Jump to content

Heights Demolitions


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 111
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The suggestion that tearing down 100-year-old bungalows to build new houses in the Heights increases architectural diversity is seriously flawed, as the original homes are rare and irreplaceable; and

Property values came up because OutfieldDan argued that more new constructions somehow equals more architectural and neighborhood diversity. I don't think anyone posting above suggested that new cons

clarification- i did not vote against a remodel. i voted against a total demo. and this is not in just any part of the heights. this is in a specific, deed restricted historic neighborhood. like red,

Posted Images

I noticed a demolition sign in the side yard of 801 Pizer St yesterday. All the landscaping is cleared from the property.

05/28/2009 sale:

http://www.har.com/HomeValue/dispSoldDetail.cfm?MLNUM=185254

the board of the proctor plaza neighborhood assoc is going to the hearing to fight this attempted demo. while its little condolence, if the application is approved the ppna has pretty strong oversight in to what is built in its place due to the deed restrictions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

518 W 18th was actually moved to lower Garden Oaks. I saw it being moved in late July, and met the guy who planned on rehabbing it. He said he was re-doing a number of older homes that he had transplanted to somewhere around Judiway, I think. I've been wanting to go check out what he's doing.

He was particularly excited to be working on this house.

On the 1400 block of Herkimer, actually. (Not just to be picky, but so if anybody wishes to go look at it). Bungalow Revival is doing two other rehabs on that block, as well. These are just east of some of their earlier projects.

Is this the house that is jacked up in to the air? Are they making it in to a two story now? Bungalow Revival is doing beautiful work in my neck of the woods, God Bless Your Fuzzy Little Hearts!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this the house that is jacked up in to the air? Are they making it in to a two story now? Bungalow Revival is doing beautiful work in my neck of the woods, God Bless Your Fuzzy Little Hearts!

I believe the plan is to build a garage under it in the same manner they built the garage for the craftsman at W14 and Blair.

Oops! I was wrong. They are converting it to a two-story. Something new all the time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops! I was wrong. They are converting it to a two-story. Something new all the time.

Do you know who the contractor/designer doing their renovation work is? I'm in the very early stages of planning for some renovation work and am looking for the names of some quality design and renovation firms, especially with experience in the Heights. Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

the board of the proctor plaza neighborhood assoc is going to the hearing to fight this attempted demo. while its little condolence, if the application is approved the ppna has pretty strong oversight in to what is built in its place due to the deed restrictions.

So I hear the request to completely demolish 801 Pizer was denied...

Link to post
Share on other sites

At least its being honest and natural.... with the carpet matching the drapes.

WOW... Look at the price! Has someone lost their mind?!

Well, it's Allen Edwards Builders listed as the current owner on HCAD. Valuation was 231,000, and hubby found the recent sale price range on HAR as $250 - 300,000.

So another builder looking to make a fast buck on the back of Heights residents who have kept their homes' historic nature.

Looking at the inside photos, lots of work to undo the "remuddling". But still not worth more than $275k.

Like we need another McMansion in the Heights.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's Allen Edwards Builders listed as the current owner on HCAD. Valuation was 231,000, and hubby found the recent sale price range on HAR as $250 - 300,000.

So another builder looking to make a fast buck on the back of Heights residents who have kept their homes' historic nature.

Looking at the inside photos, lots of work to undo the "remuddling". But still not worth more than $275k.

Like we need another McMansion in the Heights.

The physical neighborhood is not the essential component of any neighborhood. What about the people that live there? Why worry about what their house looks like? Closed minded people who want NO change are not what the Heights is known for. If they had their way there would be no diversity in homes or to gake it logically to the ultimate, no diversity to the residents that live there at all. Hey! How about everyone be the same? We can all live in our 100 year old bungalow's, be white, and middle class. How perfect....

Old houses are nice, and restored old houses are key to the Heights. OTOH to deny any new homes to be built is stupid, opressive, and boring.

Let the free market decide. Get a life, and quit being a busybody.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's Allen Edwards Builders listed as the current owner on HCAD. Valuation was 231,000, and hubby found the recent sale price range on HAR as $250 - 300,000.

So another builder looking to make a fast buck on the back of Heights residents who have kept their homes' historic nature.

Looking at the inside photos, lots of work to undo the "remuddling". But still not worth more than $275k.

Like we need another McMansion in the Heights.

I see the point you are attempting to make, but you actually have it exactly backwards. The new construction will invariably have a sales price well north of $500,000. The addition of homes valued at over $500,000 has the effect of pulling up the value of the surrounding sub-$300,000 homes. Far from making a 'fast buck' on the backs of Heights residents, we are increasing our equity on the backs of these McMansions.

