05/07/18 3:30pm

ORTHODOX SYNAGOGUE MULLS CROSSING THE LOOP TO SOMEWHAT HIGHER GROUND The roughly 820 homeowners in Willow Meadows are now voting on a deed restriction change that — if passed — would allow the United Orthodox Synagogue to build a new structure outside The Loop, in place of 5 houses that sit 3 quarters of a mile south down Greenwillow St. from the congregation’s previous home at the corner of S. Braeswood. Many congregants walk to the synagogue — which could soon be leaving the 100-year floodplain for the 500 after flooding 6 times in the last 25 years, including 3 in the last 3. “According to preliminary renderings,” reports the Jewish Herald Voice’s Michael C. Duke on Studio Red’s proposed design, “the synagogue would be a single-story structure, measuring an ultimate height of 30 feet. Based on new building codes, the finished floor of the building would be built some 3 feet above curb height, and the building itself would have the same 25-foot setback as homes in Willow Meadows.” Passage of the proposal “would prompt Houston’s largest Orthodox congregation to hold its own congregation-wide vote on whether to stay at its current location north of I-610 South and rebuild portions of its campus at a significantly higher elevation; or, to move.” Most of the congregation’s 57-year-old building was demolished last month, except for a few portions including its social hall and mikvah. [Jewish Herald Voice; previously on Swamplot] Photo of United Orthodox Synagogue’s demolition, 9001 Greenwillow St.: United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston

12/01/17 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: ANOTHER WILLOW MEADOWS FAREWELL “Willowgrove is a beautiful street, and sadly, I think we’re going to see several homes come down akin to what we saw & are seeing again in Meyerland (I believe there was another one yesterday). It’s predominately 1960s single-story ranch homes, many custom designed and some of them oversized vs. the rest of neighborhood, below a canopy of oaks that drape the street. It’s terribly sad that what it was before is just gone now. Willowgrove backs up to one of the feeder ravines that breached when the bayou did, and homes on both sides of it — Cliffwood and Willowgrove — took a massive hit compared to the surrounding streets that only had street flooding. The cap on flood insurance, if homeowners had it, wouldn’t cover the value of those homes. I’ve had neighbors ask me, and I genuinely do not know — are those concrete ravines/mini-bayous supposed to drain/connect to Willow Water Hole at some point? Was that already supposed to have happened? If so, what was the delay?” [Heather, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Lynn Parked] Photo of 10202 Willowgrove Dr. interior (now for sale): HAR

04/09/14 3:30pm



When renovations in 2007 perched a partial second story atop a 1957 ranch-style home in Willow Meadows, several original rooms gained high clearance (top). The project anchored its new load with 59 bell-bottom piers below and gutted out the plumbing, wiring, and lighting fixtures, among other tweaks. A week ago, the property was listed on the market with a $639,000 asking price. It had last changed hands in 2007, for $520,000.


Up and Over
06/04/10 12:45pm

Got a question about something going on in your neighborhood you’d like Swamplot to answer? Sorry, we can’t help you. But if you ask real nice and include a photo or 2 with your request, maybe the Swamplot Street Sleuths can! Who are they? Other readers, just like you, ready to demonstrate their mad skillz in hunting down stuff like this:

Some answers to your questions!

  • Riverside Terrace: Homeowner and eternal contractor Charlie Fondow told the Houston Press back in 2001 that his continually expanding house on Wichita St. just east of 288, where he’s lived since 1980, “is the love of my life. I don’t know how to live in a house that’s finished.” Clair de Lune comments on his towering and turreted Queen Anne show:

    I wonder how Charlie is doing these days, and (since the story doesnt mention a family) what will happen to the house after he’s gone. I also wonder if the interior is as interesting as the exterior? It might be time for a follow-up.

    Hey, all you local journalist types who use Swamplot as a tip sheet: How about it?

  • Willowbend: Commenter Sihaya explains that the horses gently grazing under the high-voltage power lines in the easement west of Stella Link below the South Loop are the animal benefactors of agricultural-use leases set up by Houston’s power company in order to lower its property taxes:


06/01/10 9:27am

Got an answer to either of these reader questions? Or just want to be a sleuth for Swamplot? Here’s your chance! Add your report in a comment, or send a note to our tipline.

  • Willowbend: Reader Robert Kimberly has been trying to find out what the story is behind the horses grazing under the power lines west of Stella Link below the South Loop:

    This vast green area is home to a collection of horses, as well as stables and maybe a riding paddock. But the fences on the north end (W. Bellfort) and south end (Willowbend) are unlabeled and no amount of Google-Fu gets me any closer to the answer.

  • Riverside Terrace: A number of readers have been asking about this well-watched house on Wichita St. between 288 and Dowling — usually in phrases like:

    What’s going on here???

Looks like a little of this: