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The Shrine Center over on 2900 N. Braeswood & Brompton has been an institution for many long time Houstonian's. The center has catered to hundreds of charity events, weddings, Annual Gala's and the list goes on. It was announced that the property has been sold and is in it's final months, days until it meets its demise. Built just around 1970-71 it will always be known for its cavernous ballroom and adjoining rooms to cater to anything under the sun. Ironically the huge chandelier that is centered above the dance floor was salvaged from the Rice Hotel. Now where will it go?

Anyway its a real shame this place is going. Yes, to be replaced by townhomes. Here is a small sample of the interior. I will miss this place. :(

http://www.shriners-houston.org/index.html

100_0208.jpg

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  • 4 months later...
The Shrine Center over on 2900 N. Braeswood & Brompton has been an institution for many long time Houstonian's. The center has catered to hundreds of charity events, weddings, Annual Gala's and the list goes on. It was announced that the property has been sold and is in it's final months, days until it meets its demise. Built just around 1970-71 it will always be known for its cavernous ballroom and adjoining rooms to cater to anything under the sun. Ironically the huge chandelier that is centered above the dance floor was salvaged from the Rice Hotel. Now where will it go?

Anyway its a real shame this place is going. Yes, to be replaced by townhomes. Here is a small sample of the interior. I will miss this place. :(

http://www.shriners-houston.org/index.html

100_0208.jpg

Final curtain call.

February the doors are closed forever until demolition begins. Inquire if interested in salvagable items ie; furniture, kitchen supplies, bars, etc.

Another Houston icon vanishes. :angry2:

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I voted in there one year when I lived in the area. I remember it being very mildewy/musty smelling and that the AC wasn't working well.

I'm curious to see what the price point is going to be for the townhomes.

That's a great part of town to live in. It will be nicer once they repave buffalo speedbump though.

flipper

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I remember going to HAL-PC meetings there in the mid to late 80's. Bill Gates still showed up on occasion, along with Philippe Kahn and other early PC bigwigs.

I'm ready to go swipe the huge chandelier in the main ballroom! It could fill a room alone. :D

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Man, that's another part of my youth. Oh well, what sucks for that location is its right next to the WestU sewage treatment plant. It get stinky sometimes. I thought it was a good idea to only have civic buildings next to it, ie, Rice School and Shriners.

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Man, that's another part of my youth. Oh well, what sucks for that location is its right next to the WestU sewage treatment plant. It get stinky sometimes. I thought it was a good idea to only have civic buildings next to it, ie, Rice School and Shriners.

I used to hear that often and that the city was correcting somehow? Oh well doesnt matter now we are out of there after Feb. Only a few more Gala's and its bon voyage.

I really wonder how they will move the hundreds of hundreds of framed photos and momentos, trophies and artwork to a new location if at all? Most of the original Shriner's photos are very old and there may not be living relatives that are around to take home? Each lodge room has large dramatic drapery and bars/stools and heavy furniture, drinking glasses and then the kitchen has very large appliances. The main lobby has the coolest stuff. The ballroom drapes, stage, piano geez. Closing this place will be like sealing a time capsule. Depressing. -_-

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I have never been inside the building, but lived across the street from it for a little while. The smell can be terrible from the West U plant - which is good for West U folks since they aren't near it :P

That part of Brompton is mainly multifamily residential anyhow, so I suppose it won't be a major upset for the area.

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I have never been inside the building, but lived across the street from it for a little while. The smell can be terrible from the West U plant - which is good for West U folks since they aren't near it :P

That part of Brompton is mainly multifamily residential anyhow, so I suppose it won't be a major upset for the area.

Yep, that whole area from Braeswood to Holcombe is very, very nice day and night. It has a real village like atmosphere. The Temple seemed quite dated compared to the rest of the backdrop. There are also statues and such. Wonder if I can go pry the statues off the fountain up front now? May end up in city dump. :angry:

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  • 3 months later...

Update: The outside fountain and statues have been removed (or demolished) and it seems the "auction" idea was in action at one time or another. The signs are still on the two front windows. Too bad the public wasn't notified there were some really nice furnishings within. Tried calling for any more auctions but maybe the phones were sold since there never is an answer. I just hope someone grabbed the huge ballroom chandelier before demolition begins. :o

Was nice knowing you old Shriner's Temple, you served your purpose for over 30 year's to hundred and hundreds of people, not to mention the numerous Non-profits that used your place as a focal point for helping the needy, ie; Shriner Hospital's, etc.

More Houston history going away.

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  • 6 months later...
Why are they demolishing it? What's going in to replace it?

Archstone had bought it to develop apartments. Don't think that that's going to happen though.

Sad that all these people gave money for the upkeep of the building, and this is what they get. They should get a refund.