I might also point out that that bungalow is only 1093 square feet. That is small even by bungalow standards. It would only be made livable by today's standards by adding an addition to the back, likely 2 stories. If one is going to wipe out the style of a one story bungalow by adding a 2 story addition, they may as well tear down and start over.

Truth hurts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If they had their way there would be no diversity in homes or to gake it logically to the ultimate, no diversity to the residents that live there at all. Hey! How about everyone be the same? We can all live in our 100 year old bungalow's, be white, and middle class. How perfect....

The suggestion that tearing down 100-year-old bungalows to build new houses in the Heights increases architectural diversity is seriously flawed, as the original homes are rare and irreplaceable; and each one lost decreases - not increases - architectural diversity in Houston.

I also challenge the suggestion that tearing down 100-year-old bungalows to build new houses in the Heights in some way increases the neighborhood's diversity. Tearing down 100-year-old bungalows to build new houses in the Heights raises property values. The new construction will cost more than the old home it replaces, and property values on the entire block also will likely overall go up (at least in the short term - the long-term effects are a different issue). Even the original homes next to the new construction may increase in value, despite their now being less appealing places to live, because the lot value has gone up. Is someone really going to argue that a neighborhood becomes more diverse as property values increase? That as the pool of people who can afford to buy (or just pay taxes on) properties in the Heights shrinks, diversity increases?

Let the free market decide.

Indeed. The market for Houston real estate is already pretty free. The minimal restrictions placed on it largely address informational gaps and so-called tragedies of the commons, both of which impede the operation of a truly free market. Efforts to protect the historical integrity of the Heights through property restrictions seem to me to be classic examples of attempts to promote rather than discourage the operation of a free-market system, as fairly intact historic Houston neighborhoods are a scarce resource that should be valued in part as a resource common to the entire city/state/country. Let's not mask property-rights advocacy as free-market theory - the latter seems beyond the ken of the average property-rights advocate.

Edited by tmariar
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I see the point you are attempting to make, but you actually have it exactly backwards. The new construction will invariably have a sales price well north of $500,000. The addition of homes valued at over $500,000 has the effect of pulling up the value of the surrounding sub-$300,000 homes. Far from making a 'fast buck' on the backs of Heights residents, we are increasing our equity on the backs of these McMansions.

I might also point out that that bungalow is only 1093 square feet. That is small even by bungalow standards. It would only be made livable by today's standards by adding an addition to the back, likely 2 stories. If one is going to wipe out the style of a one story bungalow by adding a 2 story addition, they may as well tear down and start over.

Truth hurts.

So this is the main issue - property taxes, not historic value? I applaud you and the others who have replied for being honest.

I see this as simply greed and selfishness. Keeping out homes that bring up the property values of a neighborhood is disingenuous. Other neighborhoods I have lived in sought exactly the opposite. What am I missing here? Should the Heights be full of dilapidated homes just so you and your friends can have lower property taxes? Apparently it doesn't matter what architectural style is employed, the overriding issue is the value of the home being built.

The Heights is desirable because of the change since 1970 when poverty was all that was here. It's competition that has raised property values, and guess what, the people who live here want to live in nice houses. Imagine that! Rising property taxes, accompanied by renovation and new construction, has accomplished the evolution of our neighborhood.

OTOH, being obstructive damages the value of our neighborhood. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is the main issue - property taxes, not historic value? I applaud you and the others who have replied for being honest.

I see this as simply greed and selfishness. Keeping out homes that bring up the property values of a neighborhood is disingenuous. Other neighborhoods I have lived in sought exactly the opposite. What am I missing here? Should the Heights be full of dilapidated homes just so you and your friends can have lower property taxes? Apparently it doesn't matter what architectural style is employed, the overriding issue is the value of the home being built.

The Heights is desirable because of the change since 1970 when poverty was all that was here. It's competition that has raised property values, and guess what, the people who live here want to live in nice houses. Imagine that! Rising property taxes, accompanied by renovation and new construction, has accomplished the evolution of our neighborhood.

OTOH, being obstructive damages the value of our neighborhood. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

I have no issues whatsoever. I was merely correcting the other poster's suggestion that the McMansions are piggybacking on the value of the bungalows, when in fact, the reverse is true. I own a bungalow, but am surrounded by new construction. Of the bungalows that remain, some have been remodeled in their existing footprint, while others have had additions. More importantly, the people who live in ALL of the homes on my block, new or old, remodeled or existing, are by and large good people.

And, best of all, tmariar lives around the corner. :)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is the main issue - property taxes, not historic value? I applaud you and the others who have replied for being honest.

I see this as simply greed and selfishness. Keeping out homes that bring up the property values of a neighborhood is disingenuous. Other neighborhoods I have lived in sought exactly the opposite. What am I missing here? Should the Heights be full of dilapidated homes just so you and your friends can have lower property taxes? Apparently it doesn't matter what architectural style is employed, the overriding issue is the value of the home being built.

