Hop on or off the Red Line train at Quitman and you’ll find this 1940 red-brick structure a-renovating at the northwest corner of N. Main St. What’s being fixed up? Here are a couple of before-and-during shots showing the transformation of the 11,850-sq.-ft. office building at 2223 N. Main St. so far:
And a view of the Quitman St. side:
Photos: Swamplot inbox
I was mugged and attacked at this corner in broad daylight a couple of months ago., 4pm on a Friday afternoon, waiting for a transfer from the rail to the North Main bus to the Heights. It will be a while before I feel comfortable on this side of I-45, gentrification or no.
That is a very rough part of town close to downtown and the prison that feeds easily into across I-45 into the Heights streets of Pecore (11th), White Oak and Bayland which are the very expensive parts of the Heights that gentrified earliest. They have light rail infrastructure there and it’s an attractive location, but extremely rough.
That’s a great old exterior…and it looks older than 1940. It makes it look like some small town Main St., USA. And it looks like the old windows are still there…pretty amazing. Sometimes being in a dumpy area is a blessing..for commercial buildings anyway…unfortunately it hasn’t been for the turn-of-the-century homes around there. ….they’ve been beaten down hard and are mostly begging to be bitch-slapped by a backhoe.
I recently walked over to that rail stop from Woodland Heights with my wife and baby for a trip to the zoo. I felt unsafe the whole time and would not do it again. So many people just hanging out and sleeping around there. We also felt foolish for actually paying to get on because it made us standout even more. Once I got on the train (holding a baby) I was accosted by a man with no teeth because my knee touched his bike. On the way back I arranged everything so that if we got mugged I would still have my ID and 80% of my cash. We will be taking Uber for now on….
The warehouse adjacent to the left of this building is being gutted and remodeled as well I believe. Should be a cool block and interested in seeing what it becomes.
@Michael I’ve been mugged in the Heights several times over my lifetime, most recently about 5 months ago (once even at gun point near white oak). Crime on this side of the 45 is actually significantly lower than the rest of Houston, about 1/3 to be exact (see the latest State of the Northside AvenueCDC report for 2015 ). I reside in the Heights but bike through here often. I also know a few of the homeless people who are in this area from previous volunteer experience. You get a bad egg every so often in this part of town, but in general being mugged/attacked in Houston happens just like in any other big city. If it hasn’t happened to you, you either don’t walk or bike much, or haven’t been in the city long enough. It sucks, but I guess growing up in the loop, it’s just part of the “big city” life I’m used to. Be glad it’s not what it was 20 years ago.
The biggest security issues in that location are related to a certain social service agency a couple blocks north of there…
Sounds like riding the criminal conveyor in that part of town can be a dangerous form of transportation!
Certainly you are more ‘exposed’ as a public transportation user, and Michael’s story gives me pause. Guess Metro needs to step up security too – like any other transit organization in the world.
Another sight to see in the area is the Thomas St Health Center, a gorgeous 100-year old building that used to be a Southern Pacific railway hospital.
I took a bike ride in the area recently — guess I should have strapped up. Maybe the Hardy Yards redevelopment will start to clean things up a bit.
What a great remodel. I wish them luck.
I would agree that the area is still a little rough – but then again, people would have made the same exact comments about much of Washington Avenue just 10 years ago. With the light rail there, now, and Hardy Yards on the way, I suspect this area will have an equally speedy, if not speedier, transformation.
@bedmondson, just for some perspective; would you have the same reaction to your public transportation experience if you were in New York? DC? Chicago? London? Would it repel you from public transportation forever, or would you just pass it off as urban character? I can see how you would feel nervous because your wife and baby were with you, but many other families live here on the “rough” side of I-45 and are exposed to the same experience when taking the lightrail to get where they need to go. And they might not have the luxury of choosing Uber to feel more comfortable. So, what would you suggest that could help the area to make us feel more safe? The area has endured a lot of neglect and divestment over the years which makes it more attractive to loitering and to crime. I feel like the only way to change it is to increase usage, foot traffic, and investment to make the street more active and vital. Unfortunately, investment and activity are so often scared away by the current state of the area, and change is slow. We don’t need it to be the next hip/trendy area – we just want to have a neighborhood in which we can access to the amenities that improve our quality of life. I’m sure, as a resident of Woodland Heights, you probably feel the same. Seems like it would have been great to have that lightrail zoo trip be a regular thing for your family to enjoy.
I toured this building a few years ago. The upstairs was in surprisingly good shape and has great bones. The downstairs was nothing but open shell. I thought it had lots of potential…especially with the Quitman access to Heights. Glad someone took the leap.
Hoax, things like this don’t happen in Houston. The building must have been torn down. Unless a Mattress Firm is going in the spot.
Love it! I can’t wait to see how cool this neighborhood ends up when all these 1040’s buildings are restored to their former glory! Very exciting time.
The comments regarding crime are unfortunate, but part of being a true urban pioneer. I respect the people who do it, but I could never justify subjecting my family to it again (short stint when our child was first born). Life is too short.