The Shriner's made lots and lots and lots of money from the sale of the land. To the extent that the existence of the building allowed the organization to essentially 'landbank' the site, the revered donors did the organization more good than they will ever know.

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Archstone had bought it to develop apartments. Don't think that that's going to happen though.

The Shriner's made lots and lots and lots of money from the sale of the land. To the extent that the existence of the building allowed the organization to essentially 'landbank' the site, the revered donors did the organization more good than they will ever know.

What does that mean, to "landbank"?

Thanks,

flipper

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What does that mean, to "landbank"?

Thanks,

flipper

It is a term that can mean different things to different entities, depending on the situation. But the essence of it is a case where an investor acquires a strategically-situated parcel of land that is perhaps not yet prime for development, and then just holds on to it until such time as development makes more sense. If applied to a deep-pocketed investor, such as an insurance company or pension fund, then all it is is a speculative medium- or long-term land play. When applied to a more entrepreneurial entity, the term often implies that some kind of light-use alternative activity is going to generate minimal revenue (i.e. surface parking, flea market, a fenced-in storage lot, a semi-permanent taco stand on wheels, etc., or if there are functionally obsolete improvements, then to make slight upgrades to them and then lease it out to a low-rent tenant that doesn't care if the roof leaks a little or that the floors are uneven) that is able to offset the holding costs.

For instance, I know that I won't make any operating profit by buying up a couple dozen crappy old houses in 2nd Ward and slumlording them out, but I do know that the revenues might be able to offset my holding costs sufficiently that I can sell them all off for lot value in ten years and make a pretty penny. That would be an example of landbanking.

Another example would be if a hedge fund purchased a strategic development site during a financial crisis and recession, and then just held onto it for a couple of years until the market improves enough that there is a non-speculative buyer.

To be clear, I would sincerely doubt that the Shriners landbanked their Braeswood site intentionally. But the effect is basically the same.

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It is a term that can mean different things to different entities, depending on the situation. But the essence of it is a case where an investor acquires a strategically-situated parcel of land that is perhaps not yet prime for development, and then just holds on to it until such time as development makes more sense. If applied to a deep-pocketed investor, such as an insurance company or pension fund, then all it is is a speculative medium- or long-term land play. When applied to a more entrepreneurial entity, the term often implies that some kind of light-use alternative activity is going to generate minimal revenue (i.e. surface parking, flea market, a fenced-in storage lot, a semi-permanent taco stand on wheels, etc., or if there are functionally obsolete improvements, then to make slight upgrades to them and then lease it out to a low-rent tenant that doesn't care if the roof leaks a little or that the floors are uneven) that is able to offset the holding costs.

For instance, I know that I won't make any operating profit by buying up a couple dozen crappy old houses in 2nd Ward and slumlording them out, but I do know that the revenues might be able to offset my holding costs sufficiently that I can sell them all off for lot value in ten years and make a pretty penny. That would be an example of landbanking.

Another example would be if a hedge fund purchased a strategic development site during a financial crisis and recession, and then just held onto it for a couple of years until the market improves enough that there is a non-speculative buyer.

To be clear, I would sincerely doubt that the Shriners landbanked their Braeswood site intentionally. But the effect is basically the same.

I also passed by the Arabia site today and it doesn't look like much is happening, other than the removal of the palm trees from the parking lot that happened quite a while ago. With three large, relatively new complexes (Domain at Kirby, Braeswood Apartments, and the Alexan Main) within a mile or so of the site, I have to wonder how much more demand there is for upscale apartments in the area. Anyone have any insight into what Archstone is planning?

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It is a term that can mean different things to different entities, depending on the situation. But the essence of it is a case where an investor acquires a strategically-situated parcel of land that is perhaps not yet prime for development, and then just holds on to it until such time as development makes more sense. If applied to a deep-pocketed investor, such as an insurance company or pension fund, then all it is is a speculative medium- or long-term land play. When applied to a more entrepreneurial entity, the term often implies that some kind of light-use alternative activity is going to generate minimal revenue (i.e. surface parking, flea market, a fenced-in storage lot, a semi-permanent taco stand on wheels, etc., or if there are functionally obsolete improvements, then to make slight upgrades to them and then lease it out to a low-rent tenant that doesn't care if the roof leaks a little or that the floors are uneven) that is able to offset the holding costs.

For instance, I know that I won't make any operating profit by buying up a couple dozen crappy old houses in 2nd Ward and slumlording them out, but I do know that the revenues might be able to offset my holding costs sufficiently that I can sell them all off for lot value in ten years and make a pretty penny. That would be an example of landbanking.

Another example would be if a hedge fund purchased a strategic development site during a financial crisis and recession, and then just held onto it for a couple of years until the market improves enough that there is a non-speculative buyer.