The Heights is desirable because of the change since 1970 when poverty was all that was here. It's competition that has raised property values, and guess what, the people who live here want to live in nice houses. Imagine that! Rising property taxes, accompanied by renovation and new construction, has accomplished the evolution of our neighborhood.

OTOH, being obstructive damages the value of our neighborhood. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

Interesting take. This is really a subjective issue aside from the property values. I'm sure we've all seen some incredible renovations as well as recent-construction homes that are considerably better than what they improved or replaced. To me, it really comes down to the value and salvageability of the original structure's style and features that aren't likely replaceable with modern construction. Maintaining consistency with the time period of the neighborhood is nice, although it's of secondary importance to me if the original home is terribly unremarkable.

I'm personally happy if my neighbors want to improve their homes through renovations or additions because it's better than the alternative. There are some rough-looking old houses on my street that detract from the neighborhood, a couple of which could be candidates for tear-downs or massive renovations. But I wouldn't want them to be replaced with McMansions that would dwarf the rest of the neighborhood and start the domino effect of rising property taxes that would eventually block myself and others out of the market. But ultimately we vote with our dollars, and I chose to invest in renovation in a deed-restricted area, rather than recent construction someplace else where anything goes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is the main issue - property taxes, not historic value? I applaud you and the others who have replied for being honest.

I see this as simply greed and selfishness. Keeping out homes that bring up the property values of a neighborhood is disingenuous. Other neighborhoods I have lived in sought exactly the opposite. What am I missing here? Should the Heights be full of dilapidated homes just so you and your friends can have lower property taxes? Apparently it doesn't matter what architectural style is employed, the overriding issue is the value of the home being built.

The Heights is desirable because of the change since 1970 when poverty was all that was here. It's competition that has raised property values, and guess what, the people who live here want to live in nice houses. Imagine that! Rising property taxes, accompanied by renovation and new construction, has accomplished the evolution of our neighborhood.

OTOH, being obstructive damages the value of our neighborhood. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

But the first 25, even 30 years of that change (if you use the 70s as a jump off point) were so-called "urban pioneers" and, by and large, artists and "alternative lifestyle" people who lived in bungalows. there was an affordability, a proximity to downtown and... wait for it... wait for it... an appreciation of the existing architecture and history of the neighborhood.

How many of these large, new constructions were built before 2000? In fact, how many were even built before 2004 (which is when I moved to The Heights)? A very small percentage and many of them (a few on the north side of Harvard come to mind) were such good reproductions it was hard to tell they were new.

I live in a historic deed restricted neighborhood where it is almost 100% bungalows. there are 3 or 4 new homes out of 1200 in the neighborhood, yet my property value has increased by 5 figures every year i have lived here. And during that time only 2 of 16 homes on my block have undergone any extensive renovation. The majority of the homes around mine, my block and others, are still on their original foot print. This is important because new construction is not the primary driving force of the gentrification of this neighborhood. Even without new homes, which again are mostly less than 5-8 years old, this neighborhood (i.e the heights as a whole) would still be highly desirable. There are many large cities where people are living, and even raising families, in homes/spaces smaller than a normal Heights bungalow for a lot more money. Proximity, the backlash against white flight, the homogeneity of the suburbs... There are a lot of reasons people live in the heights and live in less house for more $ than they can get in other parts of Houston, not even the 'burbs per se.

This is not an argument against new construction. There are many beautiful new homes in the Heights. I have friends that live in several. However, I think it's wrong to say this neighborhood only has increased value because of new homes. This area would have increased value without them as well, just as it did for the 2 decades before all the new homes were built.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

But the first 25, even 30 years of that change (if you use the 70s as a jump off point) were so-called "urban pioneers" and, by and large, artists and "alternative lifestyle" people who lived in bungalows. there was an affordability, a proximity to downtown and... wait for it... wait for it... an appreciation of the existing architecture and history of the neighborhood.

How many of these large, new constructions were built before 2000? In fact, how many were even built before 2004 (which is when I moved to The Heights)? A very small percentage and many of them (a few on the north side of Harvard come to mind) were such good reproductions it was hard to tell they were new.

I live in a historic deed restricted neighborhood where it is almost 100% bungalows. there are 3 or 4 new homes out of 1200 in the neighborhood, yet my property value has increased by 5 figures every year i have lived here. And during that time only 2 of 16 homes on my block have undergone any extensive renovation. The majority of the homes around mine, my block and others, are still on their original foot print. This is important because new construction is not the primary driving force of the gentrification of this neighborhood. Even without new homes, which again are mostly less than 5-8 years old, this neighborhood (i.e the heights as a whole) would still be highly desirable. There are many large cities where people are living, and even raising families, in homes/spaces smaller than a normal Heights bungalow for a lot more money. Proximity, the backlash against white flight, the homogeneity of the suburbs... There are a lot of reasons people live in the heights and live in less house for more $ than they can get in other parts of Houston, not even the 'burbs per se.

