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Gable Street Power Station being torn down

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I got this e-mail last week:

Gable Street Station is being demolished without public comment as I speak to thee.

Has anyone had a chance to swing by and grab some photos? Somehow I managed to live three blocks from this place for two years, and never noticed it.

Here's a map:

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Wow. I thought it was supposed to be integrated into the Buffalo Bayou renewal.

This is truly an historic structure; I don't have documentation to back this up, but I believe it was still in service in the early 80's, when I first started working for Houston Light & Power. My understanding is that it supplied DC power for a few downtown buildings which still had DC powered elevators.

edit: will do some research

Edited by dbigtex56

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Are you sure it's demolition? When I drove by it looked like the window areas were being sealed off, like perhaps reno work? I was coming down Elysian so might have missed any demolition signs.

I got this e-mail last week:

Has anyone had a chance to swing by and grab some photos? Somehow I managed to live three blocks from this place for two years, and never noticed it.

Here's a map:

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"Has anyone had a chance to swing by and grab some photos? Somehow I managed to live three blocks from this place for two years, and never noticed it."

I took these in Oct. 09

post-8551-0-57056600-1300366429_thumb.jp

post-8551-0-72927600-1300366485_thumb.jp

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From the article:

CenterPoint cited four reasons for tearing down the facility, much of it focusing on the safety risks.

1. The facility has not been used in more than 25 years and over the years, the facility has become more and more structurally unsound and sustained quite a bit of damage from Hurricane Ike. Currently, it is in danger of collapsing and poses a safety hazard to the public that uses the hike and bike trail alongside the facility,

2. This facility is also located about 25 feet from one of two CenterPoint Energy's electrical substations which feeds power to a large part of downtown Houston. If the building were to collapse, it would impact reliability to this major metropolitan area,

3. The abandoned facility has become a place for the homeless and vagrants to gather and congregate, which is unsafe for them and the surrounding community, and

4. The building cannot be used safely or economically by CenterPoint Energy for future activities.[end quote]

This does not appear to be a building in danger of imminent collapse. Admittedly I am not a structural engineer; but I've seen buildings which appeared to be of less sturdy construction with more evident damage which were salvaged. I was of the impression that some sort of deal had already been struck with Centerpoint; perhaps I was wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

So good. An historic, highly adaptable building of some architectural interest will be replaced with a weed and rubble filled vacant lot. That seems like a doubtful scenic addition to a hike and bike trail.

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From the article:

CenterPoint cited four reasons for tearing down the facility, much of it focusing on the safety risks.

1. The facility has not been used in more than 25 years and over the years, the facility has become more and more structurally unsound and sustained quite a bit of damage from Hurricane Ike. Currently, it is in danger of collapsing and poses a safety hazard to the public that uses the hike and bike trail alongside the facility,

2. This facility is also located about 25 feet from one of two CenterPoint Energy's electrical substations which feeds power to a large part of downtown Houston. If the building were to collapse, it would impact reliability to this major metropolitan area,

3. The abandoned facility has become a place for the homeless and vagrants to gather and congregate, which is unsafe for them and the surrounding community, and

4. The building cannot be used safely or economically by CenterPoint Energy for future activities.[end quote]

This does not appear to be a building in danger of imminent collapse. Admittedly I am not a structural engineer; but I've seen buildings which appeared to be of less sturdy construction with more evident damage which were salvaged. I was of the impression that some sort of deal had already been struck with Centerpoint; perhaps I was wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

So good. An historic, highly adaptable building of some architectural interest will be replaced with a weed and rubble filled vacant lot. That seems like a doubtful scenic addition to a hike and bike trail.

I was tending to agree with you, up until the following except: "Additionally, she said, there is no access into the facility without going through an adjacent electrical substation, which presents a huge safety risk." If accurate, then I don't see how the building would have much of a future except to rot. And admittedly, the aerial photos would seem to indicate that visibility, access, or parking could be a challenge.

Even still, I can't help but think that this was just an unfortunate confluence of the legal and actuarial professions. I do smell a rat.

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Since I had some more extra time on my hands (unfortunately), I took the opportunity to satisfy some more demo-porn for you guys:

th_P1010497.jpg

Obviously, the end of the bike trail on this side...

th_P1010498.jpg

I guess they figured it was tough to do a wide turn on a bike....or some of the more obese walkers.

th_P1010499.jpg

th_P1010500.jpg

I have to agree, there was nothing that could have been done with this building because of it's inaccessibility. Notice the equipment within the building.

th_P1010501.jpg

th_P1010503.jpg

From a distance, I admired this small building...

th_P1010504.jpg

But as I got closer, I could see this poor thing was doomed as well.

th_P1010505.jpg

The only thing i can think that it could be used as is a relief station for patrolling officers, or even a remote station with cameras to maintain a watch over this secluded station, the homeless people in the park across the street, and the safety of any of the more adventurous joggers/walkers using this stretch.

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