04/17/14 5:00pm

Demolition of Former Rice Museum, Martell Building, Rice University, Houston

A funny thing happened on the way to carefully disassembling the former Menil Museum on the campus of Rice University so that it could be rebuilt somewhere in the Fourth Ward with the help of a Brown Foundation grant: After workers spent a week or so carefully removing the corrugated galvanized but weathered panels on the building, an excavator began summarily demolishing the rest yesterday. Or almost the rest — work had to be stopped after crews hit a power line, Molly Glentzer at the Chronicle reports.

So by midday today the scene near Rice University’s University Dr. entrance looked something like this:


Oops, Did Somebody Want This?
03/12/14 1:30pm

Martel Building, Former Rice Museum, Rice University, Houston

The Brown Foundation has agreed to provide funds for Rice University to disassemble the corrugated campus building once known as the Rice Museum and reassemble it on a site in the Fourth Ward, the school’s student newspaper reports. A story posted last night by the Rice Thresher‘s Jieya Wen doesn’t precisely identify the intended new location of the building, but art professor and photographer Geoff Winningham tells her that plans are being developed to turn the metal-sided structure into a public art center on its new site: “The building was designed so that it can be disassembled and moved in parts,” he tells Wen. “The university has agreed to allow [the] building to stand for a couple more weeks [in order] to come up with the actual plan for moving the building.”


A More Public Art Center
03/11/14 10:45am

Former Rice Museum, Rice University, HoustonAn excavator may now be parked onsite, but alumni objections have prompted officials at Rice University to delay demolition of the 45-year-old corrugated metal building identified as the “Art Barn” — but known for decades as the home of Rice’s School of Continuing Studies, and before that the Rice Museum. The university’s plan “is still to remove the building from campus,” a spokesperson tells Swamplot. But exactly what form that removal might take is now apparently up for discussion. Officials now plan to “explore a couple of options for removing the building.”


‘Stay of Execution’
11/04/13 11:30am

The new Menil Drawing Institute building, being designed by LA architects Johnston Marklee (winners of last year’s competition), will sit on land currently occupied by the Menil’s Richmont Square apartment building. The arts institution doesn’t have plans to tear down the entire apartment complex, however: Drawings submitted to the planning commission as part of a variance application show only the northernmost bank — at the back of the site — wiped clean.


10/07/13 3:35pm

The Houston and Southeast Texas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will be moving its headquarters from Holcombe Blvd. to Southeast Houston. Gensler redrew the former Plus4 Credit Union on the Loop feeder near Long and Griggs to do away with the 6-teller drive-thru and include instead a garden, cafe, office space, and entrance pavilion on the 2.2-acre property. The 2-story, 16,078-sq.-ft. bank building dates to 1979. Construction is scheduled to begin this Wednesday.


10/01/13 2:00pm

We don’t have all that many to spare, but it appears that there will soon be one fewer thin-shell paraboloid roof in Houston: HISD says it plans to demolish the 1958 James M. Delmar Fieldhouse (known now as the Delmar-Tusa Fieldhouse) and build a new facility in its place. According to a press release, the old stadium is “currently in poor condition with major roof leaks, flooding problems in the locker rooms and a sports medicine area that falls short of athletic league standards.”

The 5,000-seat swayback fieldhouse is located at 2020 Mangum Rd., just outside the Loop in Lazybrook and Timbergrove. Designed by Milton McGinty, who also had a hand in the Rice Stadium, the gym served as the home court in the ’60s for UH and the Elvin Hayes-powered Coogs. But it would seem that HISD wants to make haste and move on from that history: “The goal is to have the site ready for construction as soon as possible and complete the replacement facility by late 2016.”

Photo: Houston Daily Photo

08/07/13 12:00pm

Here’s what’s going up on the west side of the Rice University campus. Construction began back in December on the 3-story, 53,000-sq.-ft. Anderson Clark building, just off University Blvd. and behind the football stadium, that will serve as the much-larger home for the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies; plans describe 2 dozen new classrooms, conference space, an auditorium, and a terrace for events.

