Architectural details, building materials, windows, and flooring are now being picked from the the Midtown building at 1505 Hadley St. known as the Rice Mansion, a reader suggests. The photo sent above from this morning appears to show someone pulling boards from the threshold at the front door. The triple window fronting the building’s attic has already been yanked out.
Also removed from the property: a large amount of Destiny’s Child memorabilia — but that was last year, when the band’s former manager, Mathew Knowles, sold the entire block to the parent company of the neighboring Midtown Advantage BMW car dealership. The Rice Mansion served as the headquarters of Knowles’s Music World Entertainment for 15 years, and was considered the birthplace of the careers of his daughters, Beyoncé and Solange Knowles.
Another building on the property with a Destiny’s Child connection and a later stint as a wedding and event venue — the House of Deréon Media Center at 2204 Crawford St. — was torn down last month.
It appears demolition contractors — or the site’s new owners — saw fit to remove the mural of Destiny’s Child from the House of Deréon Media Center building in Midtown before beginning to break it down last week. The time-lapse video above shows an excavator tearing apart the 2-story structure at 2204 Crawford St. piece by piece on Friday. But the southern façade of the building, which faces Hadley St., looks a little different than it did just a week earlier. Where once hung giant images of Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles, and Michelle Williams, a plain white panel appears — the mural evidently having either been removed or painted over before demolition began.
Strangely, this is not the first sign of deference the demo contractors on site have shown the Bootylicious trio, before the building touted for many years as “The Home of Destiny’s Child” was given the boot. Last week an excavator appeared in front of the mural — only to sneak away a few days later:
That excavator (pictured above) spotted poking around outside of the former House of Deréon Media Center last week may have disappeared at the end of its brief staredown with a larger than life representation of Beyoncé Knowles and the Destiny’s Child crew — but the structure still looks to be on the chopping block after all, if the demo permits issued yesterday are any indication. Group 1 Realty, an arm of the auto chain that owns nearby Advantage BMW alongside the Pierce Elevated, bought the land last fall from Mathew Knowles; the company also looks to have been snapping up a smattering of other properties in the immediate vicinity since at least early 2015.
A reader who visited the site of the House of Deréon Media Center last night notes an unusual outcome to the demolition standoff that began on the Midtown block late last week. The excavator parked outside the former event and wedding venue at 2204 Crawford St. marketed as “The Home of Destiny’s Child” has apparently been removed — and the building, along with other structures that until last year belonged to former Destiny’s Child manager Mathew Knowles‘s Music World Entertainment complex, is still standing. There will be no, no, no demolition, it appears — for now.
A reader’s photo and video of the scene (above) show only a few mudtracks from the excavator remaining — and Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles, and Michelle Williams still staring it down, unmoved.
It appears that what’s left of Mathew Knowles’s Music World Entertainment compound in Midtown is Destiny’s Child now. “Ever since I read that Advantage BMW bought the block,” writes the reader who snapped this photo of the excavator now parked next to the House of Deréon Media Center at 2204 Crawford St., “I have been expecting something to come down.”
The pictured building, designated the “Home of Destiny’s Child” — later an event and wedding venue operated by Knowles, the group’s former manager — sits on the 1.43-acre block bounded by Crawford, Webster, LaBranch, and Hadley that Knowles sold to the corporate owners of the neighboring Midtown Advantage BMW dealership late last year, after (as he later told Nancy Sarnoff) “someone knocked on my door and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
Also on the block: the Music World Studios building, where (among others) Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Mario, and Chris Brown recorded — as well as Knowles’s daughters, Beyoncé and Solange. And at 1515 Hadley St., next door to the House of Deréon Media Center, is the 3-story former Rice Mansion, which Knowles had made his company’s headquarters:
Whatever the renovation vision might have been appears to have been suspended for the Farnham Park property previously owned by fashion designer Tina Knowles, also known as Solange and Beyoncé’s mom. Among the work interrupted: peeled back ceilings and notches in the colonnade encircling the vast main room, left empty but for a lingering set of plans near an abandoned work table.
Pastor and developer Kirbyjon Caldwell and his wife Suzette Caldwell bought the property from the Knowleses in 2012 for $2.9 million, when the ask was $3.4 million. In its listing earlier this month, the house appears to be half gutted and in a state of disarray. Its price tag starts a bit lower too, at $2.85 million.
If Beyoncé still wants this deeply discounted Piney Point Village mansion for her mother, she might have to bring back Sasha Fierce and grab a paddle: It’s going up on February 19 for auction. The 21,640-sq.-ft., 4-kitchenrental property near Briar Forest was listed as recently as January 3 at $5.9 million — and, says the website of California-based auction house Premier Estates, that’s just where bids will start.
So these apartments might not have the same shimmery glamour as their namesake, Beyoncé Knowles. But the pop star and Houston native, moved by the devastation in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, did chip in with her sister, Solange, and mother, Tina — as well as Destiny’s Child co-star Kelly Rowland, St. John’s United, and Temenos CDC — to help provide housing for Houston’s low-income and homeless populations.
The 43-unit building (shown above) at 1719 Gray went up in 2007. Now, Temenos has laid out on its website plans for a second building — with almost twice as many units as the original — at 2200 Jefferson, less than a mile away on the east side of I-45.
There’s no mention whether Beyoncé is involved in Phase II. But there are renderings:
MAYOR PARKER NOT BACKING BEYONCé MONUMENT IDEA, BUT SHE’S COOL WITH THE TUNES In announcing plans for a fundraising venture that would include construction of some sort of monument to Houston native Beyoncé Knowles, Armdeonce Ventures’ Marcus Mitchell indicated last night that there was official civic support behind the project. “We’ve gotten support from the city of Houston, from the mayor,” Mitchell told Fox 26 reporter Kristin Kane. “We’re waiting for a very nice letter from the mayor right now.” But if Mayor Parker sends him one, the letter may not include what Mitchell is after. Just out from the Twitter feed of Janice Evans, a spokesperson for the mayor: “Fox is wrong. The City of Houston is not behind, working with or having anything to do with an effort to build a monument honoring Beyonce.” To soften the blow, she adds, later: “But we do heart Beyonce and her music.” [MyFox Houston; Twitter] Photo from Run the World video: Beyonce Online