This is not an argument against new construction. There are many beautiful new homes in the Heights. I have friends that live in several. However, I think it's wrong to say this neighborhood only has increased value because of new homes. This area would have increased value without them as well, just as it did for the 2 decades before all the new homes were built.

On a lighter note - if we can all laugh at ourselves a bit...

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/02/22/73-gentrification/

Link to post
Share on other sites

946 Arlington, today is listed on Swamplot as receiving a demo permit. Does anyone know if this is for the garage or the house itself? After years of efforts to save this cute little bungalow, has it finally been axed by the new owners?

I see no indication on the city's site that it's just the garage. Sad.

And, best of all, tmariar lives around the corner. :)

Yep - I've got some pretty cool neighbors - especially Red!

Link to post
Share on other sites

946 Arlington, today is listed on Swamplot as receiving a demo permit. Does anyone know if this is for the garage or the house itself? After years of efforts to save this cute little bungalow, has it finally been axed by the new owners?

http://swamplot.com/...red/2009-12-02/

946-arlington-signs.jpg

Apparently, Karen Derr is FOR demolition of 100 year old bungalows.

BTW, if anyone wants to watch this home come down, we can watch it from my backyard, since I live nearly directly behind it. In fact, we could watch from the balcony of my new 2 story garage, which was built after I DEMO'd my old one back in June. My garage demo even made Swamplot! Yes, I scrolled all the way back and found it! :blush:

Edited by RedScare
Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, if anyone wants to watch this home come down, we can watch it from my backyard, since I live nearly directly behind it.

It would be good to get the demo on video, if you're so inclined.

---------------------

Here's the recent permit info for 946 Arlington:

Project No:09105032Date :2009/12/01 00:00:00USE :DEMO RES/SEWER DISCOwner/Occupant :*7677 REAL STJob Address :946 ARLINGTON ST 77008Valuation :$ 0Permit Type :SDFCC Group :Demo; Single Familty DwellingBuyer :*7677 REAL STAddress :946 ARLINGTON ST 77008

This is a permit from November:

Project No:09105032Date :2009/11/19 00:00:00USE :DEMO RES/SEWER DISCOwner/Occupant :*7677 REAL STJob Address :946 ARLINGTON ST 77008Valuation :$ 0Permit Type :12FCC Group :Demo; Single Familty DwellingBuyer :LOPEZ DOMINGO

And one from 2007:

Project No:07031342Date :2007/04/11 00:00:00USE :RESIDENTIAL ADDITION , INTERIOR REMODELOwner/Occupant :*7677 REAL STJob Address :946 ARLINGTON ST 77008Valuation :$ 110,000Permit Type :13FCC Group :Residential AlterationBuyer :LANE CHRIS

Edited by tmariar
Link to post
Share on other sites

One of her agents, Ashton Martini, represents the builder.

Technically, she no longer has agents. She sold her company to Bill Baldwin and he renamed it Boulevard Realty.

She is now an agent for Boulevard and he is the owner.

Link to post
Share on other sites

But the first 25, even 30 years of that change (if you use the 70s as a jump off point) were so-called "urban pioneers" and, by and large, artists and "alternative lifestyle" people who lived in bungalows. there was an affordability, a proximity to downtown and... wait for it... wait for it... an appreciation of the existing architecture and history of the neighborhood.

How many of these large, new constructions were built before 2000? In fact, how many were even built before 2004 (which is when I moved to The Heights)? A very small percentage and many of them (a few on the north side of Harvard come to mind) were such good reproductions it was hard to tell they were new.

I live in a historic deed restricted neighborhood where it is almost 100% bungalows. there are 3 or 4 new homes out of 1200 in the neighborhood, yet my property value has increased by 5 figures every year i have lived here. And during that time only 2 of 16 homes on my block have undergone any extensive renovation. The majority of the homes around mine, my block and others, are still on their original foot print. This is important because new construction is not the primary driving force of the gentrification of this neighborhood. Even without new homes, which again are mostly less than 5-8 years old, this neighborhood (i.e the heights as a whole) would still be highly desirable. There are many large cities where people are living, and even raising families, in homes/spaces smaller than a normal Heights bungalow for a lot more money. Proximity, the backlash against white flight, the homogeneity of the suburbs... There are a lot of reasons people live in the heights and live in less house for more $ than they can get in other parts of Houston, not even the 'burbs per se.

This is not an argument against new construction. There are many beautiful new homes in the Heights. I have friends that live in several. However, I think it's wrong to say this neighborhood only has increased value because of new homes. This area would have increased value without them as well, just as it did for the 2 decades before all the new homes were built.

