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Anyone Have Any Information On This Building?

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http://flickr.com/photos/telwink/2163130953/

aka:

2163130953_1cf4b4f12e_b.jpg">

Anyone have any idea about this old electic company building? If you get up close to it, its actually pretty neat looking. Huge sprawling windows, ghost doors (filled in with brick), very old-looking equipment. I'd love to know what it was and how old it is. Thanks!

b

Edited by Bengiann

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http://flickr.com/photos/telwink/2163130953/

aka:

2163130953_1cf4b4f12e_b.jpg">

Anyone have any idea about this old electic company building? If you get up close to it, its actually pretty neat looking. Huge sprawling windows, ghost doors (filled in with brick), very old-looking equipment. I'd love to know what it was and how old it is. Thanks!

b

Looks like NEAR Northside right? Should have been more specific on location. Seems near the bayou and water treatment plant? Must be very very old. I have no clue, sorry. Miracle that old bridge is still there!

Someone here should clear the mystery soon. :ph34r:

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James Bute Park is right across McKee Street from it. If that old building could be restored, that would be a neat area, with the park, the McKee Street bridge, and the bayou all close by. As I recall, there are unsightly power lines that pass right in front of the building, so that would be a problem.

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I don't have enough time to double check, but is it the Gable Street plant?

http://www.hal-pc.org/~lfa/BB45.html

This should be another project for the University of Houston Downtown. You recall UHD bought another old and decaying downtown facility a few years ago and turned it into a conference center. It's the old Willow Street Pump Station across White Oak Bayou from UHD, and right behind the County Jail. Check out what UHD has done with it.

http://www.uhd.edu/about/reservations/rooms/wsps.htm

Edited by FilioScotia

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I don't have enough time to double check, but is it the Gable Street plant?

http://www.hal-pc.org/~lfa/BB45.html

Sevfiv, thank you so much! You're a wealth of information. I really appreciate it!!! Very interesting resource you've provided. I always wondered what this building was, because I drive past it every day on my way in from work, and it looks like it could tell a million Houston stories if it could talk.

As for restoring it, that would be a tough one. Not only are there unsightly power lines running infront of the building, there's an entire power grid thingy (real technical term there), but the same type of thing that you see on the right if you are coming into downtown off the I-10 HOV. It is a mess of electrical equipment, as far as aesthetics are concerned. Also, that park is bum-central at night. Apparently cops let the homeless sleep there at night, as long as they scatter in the AM. Don't get me wrong - I completely agree that part of downtown would be a great restoration project. In fact I'd go as far as to say it will be at some point in the future, as long as the building isn't knocked down in the meantime. The question is, how far into the future?

Thanks again for the information & comments guys!

b

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Great photos! Once again, the best resource for responding to an HAIF topic is...HAIF! That abandoned raliroad bridge has "pedestrian walkway" written all over it. And yes, James Bute Park is "bum central" and the last time I drove through there, there didn't appear to be much "scattering" during the daytime.

Too bad we can't just have an area exclusively for the homeless and/or camping enthusiasts, since they're gonna find one anyway. But I guess this sort of thing has to be kept low key and informal, and designating an official area would generate more problems, including a lot of bad publicity.

Thanks for posting that link to the Willow Street Pump Station, Filo. It looks like UH did a really nice job. I'd like to go to a function there sometime.

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Great photos! Once again, the best resource for responding to an HAIF topic is...HAIF! That abandoned raliroad bridge has "pedestrian walkway" written all over it. And yes, James Bute Park is "bum central" and the last time I drove through there, there didn't appear to be much "scattering" during the daytime.

Too bad we can't just have an area exclusively for the homeless and/or camping enthusiasts, since they're gonna find one anyway. But I guess this sort of thing has to be kept low key and informal, and designating an official area would generate more problems, including a lot of bad publicity.

Thanks for posting that link to the Willow Street Pump Station, Filo. It looks like UH did a really nice job. I'd like to go to a function there sometime.

Its a thin line between homelessness and camping enthusiasm.

I appreciate everyone's posting info about this area -- very interesting stuff!

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that's a really cool old building. I've driven over the viaduct many times, but i've never quite had the nerve to go down there on foot-- it seems quite deserted. Of course for all I know it could be entirely safe. I love the old railroad bridge. Is it dangerous down there?

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If I'm not mistaken, that old power plant is right on the edge of the area once known as Frost Town.

