The National Trust for Historic Preservation is now promoting aÂ crowdfunding campaign to host some kind ofÂ multi-day art-slash-music-slash-sports festival inside the Astrodome,Â perhapsÂ as depicted in the trippy rendering aboveÂ shown on the campaign’s onlineÂ fundraising page. (The campaignÂ is one of the so-called Cities Project projectsÂ being coordinated by the National Trust and beer multinationalÂ Heineken;other projects around the country getting similarÂ treatment include fundraising for a documentary about the war memorial-slash-swimming-poolÂ in Waikiki, and fundraising for the restoration of some glass sidewalks in Seattle.)
An essential addition to the growing list of guides for Houstonians on wherenot to go this weekend: the above map of road closures around the George R. Brown Convention Center district. Both red shading and cross-hatching mark theÂ temporary carless zones, while a dashed black line shows the location of the perimeter fence for area events. Meanwhile, miles away at actual Super Bowl location NRG Stadium,Â otherÂ street closures were planned to go into effect yesterdayÂ evening (and are scheduled to last throughÂ Monday morning):
Artist Ken Mazzu’s been back at the easel and back on theÂ Houston demolition beat lately, finishing up some new works to be featured in next month’s building-themed art show at the William Reaves / Sarah Foltz Fine Art Gallery at 2143 Westheimer Rd.. The show will feature someÂ of Mazzu’s paintings of ’round-town teardowns, along with works of 2 other Houston-focused artists (late photographer Jim Culberson and living painter Richard Stout). The gallery will even host Houston archi-historian Dr. Stephen FoxÂ for a talk about The Changing City on the 14th.
Mazzu’s had a lot of subjects to choose from since a set of hisÂ demo-themed canvases went on display back in 2013; he sends over some previews of new pieces,Â including the scene above commemorating the disassembly of the former Downtown headquarters of the Houston Chronicle.Â Other recentÂ worksÂ feature newly-parking-lotified 509 Louisiana St., the dissolution of the octagonal Solvay mid-rise, a pile of post-blow-upÂ downtown Foley’s debris,Â and more:
This week’s SpaceCom expo at the prettied-up George R. Brown Convention CenterÂ included a preview of some more down-to-earth plans for the immediate neighborhoodÂ — including the NASA-themedÂ drop tower Mars mission rideÂ to be installedÂ for Super Bowl visitors at Discovery Green across the street. The ride, called Future Flight, will includeÂ virtual reality goggles; the rest of the setup will includeÂ a chance to try out the goggles for people whoÂ like virtual realityÂ but don’t want to take the plunge, as well as some exhibits ofÂ next-genÂ space hardware Â and some kid-geared activities.
The ride’ll beÂ free — if you can get a spot. Chris Baldwin points out that about a million people are expected to show up at the pre-Super Bowl festival planned for the week before the game, but timeslots on the ride will be limited to a few thousand per day between January 28 and February 5 (and the details on how to get a spotÂ aren’t out yet).
That recoveredÂ 2-story mod at 8008 Colgate has been gettingÂ further retouchingÂ byÂ the newest owners, Sandra Cook writes in this month’s Houston House & Home. The previously dilapidated house made HoustonMod’s Mod of the Month list back in 2014 after it was rehabilitatedÂ to a poop-and-mold-free 5,870 sq. ft. (scooping in a few upstairs patios behind new walls in the process). Above is a comparison of the main entrywayÂ — the top photo shows the space’s trendy newÂ white outfit, while the same wall appears in blue below that following the 2014 redo. (The lower left side shows the space midway through those earlier reconstructive procedures.)
The house will be receiving visitors during the Glenbrook Valley Home Tour in October; here’s a few peeks atÂ some of the new retro-ish finishes, if you can’t wait until then:
Beating the basketball crowds headed to HoustonÂ this weekend,Â the Downtown section of Dallas St. that’s been getting done over looks to be pretty much finished andÂ ready for action. A reader took some shots looking both ways in front of the south entrance to the Four Seasons between Caroline and Austin streets — up topÂ is the eastern view down Dallas, gazing toward the George R. Brown Convention Center and the catty-corner staredownÂ between Hilton Americas and Embassy Suites from either side of Crawford. The newÂ trees seem toÂ line up withÂ the spacing plans shown in theÂ previously releasedÂ project plans, which included knocking out a driving lane on the north side and turning it into parking (as the vehicles above are politely demonstrating).
Here’s the Four Seasons again fromÂ other directionÂ —Â this time looking west toward Houston Center, with the First City Tower rising out of the frame on the right:
Here’s an idea of what the corner of Main and McKinney streets may look like in a few more weeks, as the installation of Jessica Stockholder’s Color Jam Houston proceeds. The above rendering faces south across the north-er of the 2 intersections between the Main Street Square light-rail stops, with its existing semi-neutral stripes and swirls joined by some brighter colors. Stockholder’s installation, modeled after a previous painting of the town for Chicago in 2012, is one of the Downtown District’s temporary Art Blocks projects intended to brighten up the area for the year leading up to the 2017 Houston-hosted Super Bowl and NCAA championship. The Art Blocks initiative also includes the 60-ft-tall Trumpet Flower that will lurk in the alley between One City Center and its parking garage.
A reader tweeted a photo of some of the first blocks of pigment, evidently maneuvered into place late last week:
Preston St. was closed down Saturday afternoon between Travis and Milam, as hundreds of people showed up to Market Square to paint the reclaimed strips of wood that will compose Patrick Renner’s upcoming Trumpet Flower installation.Â The sculpture is designed to loom 60 feet above the space between One City Centre and its parking garage downtown (off Main St. Square and Fannin, between Lamar and McKinney).
Renner, of far-more-horizontal Funnel Tunnel fame, is slated to install the towering cone by the end of March, as part of the Art Blocks project planned to jazz up Main Street Square leading up to the 2017 Superbowl.Â The tip of the structure will stretch down from the top of the garage and flare out into a furnished canopy shelter at street level.Â A tiny model of the installation was on display at a side table during the painting free-for-all: