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Aga Khan Foundation: Islamic Community Center, first in U.S

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looks like construction has started, Montrose dancing rollerblader in the foreground for added bonus

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What is his performance schedule like? I'd like to drive by some time while he is there. Any idea how long his act is in town?

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What is his performance schedule like? I'd like to drive by some time while he is there. Any idea how long his act is in town?

 

He's been doing this for years.  It's quite refreshing to watch, actually!

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Do we expect to get a rendering of this so called 'architectural wonder' or is it their game plan to just build it and let the final product do the talking?

 

I say this because it is such a prominent site and with the spur of development, and quality of development, going up in the NearTown/Montrose/West Gray area, i really hope it is a memorable building.

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So this community center owns all the land from Allen Parkway to Dallas?

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So this community center owns all the land from Allen Parkway to Dallas?

 

I believe so. Remember this is the site that had that  abandoned 1920's era art deco warehouse. I really wish they could have renovated that one but I imagine it had asbestos issues.

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I believe so. Remember this is the site that had that abandoned 1920's era art deco warehouse. I really wish they could have renovated that one but I imagine it had asbestos issues.

I never saw the warehouse. Does arch-ive have a photo? :)

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No renderings yet for the Houston Aga Khan Ismaili Centre but here is a rendering of the (under construction) $300 million Toronto version to be completed later this year (scroll down for detailed renderings):

 

http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2010/05/prime-minister-harper-and-aga-khan-aga-khan-museum-ismaili-centre

 

Maybe we can expect something similar - Toronto's version appears to sit on similar acreage (15 acres), the site here is 11 acres.

 

More of an Islamic Arts/Cultural Center and Museum..., This thing could be huge. 

 

Facebook page with good pics: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=571658612858938&

Edited by HOUSTONIAN (N-ATL)

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Remember it's in Toronto and NOT Houston. $300 million doesn't go quite as far there.  I would also think the total includes the cost of the museum's collection of artifacts and not just building costs. Who knows, one painting could be world millions.

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The center is still a few years out apparently. This is going to be a temporary sports area. It will include soccer, volleyball and cricket.

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That's actually a great use in the short term, particularly considering its proximity to the bayou. Do you have a source?

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My understanding is that it's a great way for a non-profit to sit on tax free property and let the value appreciate.  Total scam.  

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I think what he's implying is that he wishes it would not be built - perhaps motivated by his particular brand of tribalism - and that he laments not being able to truly express how he feels because it would be deemed politically incorrect.

Am I right?

 

Do Muslims not have the same rights as anyone else?

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That's actually a great use in the short term, particularly considering its proximity to the bayou. Do you have a source?

I got in touch with their VP of development, not sure if that was his exact title but it is close.

The half of the lot closest to Allen Parkway will be for parking. I don't think it will be paved or anything though.

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So I guess the sidewalk all along Montrose will be forever in ruins...

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My understanding is that it's a great way for a non-profit to sit on tax free property and let the value appreciate.  Total scam.  

 

It's def savvy but I wouldn't call it a scam.

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http://swamplot.com/there-will-be-wickets-empty-w-dallas-lot-in-play-for-youth-sports-facility/2013-05-31/

"It doesn’t seem that this grassy, fenced-in lot along Montrose between W. Dallas and Allen Pkwy. is going to change very much: All that scraping and dragging a few weeks ago was to level the ground for a cricket field, according to a contractor at the firm responsible for doing the dirt work. The Aga Khan Youth and Sports Facility, the contractor says, will comprise that cricket field, a pair of soccer fields, and a concession stand. In 2006, the Aga Khan Foundation purchased and demolished the Robinson Warehouse on this frequently flooded 11-acre property and said it was planning to build an Ismaili Center here."

Edited by DrLan34

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They did an excellent job of purposing this land for volleyball and soccer.  The volleyball courts are generally a consistent puddle on top of a small section of sand and they even have a part of a soccer goal.  No development for cricket yet. 

 

If they are really keeping this lot tax free by the work they did last year, then 'scam' is without a doubt the proper description.

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i've always wondered why the land on Montrose in between Allen Pkwy and W. Dallas has remained empty for so long?  I'm sure this has been discussed here before but I can't find nothing on it.  Who owns it?  Has anything ever been planned here and later cancelled? What would y'all like to see here?  I would love to get some feedback on this.  

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49 minutes ago, nate4l1f3 said:

i've always wondered why the land on Montrose in between Allen Pkwy and W. Dallas has remained empty for so long?  I'm sure this has been discussed here before but I can't find nothing on it.  Who owns it?  Has anything ever been planned here and later cancelled? What would y'all like to see here?  I would love to get some feedback on this.  

 

If you're referring to the land on the corner of Allen Pkwy and Montrose I believe it was initially bought by the Aga Khan Foundation and they were going to build a cultural center there. That was the news a few yrs. ago as of now I really don't know whats going on but something might happen in the near future based on the article below.

 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/Imagine-A-safe-way-to-cross-Allen-Parkway-6807170.php

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It would be awesome.  The city needs to start taxing Aga Khan.  They built a "park" so that they could stay off of the property tax records.  That "park" is a "joke".  

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Here is the original thread on the subject:

Warning: lots of "fun" discussion on Islam, no rendering of the originally proposed Islamic Center. But gives a timeline of when they acquired and when the decision was made to build in Toronto. Last real news in that thread is from May 2013 when Aga Khan stated that the center was a few years out and the land would be turned in to a "sports complex". I remember they put a fence up and did a little bit of work to clear things up, have a half-ass volleyball court that is in ruins and I never saw used. Really no change there in almost 3 years. they do mow the grass on occasion.

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They lost their property tax exemption, and currently owe 3.5 million dollars in back taxes. 