Well said. I agree with everything in your post. Unfortunately there are many who believe new larger homes are the main reason property values have increased, and these idiots run around like possessed Nazis trying to dictate construction standards. They deceitfully claim that the Heights will lose it's historic character because most or all of the bungalows are going to be torn down. Renovation, reduction in crime, interesting neighbors, proximity to the city are all much more important to rising values than some new houses. In other words it's the NEIGHBORHOOD. New homes being built are a direct result of the more important underlying factors that have improved property values, not the cause.

RedScare, you're scary. Regarding the teardown behind your house, I guess it's save to assume that you're not going to be a friendly neighbor. How mean are you going to be? What do you think about the possibility of them using your alley?ohmy.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said. I agree with everything in your post. Unfortunately there are many who believe new larger homes are the main reason property values have increased, and these idiots run around like possessed Nazis trying to dictate construction standards. They deceitfully claim that the Heights will lose it's historic character because most or all of the bungalows are going to be torn down. Renovation, reduction in crime, interesting neighbors, proximity to the city are all much more important to rising values than some new houses. In other words it's the NEIGHBORHOOD. New homes being built are a direct result of the more important underlying factors that have improved property values, not the cause.

RedScare, you're scary. Regarding the teardown behind your house, I guess it's save to assume that you're not going to be a friendly neighbor. How mean are you going to be? What do you think about the possibility of them using your alley?ohmy.gif

I think you have me confused with someone else. Moreover, I cannot understand the message that you are trying to convey. You are agreeing with Heights Yankee and chastising me, yet Yankee is the board member who voted against the couple remodeling their house. I'm the live and let live guy who has remodeled his 90 year old bungalow, and has the neighbor who remodeled a steel warehouse into a home. I'm the one with the 5 new construction homes across the street, and who signed my neighbor's setback variance request to remodel his bungalow a couple of days ago. How am I scary, and why would I not like my new neighbors?

EDIT: Oh, and about the alley. It may surprise you to know that when I tore down my old garage earlier this year in preparation for building a new garage, I discussed with my neighbors whether we should open the alley. I was on the fence, as I already have a front facing driveway. As a group, we decided to leave the alley obstructed so as not to encourage burglaries. Imagine that. Neighbors discussing issues that impact them. That is scary, indeed.

FWIW, the alley is already open at both ends of the street, including right behind the house on Arlington. I am quite sure that the remodel (or new construction) will include a side facing garage, as corner lots often do, or an alley facing one. Since the alley is already in use, it won't affect me at all.

Edited by RedScare
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said. I agree with everything in your post. Unfortunately there are many who believe new larger homes are the main reason property values have increased, and these idiots run around like possessed Nazis trying to dictate construction standards. They deceitfully claim that the Heights will lose it's historic character because most or all of the bungalows are going to be torn down. Renovation, reduction in crime, interesting neighbors, proximity to the city are all much more important to rising values than some new houses. In other words it's the NEIGHBORHOOD. New homes being built are a direct result of the more important underlying factors that have improved property values, not the cause.

RedScare, you're scary. Regarding the teardown behind your house, I guess it's save to assume that you're not going to be a friendly neighbor. How mean are you going to be? What do you think about the possibility of them using your alley?ohmy.gif

Property values came up because OutfieldDan argued that more new constructions somehow equals more architectural and neighborhood diversity. I don't think anyone posting above suggested that new constructions are the only reason property values are going up in the Heights, but I guess setting up straw man arguments goes hand in hand with calling preservationists "idiots run[ning] around like possessed Nazis trying to dictate construction standards."

It's an historic neighborhood. One of only a handful in Houston. Why is wanting to protect the historical integrity of the neighborhood, whenever it's reasonably possible to do so, so hard for some people to understand? I've not seen anyone on HAIF argue that every single original structure should be protected at all costs, and if the neighborhood were losing only unsalvageable structures to developers, threads like this wouldn't exist.

And talk about "mean", what possible grounds have you for disparaging Red, who is a great neighbor and (as far as I've noticed) fairly middle-of-the-road when it comes to preservationist issues? Even if he were an avid preservationist, it should not surprise anyone that there are many such people in the Heights. Why should they lighten up on their advocacy against a practice that is steadily undermining the Heights' historic integrity out of consideration for the feelings of neighbors who have helped perpetuate that practice without regard for their neighbors? How are those seeking to protect historic properties the "mean" people in that equation? Sure, not every person who owns a non-historic home in the Heights has contributed to the problem - there are those who live in more recent constructions that replaced something other than a salvageable historic structure, and were designed to blend in with and not loom over the houses close to them. But I haven't seen anyone on HAIF do anything other than praise such new constructions.

