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  1. Preservation Houston is hosting a web meeting on Dec 15 on efforts to rehabilitate the Kiam Building at 320 Main. I was unaware that any efforts were currently underway. This previously had a Mia Bella on the ground floor until a plumbing issue (I believe) forced it to close and the building is vacant today. invite below: Join Preservation Houston and architect Joe Meppelink for an online Preservation in Practice program Tuesday evening, December 15, examining the restoration of the 1893 Kiam Building downtown, one of Houston’s first proto-skyscrapers, early multi-story buildings that set the stage for taller steel-framed structures. Clothier Ed Kiam built the five-story building to house his clothing store on lower floors with office space above. Architect H.C. Holland designed the building with Romanesque Revival elements including arched windows and rusticated masonry accents. It was said to be the first building in Houston with an electric elevator and drew attention because it was fully outfitted with electric lights when it opened. Over the years, the building had a variety of tenants, including prominent attorneys, architects and the first Houston location of the Sakowitz Bros. department store. The Kiam Building was restored in 1981, but has stood vacant in recent years. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as part of the Main Street/Market Square National Register historic district and is a contributing building in the City of Houston’s Main Street/Market Square Historic District. In his presentation, Meppelink will discuss the Kiam Building’s history and the current work to document and rehabilitate the building while meeting local, state and federal preservation standards.
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