Check out some purty renderings of the finished building after the jump:


07/29/13 10:00am

A new residence hall for men rehabbing from drug and alcohol addiction looks to be shaping up in Midtown. Designed by Roesler Architects, the 4-story, 26,000-sq.-ft. building will hold 64 efficiency units meant to house 2 men at a time; each unit, according Roesler, will have a microwave, refrigerator, built-in desk, and a coffee bar. There will also be what Roesler describes as a “Linear Courtyard” — a fenced-in landscaping feature, presumably — that will be accessible from the dayroom on the first floor. The new building is located at the corner of Alabama and San Jacinto, east of the Men’s Center headquarters across Main St. from the construction of Broadstone 3800, the 5-story apartment complex facing the light rail line on Main.


07/16/13 12:00pm

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the city would relocate its traffic operations to this building; that assertion is in error. The new Patterson St. building is replacing an older structure, and it will serve in addition to the primary traffic operation offices in the Public Works Building Downtown. The story has been corrected. Swamplot regrets the error.

Going up: This building at 2001 Patterson St. On the north side of I-10, the 40,000-sq.-ft. building designed by Kirksey will house the city’s traffic operations offices, warehouses, and sign- and signal-making shops. A smaller pavement-marking shop will be built here too. Fittingly, the buildings will stare across the freeway at David Adickes’s recently installed spelled-out declaration of Houston love.


06/14/13 10:00am

The Menil Collection has picked a landscape architecture firm, and the museum says that the long-awaited master-planned reshaping of its 30-acre Montrose spread will get going this September. The firm belongs to Michael Van Valkenburgh, who’s done some tinkering previously at Harvard Yard and Pennsylvania Avenue. Apparently, the first item of business he’ll tackle here is the parking lot off W. Alabama: “[It] really needs attention,” Menil director Josef Helfenstein tells the Houston Chronicle. “It’s the first thing you see.”


05/09/13 10:30am

All that hard work installing new wind turbines and solar panels and employee vegetable gardens at the Houston Permitting Center — or even the talk about building a hot dog stand inside — hasn’t seem to have affected its historic status, since the former Butler Brothers Building on Washington Ave in the Old Sixth Ward was given a protected landmark designation yesterday. And what does the newly historic and well-preserved Permitting Center plan to do with this street cred? Why, host historic preservation fairs, of course!


04/18/13 1:45pm

In the middle of last summer, Interfaith Ministries closed on almost 76,000 sq. ft. of Midtown property spanning 2 catty-corner blocks just north of HCC, including the PrimeWay Federal Credit Union building shown here at 3303 Main St.; the organization says it’s closing in on the $12.5 million needed to fund the renovation of the 39,000-sq.-ft. bank into its headquarters and the construction of a new 14,000-sq.-ft. Meals on Wheels distribution center at Elgin and Fannin.


04/01/13 5:00pm

Kirksey submitted the rendering above in a 4-firm competition to design a general office with some temporary housing for the Saudi Consulate, now occupying a suite in the 22-story Westheimer highrise shown here, which dates to 1982 and sits across the street from an IHOP. But Kirksey lost that competition — to Studio RED.


03/08/13 11:30am

The redo of this Chenevert St. warehouse is complete, Mayor Parker announced yesterday, and the Houston Center for Sobriety is ready to give drunk people a place to dry out. Next to the Eastex Fwy., the 84-bed center at 150 N. Chenevert will operate out of a 19,000-sq.-ft. building behind the Star of Hope homeless shelter, across from Irma’s Mexican restaurant on Ruiz and just a few blocks north of Minute Maid Park.


12/20/12 3:50pm

Seen any images floating around of the new building Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is planning for the northwest corner of the Bissonnet and South Main, next to the Cullen Sculpture Garden? Well then, this watercolor-and-charcoal “concept sketch” for the building by architect Steven Holl from a year and a month ago may interest you. It’s going up for auction tomorrow — as part of a fundraiser for the nonprofit Architecture for Humanity. Holl was selected from a group of 3 finalists this past February, beating out LA design firm Morphosis and Oslo’s Snøhetta for the MFAH commission of a new structure to house 20th- and 21st-century art.