Edited by tmariar
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you have me confused with someone else. Moreover, I cannot understand the message that you are trying to convey. You are agreeing with Heights Yankee and chastising me, yet Yankee is the board member who voted against the couple remodeling their house. I'm the live and let live guy who has remodeled his 90 year old bungalow, and has the neighbor who remodeled a steel warehouse into a home. I'm the one with the 5 new construction homes across the street, and who signed my neighbor's setback variance request to remodel his bungalow a couple of days ago. How am I scary, and why would I not like my new neighbors?

clarification- i did not vote against a remodel. i voted against a total demo. and this is not in just any part of the heights. this is in a specific, deed restricted historic neighborhood.

like red, i am little confused by outfielddan's response. i think he is agreeing with me that new construction is not the root of increased values but also saying that preservationists are crazy.

tmariar- well said, as always.

just to add to the complexity of the issue, i have very good friends who live in a new construction on a subdivided lot (what once had one home now has 3) in a McVic. i love them as friends and they are good people, although their home choice would not be my own. still, even though they are (for purposes of this discussion) "those new construction type people" they also opposed the demo of the house in my neighborhood. i would not say this is a case of NIMBY,as i know many of you love that argument. this is an example of the complex nature of living in a neighborhood that holds much of houston's history in it's homes and streets. even ppl who live in new construction homes can support the historic nature of a small sliver of the neighborhood.

to compliment what tmariar said below, not every structure in the heights needs to be saved. i don't think there is a person out there who says "no new construction, period" for the heights. even some beautiful and historic homes are beyond repair. no one should save something that isn't safe. however, there are some homes and some areas (freeland is one) that should be fought for and protected. i think that the preservationists are actually more moderate than the new construction ppl. preservationists say "protect things worth protecting" while prodevelopment people say "development at any and all costs."

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the misstatement, Yank. I assumed that the remodel vote and the demo vote were the same people.

Just a note on the new construction vs. preservation issue. I never stated that new construction is the only reason property values went up. I responded to another poster who suggested that developers were riding the backs of the bungalow owners. While gentrification through remodeling and preservation causes property values to rise on their own, new construction ALSO raises surrounding property values. Gentrification includes remodels, preservation, AND new construction. ALL of these forms of construction improve the housing stock and the livability of the neighborhood. Clearly, some residents prefer remodels and preservation over new construction, and many residents prefer that new construction not be out of scale with the existing housing stock. However, for those residents to suggest that the large new McVics cause property values to decline is simply incorrect.

I was merely correcting that incorrect assumption. Had OutfieldDan paid more attention to my posts, he would have seen that I had not taken a position on the matter at all, at least in this thread. For the record, I prefer that the old homes be rehabbed if that is possible. However, I am not one who would actively oppose an owner who chose to demolish and rebuild. It is simply my preference that the old housing stock be preserved. I am more a proponent of the Heights' eclectic nature than its historic nature. By that, I mean that I like the different types of people living in the homes more so than the old homes themselves. My concern with the McVics is mostly that only wealthy people can purchase them. If the Heights becomes a wealthy enclave, it becomes boring. I wish for the Heights to remain eclectic. This probably helps explain my opposition to the stupid lot line ordinance. It encourages more McVics, and less moderately priced housing, while saving zero old homes. That does nothing to save the eclectic Heights.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this will teach me that I should monitor HAIF more regularly. The discussion has been rather, er, lively.

Red Scare wrote:

[i responded to another poster who suggested that developers were riding the backs of the bungalow owners. While gentrification through remodeling and preservation causes property values to rise on their own, new construction ALSO raises surrounding property values. Gentrification includes remodels, preservation, AND new construction. ALL of these forms of construction improve the housing stock and the livability of the neighborhood. Clearly, some residents prefer remodels and preservation over new construction, and many residents prefer that new construction not be out of scale with the existing housing stock. However, for those residents to suggest that the large new McVics cause property values to decline is simply incorrect....I was merely correcting that incorrect assumption. ]

Red, I did not suggest in my post that McVics cause property values to decline. My post simply stated that I don't want to see another one go up. My reasoning, which I did not include in the original post, is that they often use up the entire lot, causing drainage, access, and parking problems for their neighbors. That and they're generally poorly tricked out with faux-Victorian trim. Yuck.

Having renovated 3 houses in the Heights during my 20 years in the neighborhood, I have a strong preference, as you do, for preserving the existing stock of homes. I am realistic that it can take a lot of cash to retrieve homes from the brink. However, when someone buys an old house, creates a mountain of trash from it, then builds a shoddily constructed monstrosity to cash in on the "historic" nature of the neighborhood, I think we are a lot closer to that wealthy enclave that you foresee. I agree that we need different kinds of homes. It just seems that most of the new ones are bigger and uglier than what they replaced.

