09/12/16 4:00pm

Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Field, Houston, TX 77034

The exterior of the Lone Star Flight Museum’s new building is now taking shape at Ellington Field-slash-Airport-slash-Spaceport, per an update this morning from Ed Mayberry. The museum posted the construction photo above late last month, showing some of the walls now in place on the 130,000-sq.-ft. structure rendered below:


Blown Inland by Ike
12/11/15 12:30pm

Proposed 610 Express Lanes, West Loop Between 59 and I-10, Houston

Love that rush of vertigo from driving up the entrance ramp at Hidalgo St. onto the southbound West Loop? Freeway thrill-seekers may have some new options in a few years. The above rendering of new elevated express lanes along the West Loop between I-10 and 59 made an appearance at last night’s TxDOT Open House, where plans for the proposed project were presented for public comment. The drawing faces southwest across the intersection of San Felipe and 610 toward the Williams Tower (far left), and shows the lanes flying high over the existing freeway.

TxDOT also showed schematics and cross sections of the proposed additions — which include previously-considered dedicated bus lanes elevated along the path of the feeder road, from just south of I-10 to the junction with Post Oak Blvd.

Drive through the cross sections below, from north to south:


Up High in Uptown
05/01/13 4:30pm

Here are just a few of the designs created by a UH undergraduate architecture class that spent much of this semester going on field trips to the Almeda Mall. Under the direction of Susan Rogers of the UH Community Design Resource Center (or CDRC), the 4th- and 5th-year will-be architects, who also spent time on nearby Kingspoint Rd. taking in that street art study center known as the Mullet, were charged with developing strategies to reanimate the dead retail zone in South Houston.


08/22/11 8:29am

By the time construction of its new museum, theater, restaurant, and hangar is complete 3 years from now, the Lone Star Flight Museum will likely be only one of 3 museums showcasing historic airplanes at Ellington International Airport. After Hurricane Ike caused $18 million in damage and destroyed or submerged several aircraft (see the immediate aftermath above), museum officials began seeking a higher elevation than its current location at Galveston’s Scholes International Airport was able to provide. Houston’s city council approved a 40-year lease for 14 acres at Ellington last week. Also possibly opening at Ellington: A building featuring the Collings Foundation‘s collection of Vietnam and Korean War-era military aircraft; the president of the Texas Flying Legends Museum at Ellington says he’d like to sell tickets that allow visitors to visit all 3 collections.

Photo: Lone Star Flight Museum

08/12/11 1:38pm

Did you realize that Ellington Field changed its name 2 or so years ago to Ellington Airport? Don’t worry if you haven’t kept up, because there’s already another name upgrade in the works, this time to Ellington International Airport. (“Intercontinental” was already taken). What’s next — Intergalactic? Maybe: Houston Airports aviation director Mario C. Diaz announced plans earlier this year to transform the commercial, military, and NASA facility into a “spaceport” where wealthy passengers could embark on leisure spaceflights — at about $50,000 a pop.


07/01/11 11:54am

The long-rumored fifth Hong Kong Market will soon take over this former flea-market building (on the right in the photo) just southwest of the intersection of Airport Blvd. and the Gulf Freeway, a reader reports. Work is already going on inside the building, which was originally a Sam’s Club. The 2 pagoda-themed strip buildings flanking the building’s parking lot that were put up a few years ago are still mostly empty — only a pho restaurant and a nail salon have moved in. The Pulgita con Aire, aka the National Marketplace flea market, now has its own building with an attached parking garage directly south of its former home (barely visible in the background between the 2 buildings), along Mosley Rd. at 9820 Gulf Fwy. D. Back in February, the owners of the Hong Kong Market agreed to pay $1.8 million in back wages and a $200,000 fine for underpaying the Houston grocery chain’s workers and misleading investigators about its labor practices.

Photo: Swamplot inbox

02/20/09 6:42pm

What’s this? A new clean, modern design for the high-voltage power line structures along the Sam Houston Tollway, just west of I-45 South?

Naah — it’s Sagemont Church’s new 170-ft.-tall steel cross, viewed in its natural setting. Plus: It lights up at night!


08/18/08 1:26pm

Baling Hay at Bush Intercontinental Airport

The Houston Airport System has found its first customer for some of those bales of hay you’ve seen lining roads leading to IAH. The hay-harvesting project began as a pilot using contractors 2 years ago, but airport employees are now doing the work.

Of the 10,000 acres that comprise IAH, 250 acres are presently being used to harvest hay and 50 of the 2,500 acres at EFD are being used.

Right now most of the hay is a low grade Bermuda grass mainly used to feed livestock such as cattle. . . .

When the hay project is finally in full swing some 2,000 acres of land at IAH and EFD will be used to grow hay, providing a projected revenue source of roughly $4 million dollars a year. Cutting and baling at the airports this year will continue until the fall.

500 round bales at IAH and 400 square ones at Ellington Field are currently available.

Photo: Houston Airport System

07/10/08 4:05pm

[youtube:http://youtube.com/watch?v=dkUjSpRr93Q 400 330]

The two “Marking Our City” billboards near Grace Community Church‘s north and south I-45 locations depict a plain white cross, an American flag, and the words “150 FT CROSS COMING SOON.” But they probably show only the top portion of the structures the church is planning — and the 150-ft. label may be selling the project short. The Chronicle‘s Lisa Gray says

. . . the pastor hopes both structures will be 200 feet tall, roughly the height of a 20-story building. The Federal Aviation Administration, he said, may limit the south campus’s cross to 150 feet because it’s near Ellington Field.

Five-and-a-half minutes into the Grace Community Church video above, Grace senior pastor Steve Riggle walks viewers through a drawing of a more elaborate structure. Riggle asks

What if there was one of these at every entrance to the city? And it was there for the prayer movement in the city, not just a church. You talk about marking our city for God.

After the jump: More crosses on the side of the highway!


02/27/08 1:01pm

El Torito Lounge, Harrisburg Blvd., Houston

Houston’s lone professional tourists, John Nova Lomax and David Beebe, stop off at the Brady’s Island in the Ship Channel midway into their latest day-long stroll . . . through this city’s southeastern stretches:

The air is foul here, and the eastern view is little more than a forest of tall crackers and satanic fume-belching smokestacks, sending clouds of roasted-cabbage-smelling incense skyward to Mammon, all bisected by the amazingly tall East Loop Ship Channel Bridge, its pillars standing in the toxic bilge where Brays Bayou dumps its effluent into the great pot of greenish-brown petro-gumbo.

While Brady’s Landing today seems to survive as a function room – a sort of Rainbow Lodge for the Ship Channel, with manicured grounds that reminded Beebe of Astroworld — decades ago, people came here to eat and to take in the view. This was progress to them, this horrifically awesome vista showed how we beat the Nazis and Japanese and how we were gonna stave off them godless Commies. As for me, it made me think of Beebe’s maxim: “Chicken and gasoline don’t mix.”

More from the duo’s march through “Deep Harrisburg”: Flag-waving Gulf Freeway auto dealerships, an early-morning ice house near the Almeda Mall, a razorwire-fenced artist compound in Garden Villas, Harold Farb’s last stand, colorful Broadway muffler joints, the hidden gardens of Thai Xuan, and — yes, gas-station chicken.

“There is nothing else like the Southeast side,” Lomax adds in a comment:

I see it as the true heart of Houston. Without the port and the refineries we are nothing. The prosperous West Side could be Anywhere, USA, but the Southeast Side could only be here.

Photo of El Torito Lounge on Harrisburg: John Nova Lomax and David Beebe

06/18/07 7:49am

Three items from the world of Houston shopping-center development: