09/09/13 3:15pm

Since many of the big-headed attendees here at David Adickes’s former SculpturWorx compound are already dressed in formal wear — well, except for the Beatles — it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for the Vanderbilt, the new event space with the highfalutin name being prepped for an opening later this month. A reader reports that the Vanderbilt has applied for its liquor license, and you can see one of those telltale TABC signs hanging beneath the plywood in the window at the top of the stairs.

Photo: Allyn West

10/17/11 4:01pm

According to an unattributed report published today on Culturemap, beer-and-movie pioneer Alamo Drafthouse plans to open its second third Houston-area location at 2500 Summer St. off Sawyer in the First Ward, in David Adickes’s former SculpturWorx compound. But a spokesperson for the movie theater’s owners would neither confirm nor deny the plans either to Culturemap or the Chronicle. And Phil Arnett — who with partner L.E. “ Chap” Chapman announced plans last year to buy and redevelop the 3-building, 3-acre compound and convert portions of it into commercial space — tells Swamplot there’s “nothing definitive” about any Alamo Drafthouse plans. Representatives of Triple Tap Ventures, the theater’s parent company, did look at the space, but nothing’s come of it yet, Arnett says.


01/18/11 12:12pm

Sculptor David Adickes is almost ready to plant this giant concrete-on-steel sign on property he owns along Chester St. on the south side of I-10, just east of Patterson. You’ll be able to get your best view of it when traffic comes to a standstill on your way downtown. Just needs a few more finishing touches, like a figurine or 2 or 8 to accompany that little guitar player hanging out between the O and the U. And hey, you’re right! If the Hollywood sign were 15 feet shorter, came down from the hillside, grew an ego, and stood by the freeway, it would kinda look like this.

Photo: Imelda Bettinger [license]

09/15/10 4:55pm

The launching pad for I-45’s Mount Rush Hour, that presidential muck circle in Pearland, and more outsize sculpture projects has a buyer. David Adickes — creator of the giant Sam Houston of Huntsville and the disembodied cellist in front of the Lyric Center Downtown, and yes, the original owner and projectionist for sixties psychedelic Commerce St. hangout Love Street Light Circus — is selling his SculpturWorx compound off Sawyer St. to Phil Arnett and L.E. “Chap” Chapman. Arnett and Chapman are best known for turning an old staple manufacturing building down the street from the original Goode Co. Bar-B-Q on Kirby into the Bartlett Lofts. Their plan for Adickes’s 78,175 sq. ft. of warehouse space at 2500 Summer St.: keeping the “artist flavor” (and most of the tenants) of the old buildings, while renovating the property and using up to 22,000 sq. ft. of it (Adickes’s first-floor studio, for example) as commercial space — maybe including a restaurant or two.


05/27/10 11:40am

The orange Spanish Colonial-style house that famously fronts the I-10 west onramp from I-45 south is now available for lease. The address is 1215 Wrightwood, adjacent to Woodland Park. Reports our cameraphone-wielding correspondent:

Nonrestricted commercial. Comes complete with I-45 freeway frontage, double lot, two flagpoles, windmill, Adickes banana, colossal concrete rooster, and giant cross.

The “patriotic paint job” on the David Adickes banana sculpture “was created in honor of the Super Bowl here a few years back,” our correspondent notes.

Another view:


03/18/10 12:50pm

President Heads above Mud at Presidential Park and Gardens, Waterlights District, Pearland, Texas

The property intended to be home to the Waterlights District — the proposed mixed-use shopping and eating extravaganzorama in Pearland — has been posted for foreclosure by its main creditor, Amegy Bank. The 1.9 million-sq.-ft. development was to feature condos, luxury apartments, office buildings, retail space, restaurants, 2 hotels, a conference facility, a “water wall,” and a Venice-like “Grand Canal.”