To be clear, I would sincerely doubt that the Shriners landbanked their Braeswood site intentionally. But the effect is basically the same.

Thanks Niche,

I would be good at this as I always seem to find a deal for much less than the next guy.... Ahh, but the cashflow!

flipper

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Perhaps this one can be merged with the other Shriner's temple topic?

Most items within have were auctioned off months ago. We were one of numerous non-profits that had to search for a new home. I still want the huge ballroom chandelier. :D

PS, everyone should take one final tour of this place its cavernous and contains many single unit meeting rooms with bars, trophies and most of all great memories. This place not only served as a spcial meeting place for numerous clubs and org, it also has been the site of hundreds of weddings, bar mitzfah's, Christmas parties, Galas ...etc.

Once again Houston tears down its history.

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Thanks for posting the photos - I took a few a couple months ago in anticipation of the demolition and I'll try to post a few if I can find them...

Is the demolition going to actually happen (despite the probable lack of new development)? Or is it just going to sit and rot?

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  • 3 months later...

Did they used to have animals in the Circus they regularly had ? Just wondering because the building is so huge . Has a lot of separate rooms , each room was decorated different and some had themes. The stage area that is completely black has really cool walkways leading to the stagelights and attic area . The main ballroom area is gigantic !! A bunch of kids have vandalized alot of the interior. And there is some very creepy looking clowns painted on the wall upstairs !! I'd hate to see it go . Hopefully it will continue to sit and rot :D

Edited by secretsquirrel
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Wow the pics are really depressing!

Its like seeing images of Titanic before & after. :(

I was in one of those small rooms for a meeting about a year ago maybe? it faced the bayou but the room was so uncomfortable since the air conditioning was going bad, the antique red carpet had a foul odor and the elevators were very slow. Each room was very dated like being in 1965. Most had small bars for after meeting cocktails.

I have pics from a family wedding and many of a non profit annual gala as recent as 2007. This place was always so alive its just unimaginable to see the outcome. That huge chandelier in the center of the ballroom was killer. Wonder who in the heck got it?

That stage was so grand! It was so neat to stand on it facing the crowds.

Will post the very colorful images very soon. :)

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Wow the pics are really depressing!

Its like seeing images of Titanic before & after. :(

I was in one of those small rooms for a meeting about a year ago maybe? it faced the bayou but the room was so uncomfortable since the air conditioning was going bad, the antique red carpet had a foul odor and the elevators were very slow. Each room was very dated like being in 1965. Most had small bars for after meeting cocktails.

I have pics from a family wedding and many of a non profit annual gala as recent as 2007. This place was always so alive its just unimaginable to see the outcome. That huge chandelier in the center of the ballroom was killer. Wonder who in the heck got it?

That stage was so grand! It was so neat to stand on it facing the crowds.

Will post the very colorful images very soon. :)

I think they had a auction when they closed it . Alot of the stuff inside had auction tags and most of the cool fixtures and furniture are gone .

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Now I wish I had taken pics of the massive kitchen area too! They had several big coolers. I had to retreive donated champagne bottles out of the coolers at least twice for an Annual fundraiser Gala. Placed on a cart and wheeled out to the thirsty patrons. :D I really wonder if some of the stoves/carts etc could have been used elsewhere. Most of it was still in great shape.

I was going to insert the old website but seems its already been updated (which is good) but the old one had many interior pics of past events. :(

All I have now is a book of all the long time members. Of course they are way older than me! but I used to have to contact them to invite to our events. Here is a snipet from an old listing:

Arabia Shrine Center

2900 N. Braeswood Blvd., Houston, TX, 77025 (713) 664-3437 - Venue Website Shrine Temples are located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama, with Shrine Clubs around the world. There is, therefore, a special Shrine Pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to my flag, and to the country for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible... more

Shrine Temples are located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama, with Shrine Clubs around the world. There is, therefore, a special Shrine Pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to my flag, and to the country for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Wherever Shriners gather, the national flags of the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama are flown.

Today, there are approximately 500,000 Shriners who belong to 191 Shrine Temples, or chapters, from Al Aska Temple in Anchorage, Alaska, to Abou Saad Temple in Panama, and from Aloha Temple in Honolulu to Philae Temple in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Temple memberships range from approximately 10,000 (Murat Temple in Indianapolis) to about 600 (Mazol Temple in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada).

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  • 1 month later...
Thanks for the pictures! My grandfather designed this building so I'm glad to see it's still standing. I hope to go by and see it when I get to Houston later this month. Thanks again!

Best to hurry, could be gone any day. -_-

I wonder if they removed the huge glass cabinets loaded with trophys as soon as you enter in the vestibule area? maybe had to dismantle or were built in. I have to see my pics from 2 years ago. We always had the silent auction tables directly in front of them.

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