RiversideT

Riverside Terrace - a neighborhood in transition.

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Over the past nearly 20 years, I have watched Riverside Terrace return from a very bleak period in its history.  The neighborhood is pulling itself out of the seedy area it had been allowed to become.  There is still much to do.  Every time we lose a house to demolition, it reminds one of the fact that so much has been disregarded and disrespected in this neighborhood for far too long.  

 

http://vimeo.com/41671048

 

As I can, I will post photos of houses we've lost recently, and ones that are in danger of being lost.  Hopefully, we can bring more attention to the neighborhood, and help to save some of these magnificent homes.

 

This first house was demolished about a year ago, and was located at 2507 Calumet.

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Here is another down on the end of Binz at the 288 feeder.  The home had been completely gutted, and all the doors and interior moulding were carefully removed and stored in the house.  But the new owner, deciding against restoring the house, just wrecked it a couple of months ago - with the interior features still inside the house.

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This is the style so many suburban homes copy. Sad story.

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Once that kudzu-like stuff starts growing on the brick, it will actually destroy the concrete that keeps the bricks together. I think it would be nice for a family to move in and fix up the home to make it a rather nice place to live.

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Any news about the stucco, French-styled one that looked abandoned? it was on the South side, near Hwy 288, one or two streets off the main drive. Had a porte-cochere, drive thru feature, with room on other side. Another style copied in the suburban mcmansion creations. 

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NenaE, I am assuming you mean this house on Oakmont?  Wouldn't someone have such a lovely home if they were able to get ahold of this one?  And can you imagine how it would look all landscaped?  It's a shame to see it in such state.  I heard at some point a while back that the owner lived in Austin, but per HCAD, he lists the address of the house as his mailing address.

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This poor house on the east side of Riverside Drive facing N. MacGregor Way never had a chance.  It had been a barber shop for the longest time - always a strange use of a nice house in what should be a residential neighborhood.  After that closed up, it remained vacant for years and used as a heavy trash dumping ground, unofficial homeless shelter, etc.  It finally met its fate earlier this month, becoming landfill.  Never really had a chance, though - the current price tag on the property is $1.25M, and that may be why it has sat vacant for several years.

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This is really a shame.  I don't know how salvageable these houses would have been after so many years of neglect.  But, I hope that out there somewhere are some energetic entrepreneurs who will see value in doing something with them, rather than just razing them.  I do think that it takes a special kind of person to take on projects like that, plus they probably need to be able to deal with a potentially long time horizon.  So ... I recognize that it might be a risky proposition financially ... but, I wonder if we are more risk-averse in this town than people in other cities.

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Yeah, thats the one...RiversideT. and I agree. It has sat vacant for quite a while. Nice to know it's still there. Hope it gets some love. We have an old thread here, on HAIF, that talks about it. Yeah, ArchFan, I agree, salvage or re-use what you can, if it's being wrecked. Unfortunately, the freeways chop up original neighborhood plans, leaving a mangled version. Those houses on the outskirts of the neighborhoods are especially vulnerable. It's a shame. I'm guessing they are hoping to sell the land for future high rise development. 

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Yeah, thats the one...RiversideT. and I agree. It has sat vacant for quite a while. Nice to know it's still there. Hope it gets some love. We have an old thread here, on HAIF, that talks about it. Yeah, ArchFan, I agree, salvage or re-use what you can, if it's being wrecked. Unfortunately, the freeways chop up original neighborhood plans, leaving a mangled version. Those houses on the outskirts of the neighborhoods are especially vulnerable. It's a shame. I'm guessing they are hoping to sell the land for future high rise development. 

 

Funny you should mention salvaging or re-using what you can and how the freeway chopped up the neighborhood. I heard a story of a house that was in the way of 288. When it came time to tear it down, the house wasn't razed, but instead the owner had it dismantled. Some of the materials such as bricks and windows went to build what I believe was his replacement home in the Acres Homes area, and others were able to take what materials they needed, too. I wish I knew more about that and where the home is located now.

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I don't live in near this neighborhood, but I went to UH in the 80s and my major professor lived in a house on the bayou.  not one of the cool houses from when it was "where the rich Jewish people" lived, but a nice 70s style house that I think is gone now.  

 

Anyway, I think the general neighborhood has a lot of potential, despite the construction of 288 that seems to have ripped it apart.  I hope that it will continue to recover, without just "gentrifying"... aka,  kicking out the families who have lived their for decades.

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So much is being razed. The developers probably don't want to bother with what they may perceive as just a hinderance (salvage). On a somewhat positive note, I've seen many small homes on blocks near downtown packed up, ready to move, not dozed. One paper I ran across had the addresses of previous slave's homes, along with stories of their lives. I looked up the two Houston ladies homes, both were gone, empty lots. That's sad.