The site, off the Shadow Creek Pkwy. exit on the west side of Hwy. 288, has been marked for more than 2 years now by a curious semicircle of David Adickes sculptures, a preview of the development’s Presidential Park and Gardens. That park was to feature giant white busts of all 38 U.S. Presidents. But unlike Adickes other presidential suite, I-45’s Mount Rush Hour just north of Downtown Houston — in which each of the sculptor’s busts rests on its own podium — in the Waterlights grouping the 7 Presidents moved to the site appear from the freeway to be buried in the earth up to their chests, somehow managing to keep their heads above the often-times-soggy land around them. Yes, it was the perfect marker for a freeway-side development buried in debt and treading quicksand just to keep itself afloat:


09/17/08 5:37pm

Beatles Sculpture by David Adickes, Minus Paul McCartney

Discovered in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike: David Adickes’s giant Beatles sculpture on Summer St. is now one member short. That’s 7,000 pounds of McCartney-ish concrete rubble under that black tarp.

Think this is some kind of hoax? Further photographic evidence of Paul’s fall . . . below:


08/28/08 2:03pm

Big Alex, Telephone Sculpture by David Adickes, on Roof of Pictures Plus Prints and Framing, 115 Hyde Park Blvd., Montrose, Houston

Having once graced a hotel owned by a legendary real-estate swindler, David Adickes’s telephone sculpture has quite the Houston pedigree:

Adickes first placed it on a friend’s property off SH 4 and FM 1960 before leasing to J.R. McConnell, former owner of the Grand Hotel, now called The Derek, on the corner of Westheimer Road and the West Loop.

“I said that I am going to make you a deal you cannot resist,” recalled Adickes of their arrangement. McConnell leased it for a penny a day and gave the artist $36.50. “He actually paid 10 years in advance,” Adickes said, laughing at the memory.

“Big Alex” was forced to move from that location, though, when The Grand Hotel became the Derek. It lived on Adickes’ personal lot on the corner of I-45 and Quitman Street for about six months. During that time, Adickes was forced into a back and forth battle with someone who felt the face on the phone needed its mustache painted black.

Robert Kimberly finds Big Alex in its new home at the corner of Mason and Hyde Park in Montrose, on top of Pictures Plus Prints and Framing. (Yeah, you read it here first.)

Photo: Robert Kimberly

03/19/08 5:06pm

Deborah Colton Gallery, on the Third Floor at 2500 Summer St.A reader who doesn’t sound too happy about the situation sends word that David Adickes has sold his artist-studio building at 2500 Summer St.:

Artists who lease space there have been told they need to leave in less than 6 months. Deborah Colton Gallery resides on his 3rd floor.

Yes, that’s David Adickes, sculptor of large presidential heads.

03/03/08 10:02am

President Heads above Mud at Presidential Park and Gardens, Waterlights District, Pearland, Texas

A reader sent in a larger version of the above photo to the Brazosport News. It shows the first giant presidential heads in place at Pearland’s new Presidential Park. Eventually, the remaining 37-member contingent of very-white sculpted U.S. presidents will join them, and the surrounding swampland will be transformed into a lovely green space, separated from a new shopping, retail, office, and hotel development by . . . a watergate! For now, though, the scene sure does look like only a few presidential giants have managed to keep their heads out of the mud.

The winners of an online vote to select which five of sculptor David Adickes‘s giant busts should be the first to move to the park were Washington, Franklin Roosevelt, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Kennedy — even though more recent Oval Office residents had far better ballot position. But democracy has its limits: Richard Browne, developer of the adjacent Waterlights District, decided to include the statue of former president George H.W. Bush in the first group anyway. All six made their head-turning trip down 288 from Adickes’s First Ward studio on Presidents’ Day.

Missed your chance to participate in the online presidential headcount? A separate ballot asks you to select which chain restaurants you want to appear in the Waterlights District, though its unclear if polling has already been closed.

Read on for a sketch of the Waterlights District, and another view of ex-presidents keeping their noses clean. Plus: a dated image of President John F. Kennedy, cut out of our version of the photo above . . . because he was too far to the right.