvd. While I’m not impressed with what is going up in its place, pretty much anything is better than that rundown mess.

  • I’ll second the Macy’s building, as a demonstration of our overriding unwillingness to repurpose anything

  • The Astrodome. It hasn’t happened yet in total, but in pieces it is slowly but surely coming down. Even though it isn’t a true demolition as the other nominations I think it is certainly the most talked about (and debated!) one.

  • Dunlavy Fiesta, which closed for business in 2012 but wasn’t demoed until March 2013.

  • Backing everyone else for the old Macy’s/Foley’s building…

  • Foley’s, I mean, Macy’s downtown. I guess, It wasn’t that great of a building. But, it was a nice explosion. The Dome can be next year’s winner.

  • Astrodome, what could be more Houston than electing not to save and reuse our most iconic structure. The only thing that would make it a total representation of Houston would be if they build a strip mall with and Olive Garden, medical building, and a Home Depot in its place, and name it Lakes of Astrodome Plaza.

  • Foleys/Macy’s bldg. That sucked.

  • I have to agree that Foley’s/Macy’s needs to be on the list.

  • Yeah, can’t beat Macy’s/Foley’s. But, I will nominate Heights Baptist on 20th and Rutland. It was sad to see the original church go, but the building was completely trashed and was not well suited for conversion into another use. But the demo was a win-win for everyone. The church got a much needed infusion of cash that enabled them to keep the main building and renovate it instead of having to leave the Heights for cheap land outside the loop. Braun Enterprises bought the land and will build a retail development that will connect with the rest of 19th street by having parking in back and putting the storefronts on the sidewalk. Braun is heavily invested in the success of 19th street. The did the Harolds redevelopment and own the Yale St. Grill building. They are looking to build up 19th street into a bigger and better shopping and dining destination and have an interest in keeping leasing in line with the character of the neighborhood. Other developers would just do a typical strip mall and sign up the usual chain junk. But Braun has an interest beyond the immediate property line which is rare in Houston’s redevelopment patchwork of odd parcels of property that get scooped up by different developers.

  • Well, the chicken plant at the corner of 12th and Rutland is about to be demolished. If it happens by years end I think that wins. It closed Sunday.

  • I nominate Cafe Adobe on Westheimer. Though the quality had gone downhill in recent years, it was one of the more popular places in town to go eat Tex-Mex back in the 80’s and ’90’s, and probably well before that. It also was the setting for huge gay gatherings on Monday evenings that really packed the place out. If you didn’t arrive by 6pm, your wait for a table would be measured in hours. Abode was one of those quirky Houston, and montrose places that we have less of every year. Being replaced by “midrise luxury” apartments that will be the same style as a dozen other complexes in town.

  • Can I nominate the demolition of Judge Emmett’s ridiculous Astrodome convention center plan?

  • The old downtown Foley’s.

    It was always hideous, the only reason to preserve it was as a monument to the colossal improvements in HVAC technology in the last fifty years. But even that is redundant since we still are blessed with the Midtown Sears.

  • The Flagship Randalls on Voss.

    Demolished is the unique stone- facade and wooden gabled building. Not just your typical grocery store. It’s facade had style and flair of a bygone era. The demolished building represents the demise of Randall’s.
    Randall’s once the prime grocery store in Houston, is now a shell of it’s former self. Unsure if their demise began before or after being acquired by national giant Safeway.

    Several years ago, perhaps decades, it seemed to be the dominant grocery store in Houston. It was locally owned or it seemed that way. My family always shopped at Randall’s, never Kroger or other defunct stores. In the past twenty years, the Houston’s grocery business has been more competitive with new stores coming and going. Remember when HEB didn’t exist in Houston and Wal-Mart didn’t sell groceries? Now Houston has added HEB, Wal-Mart groceries, Whole Foods and more recently Aldi and Trader Joes. HEB with their few dozen stores and specialty stores has become Houston’s new hometown grocery store.

    The Randalls on Voss isn’t the first store to disappear. And probably not the last. But, it was the first to be demolished. And it had a unique style, that most grocery stores lack.

  • Ashby HighRise – hands down. I think the people that have been “up in arms” over this and other similar transactions in Houston, are ridiculous, at best! As we are all aware – there is NO ZONING in HTown people… To have the audacity to believe that because someone else decides what the highest and best use for THEIR property is – property that they purchased “fair and square” – is ridiculous; ludicrous and down right non-friendly by Texans’ standards!!! If you want to control the property, then “put your money where your mouth is” and BUY it yourselves. Those peeps all have high dollar net worths; yet they didn’t put the money up to buy the space and make it a park – but they want BuckHead Development to do it for them….. Or make it whatever works for these people. So tired of seeing the what I call Hate Ashby signs. I lost a friend and a client over my views on this – I am a real estate broker and live in the neighborhood!