The owner of this 1930-ish former gas station and duplex bungalow at 3500 White Oak Dr. in the Houston Heights Historic District South plans to tear down the 2 structures and build a single-family home on the 8,800-sq.-ft. site — likely facing the side street, Cortlandt. Last week by a vote of 12 to 6 Houston’s planning commission reversed the decision of the archaeological and historic commission, allowing the demo to go through. The HAHC had denied the owner’s demolition request in November, insisting that the structures could be rehabbed. But experts hired by the owner indicated that the underground gas tank beneath the station couldn’t be removed without demolishing that structure, and that redevelopment of the duplex would be “cost prohibitive.”
Attorney Tim Kirwin argued before the planning commission that demolition was authorized by the city’s historic preservation ordinance because the owner “suffered both an unusual or compelling circumstance as well as an unreasonable economic hardship.” The replacement structure will need to be approved by the HAHC.
- Previously on Swamplot: Reversing Historic and Planning Commission Rulings, City Council Approves a Bungalow’s Houston Heights Escape Plan
Photos: Swamplot inbox