Or, to steal a friend's favorite phrase, I think we are in violent agreement. And I'd like to hear your reasoning on why the lot line ordinance is having the unintended effect of causing more teardowns and McMansions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The physical neighborhood is not the essential component of any neighborhood. What about the people that live there? Why worry about what their house looks like? Closed minded people who want NO change are not what the Heights is known for. If they had their way there would be no diversity in homes or to gake it logically to the ultimate, no diversity to the residents that live there at all. Hey! How about everyone be the same? We can all live in our 100 year old bungalow's, be white, and middle class. How perfect....

Old houses are nice, and restored old houses are key to the Heights. OTOH to deny any new homes to be built is stupid, opressive, and boring.

Let the free market decide. Get a life, and quit being a busybody.

Outfield, if the physical nature of the neighborhood isn't essential, then why do developers try to emulate it, mostly to poor effect?

I'm not against new construction. I'm thankful my neighbor across the way built a new house where 2 falling-in bungalows once leaned.

I'm against mindlessly destroying housing stock and then turning around and marketing the replacement as "located in the heart of the historic Houston Heights." It sounds good, but it's meaningless because often the replacement is built without any investment in quality.

I was interested in this house because it's on my street, and I'm looking for a new rehab project. I'd call that free market with a life.

Oh, and my bungalow's only 70 as of next year. It's just a young'un. I'll cop to the white part though. And TMariar and Heights_Yankee - thanks!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this will teach me that I should monitor HAIF more regularly. The discussion has been rather, er, lively.

Red Scare wrote:

[i responded to another poster who suggested that developers were riding the backs of the bungalow owners. While gentrification through remodeling and preservation causes property values to rise on their own, new construction ALSO raises surrounding property values. Gentrification includes remodels, preservation, AND new construction. ALL of these forms of construction improve the housing stock and the livability of the neighborhood. Clearly, some residents prefer remodels and preservation over new construction, and many residents prefer that new construction not be out of scale with the existing housing stock. However, for those residents to suggest that the large new McVics cause property values to decline is simply incorrect....I was merely correcting that incorrect assumption. ]

Red, I did not suggest in my post that McVics cause property values to decline. My post simply stated that I don't want to see another one go up. My reasoning, which I did not include in the original post, is that they often use up the entire lot, causing drainage, access, and parking problems for their neighbors. That and they're generally poorly tricked out with faux-Victorian trim. Yuck.

Having renovated 3 houses in the Heights during my 20 years in the neighborhood, I have a strong preference, as you do, for preserving the existing stock of homes. I am realistic that it can take a lot of cash to retrieve homes from the brink. However, when someone buys an old house, creates a mountain of trash from it, then builds a shoddily constructed monstrosity to cash in on the "historic" nature of the neighborhood, I think we are a lot closer to that wealthy enclave that you foresee. I agree that we need different kinds of homes. It just seems that most of the new ones are bigger and uglier than what they replaced.

Or, to steal a friend's favorite phrase, I think we are in violent agreement. And I'd like to hear your reasoning on why the lot line ordinance is having the unintended effect of causing more teardowns and McMansions.

Sorry if I misquoted you, BW, but your post read as if you were suggesting that the bungalows pulled up the value of the McVics. The fact is, as we've discussed in the thread, many factors go into the value of these properties.

I certainly agree that the new construction is much larger than the surrounding homes. This can be traced to the value of the lots. To bring the home value in line with the lot value, the size of the homes increases. And, this leads to my gripe with the lot line ordinance. By prohibiting the splitting of the lots, we guarantee that the new homes will be twice as large. We can snarl and gnash our teeth all we want, but the economics of residential construction dictate the house be worth roughly twice that of the dirt. In the haste to outlaw new construction with which they disaprove, Heights residents exacerbated the problem. This is known as the law of unintended consequences, and Heights residents have no one to blame but themselves.

As for drainage and parking problems caused by the McVics, I don't buy it. The roof area of the McVics are not much larger than the bungalows they replace. They are simply 2 story homes instead of one. And, there is still a single family home on a 50 foot lot. Considering most of the people buying the McVics appear to be middle aged or older, and everyone of these monsters has the requisite monster 2 car garage that comes with it, I don't see how parking is worse.

I must also make one concession. While I am the poster who coined the term "McVictorian" several years back, and it seems to be popular on these threads, most of the new McVics are not, in fact, Victorian. Most are oversized craftsmans. I can much more stomach an oversized craftsman than an actual Victorian with plastic trim. And, one thing the new residents of the large homes virtually ALWAYS do is install really nice landscaping. So, they're not all bad.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry if I misquoted you, BW, but your post read as if you were suggesting that the bungalows pulled up the value of the McVics. The fact is, as we've discussed in the thread, many factors go into the value of these properties.