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How long until the land is condemned then?

Edited by ADCS

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The museum that was built in Toronto is beautiful, but these guys will move at a snails pace. I think the end-result will be much better than a stick-built apartment complex, even if it takes considerably longer.

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7 hours ago, ADCS said:

How long until the land is condemned then?

The Aga Khan Foundation sued HCAD last year claiming that they were erroneously denied an exemption because the land is a youth athletic facility. Really, that's their argument - a volleyball net and some alleged soccer fields make it a youth athletic facility. No telling when it will be resolved. I've never seen anyone using it for youth athletics, and we drive by there on a regular basis.

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That's hilarious. Setting aside my personal belief that all religious organizations should be taxed (seriously, Lakewood and Second Baptist don't pay taxes?), how is one supposed to use those fields. Is there an unlocked gate in the fence that I am unaware of?

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The comments on here are a bit shocking, it seems no one knows how important and prestigious the Aga Khan foundation is....

 

Most of their projects are done by Pitzker Prize winners, including their huge project in Toronto by Fumihiko Maki and the water gardens are by an amazing guy based out of Beirut. People should google but their collections rotate among museums such as The Hermitage in St.Petersburg and the like of the Louvre and it would be amazing for Houston. 

 

It would be a MAJOR gift to have a project of theirs here and the monkeys who probably went to HCC at HCAD probably don't understand that but whatever : ) We'll see what mess this new administration gets us into anyways.

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Whatever. Non-profits don't get to hold vacant land for long periods without paying taxes.

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Monkeys? Really? I wish I had known apes attended classes at those two institutions. Would have made for some great photos!

 

Good ol' Karim loves (and leaves) the ladies and the ponies. I don't know what he does with the ponies when they are past it.

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14 minutes ago, Naviguessor said:

Star Architect chosen.  Something beautiful and Iconic will be amazing here. 

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Ismaili-Muslims-hire-rising-architect-Farshid-13592178.php

The only thing I hate about this article is the "several years" part. I mean it's already been several years lol

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1 hour ago, Urbannizer said:

A look at her work, will definitely be something special

 

https://www.farshidmoussavi.com/

 

Could you imagine something like this when driving down Montrose? I'm excited now.

 

08%20leicester.jpg?itok=0O-ZLJOw

 

..or this...

 

11%20ravensbourne.jpg?itok=NWSViOKb

 

 

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This is great news. I really thought this had just faded into space. I'm happy to see this moving forward and can't wait to see what she comes up with.

Something that the article mentioned and Ive been working onfor the past twenty years,  is connecting the Museum district with Montrose Blvd. down to the Bayou. 

 

I have proposed a special Calatrava bridge at Montrose and an observation tower(Claus Oldenberg Flashlight) with its beam of light shining into space, to  tie Houston to the space exploration. You have to have a flashlight to find your way in the dark, and the energy connection with the beam of light. It would be a great place for an observation tower and restaurant. At Westheimer and Montrose I'd place a roundabout with more art and fountains, and at every major intersection there would be unifying art and lights to bring attention to the great art collections and institutions that find their homes along Montrose. At the other end of the Montrose axis  in Hermann park, where Sam's statue and the obelisk and spire of the zoo building all line up with Montrose, I'd have a sculpture in the middle of Lake McGovern  of the space capsule landing in the water with its parachutes dropping it gently into the lake. That would just tie into the space city theme, and the flashlight at the other end.

This would not only make Montrose the signature Boulevard  it once was, and should be,  and bring recognition to this cities great art institutes.

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24 minutes ago, terra002 said:

So what exactly is this building? Im not familiar with these centers. 

 

TIL:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismaili_Centre

 

The Ismaili Centres are symbolic markers of the permanent presence of the Nizari Ismailis in the countries and regions in which they are established, characterised by the Aga Khan IV as 'ambassadorial buildings'. Each building is architecturally unique and functions as a jamatkhana (place of worship), but also incorporates spaces for social and cultural gatherings, intellectual engagement and reflection, as well as spiritual contemplation. They facilitate mutual exchange and seek to foster understanding between diverse peoples, communities and faiths. Collectively and individually, the Centres represent the Nizari Ismaili community’s intellectual and spiritual understanding of Islam, as well as the community’s social conscience, outlook and attitude towards the societies in which it lives.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, wilcal said:

 

TIL:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ismaili_Centre

 

The Ismaili Centres are symbolic markers of the permanent presence of the Nizari Ismailis in the countries and regions in which they are established, characterised by the Aga Khan IV as 'ambassadorial buildings'. Each building is architecturally unique and functions as a jamatkhana (place of worship), but also incorporates spaces for social and cultural gatherings, intellectual engagement and reflection, as well as spiritual contemplation. They facilitate mutual exchange and seek to foster understanding between diverse peoples, communities and faiths. Collectively and individually, the Centres represent the Nizari Ismaili community’s intellectual and spiritual understanding of Islam, as well as the community’s social conscience, outlook and attitude towards the societies in which it lives.

 

 

 

In other words, for no apparent reason, expect protests against construction of this building.

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Just now, Triton said:

 

In other words, for no apparent reason, expect protests against construction of this building.

 

Hopefully, they'll be limited to the suburbs?

 

But yeah, definitely my initial thoughts 😕

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Why would anyone in the suburbs protest a building in Montrose? Does it not have GFR? 🤣

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So this is that empty patch on Allen Parkway at Montrose, correct? If so,  that's a great spot for something impressive looking. Hope they build it way up above Harvey depth. 

 

People will clutch pearls over anything and broadcast their anxieties for the Kabuki Theater of outrage and counter outrage for everyone to feel good about themselves. I doubt this particular act lasts more than one cycle should the project progress.   

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