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capnmcbarnacle last won the day on August 5 2009

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  1. I believe that Jesse Jones had a penthouse in the building for a time. I recall seeing pictures of it somewhere.
  2. I knew the lumber yard's days were numbered and I, for one, will miss it. It was old school and had everything I needed. Home Depot is no substitute. Given the land value, it was only a matter of time.
  3. This has had so many stops and starts...it was going to be apartments/condos at one point. They put the piers in the ground. That didn't get off the ground and then the San Jose people from Austin were going to put a hotel there. Then most recently Grant Gordon was going to run a restaurant there. He passed away and that was apparently scrapped. It's gotten to the point that I can't remember what was there before...
  4. Believe it or not, the Bayou was reportedly clear enough to see the bottom once upon a time. There are some references to that in some early Houston books/diaries (and not just Allen Bros. marketing material). Apparently there was a favorite swimming hole somewhere near where the Pierce Elevated is now.. Up until 6-8 years ago, the Sabine Bridge had some interesting structures at the base of the pilings in the middle of the Bayou. There were concrete stairs cast into the concrete and a vented or grated concrete platform around the sides. I always assumed it dated to when kids actually used to swim around there and was a place to climb up and dive in. It has since been removed -- looks like it was jackhammered out -- but you can still see the remnants if you look.
  5. Someone had the not so bright idea of moving the International Fest there around the time Reliant opened. they thought the parking lot would end up serving as some sort of Fairgrounds. Hot, treeless, asphalt fairgrounds. Total buzzkill. It was only there for one year but that one year was enough to drive the first nail in the coffin of that thing...
  6. They are. I was sad to see that one go, but I think the new development is probably an improvement. I love old buildings, but sometimes they outlive their usefulness. I've always thought it's simply polite that if you take down something aesthetically pleasing or interesting, you should replace it with something as good or better. I think Catalyst satisfies that, even if it took a decade. The hotel where the Finger development is now was cool too. When the ballpark was going in someone was looking to renovate it and took off some old facades. There was an old cafeteria there with southwestern motifs and the old painting was there on the walls advertising Indian curios and stuff to the traveling salesmen. There was also a wall painted with the names of cites and their distances. They were playing to the perception that this was cowboy and indian country. Anyway, having worked in that part of DT 15-20 years ago, and seeing it now, it,s astonishing to see the changes.
  7. If I memory serves, this is where the Penn Hotel was. Torn down awhile back to make a parking lot. I worked at the Great Southwest Building when they were building Enron Field. I used to walk around and look at the old Union Station and later the construction of the ballpark. I once got caught in a rainstorm and took shelter under the foyer of the Penn. Some nice homeless folks had the same idea and we chatted for awhile. They were kind enough to offer swigs from their 40s, but I hadn't had my coffee yet... The Penn.... http://arch-ive.org/archive/william-penn-hotel/
  8. The way the new Kinder building works with the Sculpture Garden is fantastic. That garden was always out there on an island surrounded by cars and seemed very disconnected from the rest. These buildings look amazing. Really really well done.
  9. I think downtown makes great sense. I don't think conventions and events come to Houston -- I think they come to Texas. I can't tell you the number of disappointed clients I've had who have paid visits, expecting to see hats and boots and eat steak 3 meals a day. The image, perhaps myth, of Texas is alluring to people from out of town and this museum will cater to that curiosity. There aren't many other states I can think of where this would work. Museum of South Florida history? Tennessee Center for Cultural Heritage? Nah. This is a chamber of commerce museum, something for conventioneers to spend a couple hours and buy a buckle to take back home.
  10. Fantastic. Aside from the newer stuff -- 601 Main, the pipe wrench, and 1000 Main -- it's pretty cool to consider the renovations in that pic over the last 10 or so years. From l-r, Post Dispatch Building (Magnolia Hotel), Texaco, Texas State Hotel, St. Germain, Commerce Tower, JW Marriott, Great Jones Building. Lost the medical tower on Hines site, Montague Hotel, West Building, Macy's, San Jacinto Hotel. Pretty good example of rehabbing works and replacing the obsolete with something as good or better.
  11. They are calling it "The Carter?" Seriously? As in the name of the crack house project in New Jack City? Brilliant. That is maybe the greatest name for such a white bread place. H-U-S-T-L-E-R Hustler. I really hope one of the developers is a fan of the movie and is having some fun with the name. I'd love to say I live at The Carter. This Carter, not the movie Carter.
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