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Posts Tagged ‘preservation’

The Astrodome isn’t officially a historic landmark just yet

The decision has been delayed until there can be a meeting to discuss it in Houston. Honoring a request by Harris County officials to table the vote and meet much closer to Houston, the Texas Historical Commission voted Wednesday at a meeting in far West Texas to postpone designating the iconic Astrodome a so-called “state […]

Yale Street Bridge replacement set to begin

And inevitably there’s an issue. Time is running out for the historic Yale Street bridge over White Oak Bayou as its condition deteriorates and surrounding development places increasing demands on it. Some in the Heights- area community believe more should be done to preserve the 1930s-era structure, which is listed on the National Register of […]

The Rodeo and the Texans would like to demolish the Dome now, please

Yeah, I don’t know how well this will go over. County leaders said Thursday they are open to considering a $66 million plan devised by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the NFL’s Houston Texans to demolish the iconic Astrodome and turn the nearly 9-acre site into a massive outdoor space reminiscent of downtown’s […]

The bricks of Freedmen’s Town

Surely we can do something about this. Most in the Fourth Ward community know the lore – that freed slaves and descendants first laid the bricks on the streets 100 years ago. Now most agree the roads need repairs, but residents and preservationists worry a recently approved city plan to remove the bricks to fix […]

Astrodome preservationists make their case for historic landmark status

Ted Powell and Cynthia Neely, the driving forces behind the push to designate the Astrodome as a national and state landmark, write an op-ed outlining their reasoning. As the Texans and the Rodeo view a third-party investor as not boosting, but rather siphoning off their revenue streams, we believe they have and will continue to […]

They don’t make historic landmarks like they used to

If it can still be demolished, it’s fair to ask what was the point. The impending designation of the Astrodome as a so-called “state antiquities landmark” has offered new hope to those who want to save the iconic stadium, but the special title would not outright protect the former Eighth Wonder of the World from […]

Let’s talk about the Dome

Time for a come to Judge Emmett meeting about everyone’s favorite historic yet threatened local landmark. Emmett said he wants to use the meeting next Wednesday to clear up any confusion surrounding last week’s unanimous vote by the state’s Antiquities Advisory Board to forward an application for landmark designation to the full commission, acknowledging that […]

A step forward for the historic Astrodome

From CultureMap: Efforts to make the Astrodome a State Antiquities Landmark took a key step forward Tuesday as the state Antiquities Advisory Board voted unanimously to forward the application to the Texas Historical Commission. Such a designation would prevent the Astrodome from being altered or demolished without approval from the commission. The commission will make […]

The historic Astrodome

Not sure what effect this will have. The National Park Service has added the Astrodome, the world’s first domed stadium, to the National Register of Historic Places, making it eligible for tax breaks to aid in its rehabilitation but offering no real protection from the wrecking ball. Historical preservationists, who successfully pushed for the Dome’s […]

The preservation ordinance is a work in progress

That’s the tl;dr version of this. In October 2010, an emotional Sue Lovell, then a city council­woman, lauded the passage of a strengthened historic preservation ordinance for Houston after a long, complex and divisive battle she and Mayor Annise Parker had led. In recent months, however, Lovell has appeared before the commissions tasked with implementing […]

Finally doing that front door facelift

Better late than never. Renovations started this week on the historic Sunset Coffee Building at Allen’s Landing on the north end of downtown. The more than 100-year-old structure, now behind a fence as construction begins, is getting a $5.3 million facelift from Houston First Corp. and Buffalo Bayou Partnership. They hope the new design will […]

Saving Rice Stadium

Houston has another historic stadium in it that’s seen better days, but this one is still in use and has some hope of being restored to its former glory. As a place to watch a game, there are few better than Rice Stadium, thrown up almost overnight between the 1949 and 1950 seasons. But it […]

Not in a rush about the Dome after all

We’ll get to deciding what to do with the Dome when we get to it. Harris County leaders are in no rush to decide what to do with the Astrodome, leaving the empty and decaying stadium to languish further following last week’s voter rejection of a $217 million plan to convert the iconic stadium to […]

Precinct analysis: The Dome and the jail

Now that precinct data is out, the Chron has an updated take on what sunk the Astrodome referendum. Overall, 53.4 percent of Harris County voters rejected the bond issue that would have renovated the long-vacant Dome into a convention and exhibit space. In Houston, 50.1 percent of the voters turned it down, while in unincorporated […]

On the uses of the New Dome

So it’s looking pretty good for the Astrodome renovation referendum. But what exactly will we get if it does pass? In particular, will the New Dome be economically sustainable in a way that the current one is not? To date, Harris County and Reliant Park officials have offered little more than verbal assurances the New […]

Endorsement watch: Saving the Dome

The Chronicle gives its blessing to the Astrodome renovation referendum. There has been a lot of finger-pointing over the Astrodome’s mismanagement, but come Election Day it only matters that voters point their fingers to the ballot button and approve the $217 million bond initiative to save the Dome. [...] The eyes of the nation are […]

Who’s advocating for the Dome?

