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Dan the Man

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Everything posted by Dan the Man

  1. My church still had a wooden cooling tower up until about 15 years ago. I think the structure was made out of cypress or cedar, though it was pretty rotten towards the end of its life. It probably dated from the late 1940s/early 1950s. One of my relatives also had one to cool his store. He kept goldfish in the bottom of it to eat the mosquito larvae. I remember seeing the remnants of a few residential cooling towers in Riverside Terrace, but I almost never see them anymore.
  2. The architecture firm put up signs on the site yesterday. The project is a church, and Ziegler Cooper is the architect. Link to Project
  3. Many retailer tenants would probably also prefer designs that use more glass. Higher visibility means more opportunity to see the products and advertising inside the stores.
  4. Right or wrong, it's just a theory as to why so many people generally dislike stucco-clad buildings. Don't take it personally.
  5. Shingles used on roofs below a certain pitch are prone to leaks. I suggest you research this before making the switch to shingles.
  6. As a follow up, adding a pitched roof and shingles to a strip shopping center will not automatically improve its aesthetic. Many beautiful (IMO) buildings that are considered architecturally significant were designed with flat roofs. Just look at any of the early Modernist works... The reason most people dislike strip shopping centers is that they are designed around the automobile, rather than the person. People subliminally find the design of strip shopping centers to be alienating, but people also like to drive cars, so they put up with the alienating design for the sake of convenience.
  7. Regardless of color, the issue with stucco and EIFS exteriors is that they typically present a monochromatic flat surface with little or no articulation. It seems that people usually prefer brick/stone or clapboard/shingle exterior cladding because these materials are better at conveying the "human element" of their construction. The smaller size of bricks and shingles, as well as their variation in color and texture, tend to break down the scale of an exterior surface of a building to a module that fits within a typical human hand. Therefore, the use of such materials can give a "human element" to a building, and most people will subliminally identify with this attribute. Unfortunately, the monochromatic flat surface of stucco & EIFS lacks this "human element". Therefore, most people find the crisp exterior surfaces of buildings clad in stucco & EIFS to be subliminally anti-human, so they fall into the "ugly building" category.
  8. That pharmacy building is awesome. It looks like its only alteration was the addition of burglar bars.
  9. I stopped riding Metro about 10 years ago when I realized I could get to my destinations faster on a bike. The buses on my route rarely ever followed the schedule. On multiple occasions, I can remember waiting over half an hour for a bus. Then, two buses would arrive at the stop, one right on the tail of the other. The first bus would be full of irritated passengers, and the second bus was usually always empty. I hope the system has improved since then, but my daily schedule usually doesn't have room for such inefficiency.
  10. So it looks like it was intended to just be an extension of the bike lanes along Cavalcade? I agree with SilverJK - this seems like it was a wasteful project for such a short distance.
  11. I do my entire yard by hand, and it is great exercise. Plus it is a lot quieter. However, my 1930s reel mower will get bogged down in St Augustine if I let the lawn go for more than a week without mowing it. Does the Sunlawn force you into this strict regimen?
  12. Perhaps it's just the photography, but the interior of this house looks very dark.
  13. Many old service station buildings survive in the downtown areas of the little towns around Texas. Two nicely restored examples that come to mind are a 1930s mission style Mobil station in Gonzales, TX and a 1920s Gulf station in Fayetteville, TX. The Gulf station building is interesting in that it is an early example of prototype commercial architecture. This design was replicated many, many times. There is another fairly well preserved example of this building on N Main St in Flatonia, TX. To give a more local example, the buildings that house Dry Creek and Shiloh Club in the Heights started life as identical Gulf stations with this design.
  14. I recently discovered that there is a small bike trail along Little White Oak Bayou that starts at Cavalcade and runs northwest to Enid St. The trail appears to be recently constructed, and it of the same construction standard as the trail along Nicholson. However, it does not appear that the trail is regularly maintained; grass runners and vines extend over the pavement, and grass along the trail is probably a foot high. Anyone know when this trail was built and if there are any plans to extend it further south? Potentially, it could connect to Moody Park, Woodland Park, and the trail along White Oak Bayou.
  15. I was in there before Ike and there was tons of water damage on the interior. I can't imagine what it looks like now.
  16. Story on the cemetery from the Houston Chronicle Archives
  17. I am not sure I completely understand what you are saying here. To fully "appreciate [a building's] finer qualities", you cannot take a "non-people" perspective. Humanity is a large component of architecture, in that most buildings are designed by, built by, built for, and inhabited by, and altered by people. Successful building designs fully embrace the concept of human occupation and endeavor to make this human occupation a more enjoyable experience. The people who occupy buildings usually carry out activities that directly affect the buildings. This human occupation gives the building sort of a life in itself. Perhaps 'life' isn't the best term, but what I'm getting at is that occupied buildings are not static, unchanging elements, or "silent". However, they are like trees, in that they are constantly changing.
  18. What is being built near the intersection of Westpark & 59? There is some serious earth work being done. The site is at the northeast quadrant of the intersection, with a service station on the hard corner. The site has been vacant for years. Someone told me that it once housed a small amusement park that shut down after a murder in the 1970s. This was seen as the beginning of the surrounding area's decline. I don't have high expectations for this site, given the state of the surrounding area, but I am curious nonetheless.
  19. One of the original plans for widening 59 between Hazard & the split with Spur 527 included building a park over the freeway trench in an attempt to reconnect the adjacent neighborhoods. The park component of the project was probably dropped due to its expense.
  20. I agree that "East End" is the obvious label for that side of town. I hope it sticks around. The oldest members of my family never use specific neighborhood names or regional monikers when when referring to various parts of the city. Rather, they tend to use street names as a way to let you know which area they are talking about. It is more common to hear them say "over there off of Harrisburg", rather than "in the East End." The next generation will use regional monikers such as "East End" or "North Side" when describing parts of town. I think this is due to the fact that Houston was once a much smaller city than it is now. At one time, most Houston residents probably knew the general location of Harrisburg Blvd. However, as the city grew to cover a larger geographic area and many residents moved in from other places, it became necessary to invent and use such self-explanatory regional monikers as "East End" to refer to areas of the city.
  21. Sorry, just realized there is another thread running on this topic. Please merge. Thanks.
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