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Highway6

Agora

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For those of you that live too far away to hear the dozen fire engines scream by at 1230 this morning... The antique store next door to Agora burned to the ground last night and it seriously damaged the upper half of Agora.

I grabbed a few snapshots on the way to get bagels this morning; Houston press has a slide show of photos from last night...

P1110471.jpg

P1110472.jpg

Edited by Highway6
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Wow, I was there the night before, hanging out and studying for a few hours! This was one of my favourite coffeeshops and places to relax; Brasil across the street is nice, but usually too loud, and had a much less intimate atmosphere than Agora. I hope they are going to rebuild!

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Will the bldg setbacks remain if they have to pull reconstruction permits?

My understanding is that so long as there's a original wall remaining, the existing footprint of the building is grandfathered.

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My understanding is that so long as there's a original wall remaining, the existing footprint of the building is grandfathered.

That didn't work for that building in the, I think, 1700 block of Shepherd. It's still a non-complying slab.

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That didn't work for that building in the, I think, 1700 block of Shepherd. It's still a non-complying slab.

In that case I think the only remnents of the origional building was the wooden front facade propped up to , I assume, grandfather the old footprint. I think even the slab itself was new.

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In that case I think the only remnents of the origional building was the wooden front facade propped up to , I assume, grandfather the old footprint. I think even the slab itself was new.

You are correct. It's been sitting there as a slab for what, 5 years or more?

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I think the inspectors or building dept. made a judgment call on that one. The builders obvious intent was not to save the building just the origional setback.

Edited by west20th

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how far does the setback have to be, and would the patio in front be included in that? I always thought it was 15' from the street to the front of the building, and it seemed like the building complied with that, just the patio was right next to the sidewalk?

also, I haven't had a chance to swing by yet (maybe ride my bike over there on Saturday) but did the foliage over the front patio (trees, shrubs and ivy) survive?

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Most of the foliage appear to have survived. The owner has already replaced the roof and seems to be aggressively putting the place back together. I fantasize that they will make some deal with the antique shop ower and expand their pation, but i am dreaming.

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Most of the foliage appear to have survived. The owner has already replaced the roof and seems to be aggressively putting the place back together. I fantasize that they will make some deal with the antique shop ower and expand their pation, but i am dreaming.

yeah, that is dreaming, thinking of that gives me visions of a patio like what spider house in austin has, lush vegetation, some water features, and quiet. well, relative with Westheimer right there. would be neat.

Edited by samagon

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I heard a really nice rumor that they will be re-opening this Saturday!

I will be there.

I won't but am very glad to hear this. This type of place is an example of what this city is all about. Funky, colorful and, for those who lean towards the historic, this type of reuse is the best you can hope for in most cases. Hope the antique guy made out ok as well. He had some intersting items in that rathole.

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Opening this weekend?

Well the owner did say this past Monday (Jan 3) that it would be soon but I though he said a few/couple of weeks. It was looking good but bare that afternoon.

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Opening this weekend?

Well the owner did say this past Monday (Jan 3) that it would be soon but I though he said a few/couple of weeks. It was looking good but bare that afternoon.

Yeah, idk for sure, was just a rumor I heard. I'm going to swing by regardless.

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didn't have time to stop by, but I did get a chance to drive by and I saw cars parked in the back, and people inside, could have been people working on setting things up though.

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Deja Vu all over again.

They have westheimer blocked off between dunlavey and park - about 3 fire engines along with numerous police and mobility response vehicles present.

WESTHEIMER RD BLK PARK ST492V07/26/2011 06:13Building Fire1 E508, L016, E007, E016, A016, E008, RH017, ARS759, ARS750, ARS760

EDIT:

ABC13 - it's at the art gallery next door to Agora.....

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8271219

Edited by Highway6

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wow, dear Agora, this is a sign, move to the east end.

seriously though, that's pretty crazy.

if it wasn't an insurance job, it was probably 'faulty wiring' rotten wood had made parts of the attic accessible to pigeons, it's been that way for at least 3 years. I'd see them climb in and out of the attic through that hole the whole time, there was probably enough pigeon poop up there that it would have collapsed soon anyway. Will have to go by there tomorrow to see.

edit: found this: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/dpp/news/local/110726-galerie-mado-chalvet-fire

Edited by samagon

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I just saw this thread today and read it all and it motivated me to finally sign up.

My grandparents owned 2502 Park and 1703 Westheimer back in the late 30's/early 40's. They lived on Park and my grandfather ran a battery shop out of the Westheimer address. I believe it was called C&C Batteries or something like that. They owned it till his health declined and then sold it and moved to Madisonville.

Shame that their old place burned down. Haven't been down that part of Westheimer in quite a while so I had no idea.

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