Some old familiar names are getting back in the game. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Tuesday after the Commissioners Court meeting name-dropped two former county judges — Jon Lindsay and Robert Eckels — who will lead the charge on a campaign to garner support for an Astrodome renovation project. A $217 million bond referendum […]

Astrodome-palooza

In case you aren’t completely full of my opining on the Astrodome and its possible fate, I was the author of a op-ed in the Sunday Chron on the subject. It’s kind of the Reader’s Digest version of the things I’ve been saying here, so if you don’t click over you won’t miss anything new […]

It’s about use, not just sentiment

NYT reporter Jere Longman, who hails from Houston, penned a love letter to the Astrodome after hearing about its possible impending demise. So it was despairing to hear that the vacant Astrodome might be torn down and its site paved over as Houston prepares to host the 2017 Super Bowl. Demolition would be a failure […]

Does the Super Bowl doom the Dome?

The Texican ponders what the announcement about Houston landing Super Bowl LI means for everyone’s favorite unused arena. So what does this mean for our Dome? A parking garage would be an ignoble end for the Dome, though I am sure many would settle for parking somewhere in the former lodge section if it meant […]

Fixing our front door

This sounds very cool. The century-old Sunset Coffee Building, looming in disrepair over Allen’s Landing at the north end of downtown, will become Houston’s “front door” with an $8 million public-private renovation set to begin in April. The three-story brick structure is boarded up, marked with graffiti, and has shrubs growing out of some second-floor […]

Germantown gets historic designation

Congratulations to what may be the last historic district created in the city of Houston. The first historic district created under a stricter rewrite of Houston’s preservation ordinance passed City Council on Wednesday, though conservationists predicted future districts will be scarce even as they cheered the milestone. With council’s 11-5 vote, Germantown Historic District – […]

Lawsuit filed over historic preservation ordinance

I got an email last week from Kathleen Powell of Responsible Historic Preservation for Houston announcing that the first lawsuit against Houston’s new historic preservation. You can see a copy of the complaint here. What I have not seen is a mention of this on any news-related website. Nothing on the Chron, or Swamplot, or […]

RIP, Bubba the roach

Another Houston institution bites the dust. For 42 years, a 2-ton sign featuring a neon-lighted cockroach blazed over the Southwest Freeway near Westpark, a garish but iconic advertisement for Holder’s Pest Control. The 8-foot-by-16-foot sign, nicknamed Bubba, was taken down in 2004 and put in storage because Holder’s had moved its offices and a new […]

What’s to become of the downtown post office?

Lisa Gray writes about the future of the downtown post office on Franklin. In the past couple of years, there have been rumblings that the U.S. Postal Service plans to leave 401 Franklin and sell the 16-acre complex – a prospect that sets developers, architects and planners atremble. It’s not just that the parcel of […]

More thoughts on the Mayoral election

I think there are two key things to keep in mind when contemplating Tuesday’s election results in Houston and what they may mean for 2013. First and foremost, I believe you have to see the Mayor’s percentage of the vote, which everyone would agree was underwhelming, as a reflection on her level of support and […]

Interview with Leticia Gutierrez Ablaza

Leticia Gutierrez Ablaza was a deadline day filer for Houston City Council in District I. A resident of Glenbrook Valley, she became politically involved during the fight over the historic preservation ordinance in that neighborhood. She has a degree in finance and has worked in the financial services industry. Here’s our conversation: Download the MP3 […]

Trader Joe’s makes its move

Alabama Theater, here they come. Trader Joe’s is officially considering the historic Alabama Theatre for its first Houston outpost. The proposal is on the agenda for this week’s meeting of the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission, which would have to approve changes made to the property. That would be tomorrow. You can see a copy […]

Trader Joe’s to the Alabama Bookstop?

Maybe. Trader Joe’s is eyeing the old Alabama Theatre on Shepherd and West Alabama, according to a source familiar with the situation. Earlier this year, the grocer said it planned to open stores in Houston and Dallas. Specific locations were not identified. Weingarten Realty, which owns the property, would not comment. Neither would Trader Joe’s. […]

Meet the new historical districts

Not so different from the old historical districts. After months of petition drives and acrimonious public testimony over the protection of old Houston neighborhoods, the only change to the six historic district maps headed to the City Council on Wednesday is the removal of a single address from a Montrose-area district. The council could end […]

Historic Houston closing its salvage warehouse

What a shame. LOCAL NONPROFIT Historic Houston is no longer accepting donations of building materials, and is closing its salvage warehouse and ending its salvage program, reports the organization’s founder and executive director, Lynn Edmundson. The organization stored and sold donated historic building materials reclaimed from doomed houses at a leased warehouse and yard at […]

Historic preservation has been preserved

Swamplot: THE RESULTS ARE in, and it looks like the great campaign todissolve Houston’s historic districts has been a bit of a bust. Houston planning director Marlene Gafrick reports that the “survey period” for Heights East, Heights West, Heights South, Boulevard Oaks, and Avondale West historic districts has closed and that the planning department has […]

Preservation reconsideration

One of the pieces to the new historic preservation ordinance was the designation of a period in which already-existing historic districts could submit a petition to have the city reconsider their status. The deadline for that has passed, and 8 of the existing 16 districts got the necessary 10% of homeowners to sign on. If […]

What the Planning Department says about the new preservation ordinance

Via The Heights Life, here are a series of YouTube videos produced by Planning & Development Director Marlene Gafrick to explain what the new preservation ordinance is all about: Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRJrDd6cb7A Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae5DyFiwuk4 Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tp81p1Yq2HQ Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8X3IpwWfcs Or just go to YouTube and search on “Marlene Gafrick”. If I hear of […]