There are major moves afoot to turn as much of that area as possible into a public park. That job is made very difficult by the fact that most of the old Frost Town area along Buffalo Bayou is now directly under U-S 59 and some of the 59/I-10 interchange.

See this photo: http://www.frosttownhistoricsite.org/aerials.htm

Along with development of the park, several historical study groups are doing some archaelogical digging in that area because a lot of Houston history is under a few feet of that soil.

Check out this link: http://www.frosttownhistoricsite.org/

Edited by FilioScotia

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It is the same area - there was some discussion of Frostown (I've seen it spelled three different ways - not sure that any is most correct) in the photos thread.

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Is it dangerous down there?

I wouldn't say its dangerous. Homeless people loiter in the park across the street from the electric plant, but I've never been hassled by them on the couple instances I've backed my truck up to the train bridge and walked around the old electric power building. There's a rocky path you can back your vehicle down, that leads right up to the train bridge. The path is a good 80 yards long, and gives you a direct line of sight to see anyone else coming down it. Neither police or homeless have ever paid attention to me, much less messed with me, on the couple instances I've been down there.

If I'm not mistaken, that old power plant is right on the edge of the area once known as Frost Town.

There are major moves afoot to turn as much of that area as possible into a public park. That job is made very difficult by the fact that most of the old Frost Town area along Buffalo Bayou is now directly under U-S 59 and some of the 59/I-10 interchange.

See this photo: http://www.frosttownhistoricsite.org/aerials.htm

Along with development of the park, several historical study groups are doing some archaelogical digging in that area because a lot of Houston history is under a few feet of that soil.

Check out this link: http://www.frosttownhistoricsite.org/

Fascinating!!!! I had no idea Frost Town existed until this thread. HAIF is awesome for this sort of thing. I really apprecaite your providing those links.

It is the same area - there was some discussion of Frostown (I've seen it spelled three different ways - not sure that any is most correct) in the photos thread.

Cool. Thanks a lot for the links, guys. This has been a very informative thread thanks to you guys. Very much appreciated.

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Of course just to the east of all this there is another railbridge that is under 59 and is actually a drawbridge that HAS been turned into a pedestrian walkway (well it has grating on it). It seems that homeless people live inside the metal box works though. The round pillar is approximately 40' wide to give you an idea of the scale of this bridge. You either get to it from 1919 Runnels (if you are truly daring) or you get to it from the north side walkway under 59. It really is a nice piece of architecture.

You can also get to it from the park across the street that benigann is talking about....

I wouldn't say its dangerous. Homeless people loiter in the park across the street from the electric plant, but I've never been hassled by them on the couple instances I've backed my truck up to the train bridge and walked around the old electric power building. There's a rocky path you can back your vehicle down, that leads right up to the train bridge. The path is a good 80 yards long, and gives you a direct line of sight to see anyone else coming down it. Neither police or homeless have ever paid attention to me, much less messed with me, on the couple instances I've been down there.

2125634777_58d08f52c0_b.jpg

2182345955_faf768c75f_b.jpg

2182347153_97b5895cbb_b.jpg

I think the last picture is some type of massive concrete counterweight for the drawbridge but for the life of me I cannot see how they were connected.

Now if someone just knows what this dock down the bayou from the drawbridge was used for?

2125634093_c3fa54730c_b.jpg

2182342361_215fbdd16c_b.jpg

To get to it, you have to go down these stairs. I was surprised though, they are all railroad ties and telephone poles. Very sturdy, but some of the deck was gone.

2182341259_4c29b3598b_b.jpg

I think perhaps the whole thing was used for barges or something like that especially with the pipe outlet down there. Anyone know?

MP

Edited by MeltedPlastic

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even though you're so close to town, being on that trail makes you feel very isolated. thanks for those shots.

fyi i think the counterweight was removed from the left side of your first pic

Edited by musicman

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After this thread's bump, thought I'd put this here

http://blog.chron.com/bayoucityhistory/2011/03/lights-out-for-centerpoints-gable-street-facility/

Quote

Citing safety concerns, CenterPoint Energy is pulling the plug on the old Gable Street power plant, a downtown Houston landmark of more than 100 years, the company said Friday.

For much of the early 20th century, the impressive brick structure located adjacent to James Bute Park northeast of downtown, played a large role in powering Houston.

According to CenterPoint’s Alicia Dixon, the power plant was decommissioned in 1983 when other more efficient power generation facilities became operational.

 

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