 

I'm taking photos of as many as possible. The neighborhoods are changing, fast. I'd be ok with it, if they would keep some historic structures, to save the identities of the neighborhoods. Maybe the little corner store. I just don't see it happening. I do see a lot of churches. So many generic town homes are replacing full streets of homes. I'm afraid everything is gonna look the same. It's boring, no matter what name they conjure up. I often wonder...What would Peter Papademetriou and Stephen Fox say? 

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It is scary to think that so much human history, memories of human lives actually, will be forgotten if we just throw everything away.  even if its just for selfish reasons, i think we and future generations will gain so much benefit from knowing who and what came before us.  even in Houston, which people tend to think of as having no history, actually does have a history that is interesting and enriching.

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This old gal went down hard yesterday.  Corner of Riverside and Almeda.

 

 

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For anyone interested, the house at 2507 Calumet that replaced the house in the very first set of pictures is for sale:

 

http://search.har.com/engine/2507-Calumet-Houston-TX-77004_HAR56050744.htm

 

http://swamplot.com/a-steel-framed-live-work-studio-by-carlos-jimenez-on-the-slopes-of-riverside-terrace/2014-06-26/

 

Definitely would not have any problems finding this one since it is so out of character with the rest of the houses along the street.

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The Calumet one is across the street from me. I was sad when they tore the old one down, but was glad while definitely not fitting in the neighborhood, it is at least a single family home. 2522 Calumet has also been vacant since at least 2009.  Someone recently bought it, but they haven't done anything with it yet.

 

That is sad about the one at Almeda and Riverside. That was a beautiful house.

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Alsal29 are you a member of the Riverside Terrace NextDoor.com group? There are some interesting threads on there about the need to preserve the character of the neighborhood.

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WERE SAVING 2522 CALUMET!!!

 

My father and i have been actively trying to save as many third ward homes (and their ORIGINAL features) as we can. We've done 2618 Rosewood, 2417 Blodgett, 2906 Ruth, 6670 sylvan & 6223 Jefferson (those two were in the second ward but needed desperate attention...), and now, most exciting of all, we will be restoring 2522 calumet and MY family will be moving into that one! It's to special to sell to anyone else. Feel free to pop in if you see my dad and I working over there and introduce yourselves! 

 

-Rachel Paxton

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WERE SAVING 2522 CALUMET!!!

My father and i have been actively trying to save as many third ward homes (and their ORIGINAL features) as we can. We've done 2618 Rosewood, 2417 Blodgett, 2906 Ruth, 6670 sylvan & 6223 Jefferson (those two were in the second ward but needed desperate attention...), and now, most exciting of all, we will be restoring 2522 calumet and MY family will be moving into that one! It's to special to sell to anyone else. Feel free to pop in if you see my dad and I working over there and introduce yourselves!

-Rachel Paxton

Thank you. Houston needs more folks like you and your family.

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What's the build date on these houses? Anyone have a summary of what exactly happened? I see there's something about 288 but I don't know the history of that.

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Riverside was developed back in the 1930s for the wealthy Jews (it was "on par" with River Oaks) as they were not welcome in River Oaks.

I remember watching a PBS special 25 years ago about Riverside. When 288 went through, it was a real calamity for the neighborhood as it split streets and neighborhoods in half. I am unsure when the Jews moved out and the African Americans came in.... The switch may have been prior to 288. I don't recall. Regardless, many of the homes in this area are quite "stately" ..... The type of thing that would have been built in River Oaks in the 1930s, 40's and likely 50's.

By the late 50's, 288 was planned to come through.

I don't know much about Riverside beyond that.

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Is there any knowledge on why 288 was built so wide, and with so few crossings?  I hear a lot about it dividing up neighborhoods, killing businesses on Almeda, etc. but no reasons for its routing and size

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Is there any knowledge on why 288 was built so wide, and with so few crossings?  I hear a lot about it dividing up neighborhoods, killing businesses on Almeda, etc. but no reasons for its routing and size

 

288 was supposed to be a dual freeway. In the middle would be an express freeway that would allow travel between 610 and downtown without mixing with local traffic entering and exiting the freeway. They didn't have enough funding at the time to build the lanes, but they will be built in the near future, though not as free lanes as originally intended. They will be managed lanes like what you see in the middle of I-10.

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YAY Rachel! You have no idea how excited that makes me! I have seen that you started some work last week, but couldn't tell what or who was doing it.  I have not seen anyone over there when I have been home but I can't wait to meet you! it is such a beautiful home! Welcome to the neighborhood!

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