I certainly agree that the new construction is much larger than the surrounding homes. This can be traced to the value of the lots. To bring the home value in line with the lot value, the size of the homes increases. And, this leads to my gripe with the lot line ordinance. By prohibiting the splitting of the lots, we guarantee that the new homes will be twice as large. We can snarl and gnash our teeth all we want, but the economics of residential construction dictate the house be worth roughly twice that of the dirt. In the haste to outlaw new construction with which they disaprove, Heights residents exacerbated the problem. This is known as the law of unintended consequences, and Heights residents have no one to blame but themselves.

As for drainage and parking problems caused by the McVics, I don't buy it. The roof area of the McVics are not much larger than the bungalows they replace. They are simply 2 story homes instead of one. And, there is still a single family home on a 50 foot lot. Considering most of the people buying the McVics appear to be middle aged or older, and everyone of these monsters has the requisite monster 2 car garage that comes with it, I don't see how parking is worse.

I really have to disagree about the lot line thing. Without lot line ordinances, we get townhomes. If not tonwhomes, we get one lot with 2 or more tall, skinny McVics with not even enough room to pull a trash can between them. i would rather see a large, single family home than townhomes which go up too quickly and start to deteriorate just as fast. they are also cheaper and i would think they bring overall values of the homes around them down. honestly, what is needed is a set back requirement along with the lot line ordinance. i think woodland heights does have this?

And this kind of dense developement could cause drainage and other issues. Look at Rice Military as an example. They are having overdevlopement infrastructure problems.

I must also make one concession. While I am the poster who coined the term "McVictorian" several years back, and it seems to be popular on these threads, most of the new McVics are not, in fact, Victorian. Most are oversized craftsmans. I can much more stomach an oversized craftsman than an actual Victorian with plastic trim. And, one thing the new residents of the large homes virtually ALWAYS do is install really nice landscaping. So, they're not all bad.

actually, the craftsmans are the newest of the new and thank god for them! until recently most were new orleans revival. this has always bugged me because people would say "but they fit with the neighborhood" when last time i checked, this isn't NOLA. the heights is, for the most part, a craftsman neighborhood.

side note: has anyone seen some of the more modern interpretations of craftsman? there are 2 great ones on 16th near Rutland. they are both large but built to have some nice green space and definitely honor the neighborhood while openly admitting that they were built after 2005. i love them!

Edited by heights_yankee
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Looks like a pretty ugly house and not particularly historic. The new construction will undoubtedly be an improvement.

I feel rather indifferent at this point. I don't think anybody cried about losing that house. It was more about the principal than the actual house.

Let's just hope the replacement isn't something completely out of place for that block, like Tuscan with a bad case of stucco or a Victorian. I'm leery though, because I think there's a good deal of animosity between the owners and their neighbors after the showdown. They may want to build something completely inappropriate as a giant middle finger to the neighbors who fought their demo request.

Edited by barracuda
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading this thread with some apprehension regarding the prolific demolitions going on. I was born, and raised in the Heights, and will always remember the small town goodness that we enjoyed. I suppose all good things come to an end.

I wondered if anyone knows who owns the old mansion that John Fakes, the attorney owned. He died many years ago, and lived in the mansion until his death. I'm not sure of the cross - street anymore, but it is on a corner lot, faceing the Boulevard, a few blocks down from Reagan Lodge. It was built back @ the turn of the century, and has the Nicholas Clayton flair to it with spires, etc. It has a historic plaque in front.

I would really appreciate any info you have. John died with no heirs, so I'm not sure how the house was sold, or who bought it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, don't know anything about that house.

I posted to ask if anyone knew what was going on with the blue house at the corner of Bayland and Helen? I assume it's being moved, since the porch and the chimney were taken off. Kind of a shame, that was an original bungalow for the neighborhood, but I guess a nice corner lot like that needs a giant two-story on it.

I'm kind of attached to the house, since we rented it when we first moved to Houston. It definitely had had a bit of "remuddleling" (my spouse referred to the kitchen as "The Tuscan Nightmare") but it was a nice space. The original flooring was spectacular.

I wish someone could have fixed it up, but hopefully it has a nice second life somewhere else.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reading this thread with some apprehension regarding the prolific demolitions going on. I was born, and raised in the Heights, and will always remember the small town goodness that we enjoyed. I suppose all good things come to an end.

I wondered if anyone knows who owns the old mansion that John Fakes, the attorney owned. He died many years ago, and lived in the mansion until his death. I'm not sure of the cross - street anymore, but it is on a corner lot, faceing the Boulevard, a few blocks down from Reagan Lodge. It was built back @ the turn of the century, and has the Nicholas Clayton flair to it with spires, etc. It has a historic plaque in front.

I would really appreciate any info you have. John died with no heirs, so I'm not sure how the house was sold, or who bought it.

Are you referring to the Milroy House? http://farm1.static.flickr.com/245/455343732_155ab87675.jpg

I seem to remember it being one of the 3 original Heights houses left or something (built in the first batch, not original homes to the lot).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...