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Incarnate Word Academy

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20 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

I have walked by this several times.  It's ugly.  It looks like a U-store-it location.  The nuns should be embarrassed and the architect should be mortified.

 

 

 

motivator-mortification.jpg&f=1

 

Flagellation gets my vote.  For the architect, not me. 

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I hope the nuns have to say a thousand hell mary's for destroying the Nicholas Clayton for this piece of crap.

Get the ruler. They need to pay penance for this.

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In fairness, the blue will turn gray before it's done, slightly improving it, but yes, it is still hideous.

 

The only way it could be even remotely saved at this point is to repaint it in the colors of the Westin to be a little less jarring and fit in better with the 500 Crawford apartments and the stadium.

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It's so bad in so many ways:  the cheap-looking orange panels, the oddly shaped towers, the mix of round and rectangular windows, the cheap concrete panel construction, etc.  When I see things like this I always wonder how it made it through the design process without someone crying "Stop!  This is really hideous!"

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I mentioned the Nicholas Clayton being razed for this travesty a month or two ago. Regardless of the state of the Clayton, this is a terrible replacement for a nice piece of existing architecture. I find it sad.

 

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Everyone take a deep breath!    The first choice was to renovate the Clayton building.   The architects came back with a plan to include 4 classrooms and some office space.  That was the best they could do with the interior of the existing building.    It simply did not meet the current and future needs of the school. 

 

Check out the plan for the new building:

 

https://uploads.strikinglycdn.com/files/e3bb2996-8287-4384-9142-b16390aec3a8/Campus Map.pdf

  

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My disappointment with  this plan is that they could have left the Clayton building and eventually restored it for posterity and its historical value, and added a building as large as what they are constructing now on the northeast corner of their property where they have placed the old house that sits neglected. I just think that they rushed into this without truly seeking the best solution. Think how nice it would have been to have a repurposed Nicholas Clayton building as a visitors building in the new convention district. I'm sure it would have been a popular spot for visitors.

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You can just tell this building is going to age terribly. It doesn't even look like the right decade now!

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They also could have kept the Clayton facade and built something completely new behind it. Or, hey, just build something new that isn't hideously ugly. The idea that this monstrosity was their best option is absurd.

 

 

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7 hours ago, bobruss said:

My disappointment with  this plan is that they could have left the Clayton building and eventually restored it for posterity and its historical value, and added a building as large as what they are constructing now on the northeast corner of their property where they have placed the old house that sits neglected. I just think that they rushed into this without truly seeking the best solution. Think how nice it would have been to have a repurposed Nicholas Clayton building as a visitors building in the new convention district. I'm sure it would have been a popular spot for visitors.

The nuns (and to a much larger extent, the Church) don't really care what you, or me, or anyone else thinks. There were, and may still be, plans to tear down the old co-cathedral building. Once the Church decides a building doesn't meet the needs any longer, it's likely to go away. They are in the business of saving souls, not architecture.

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10 hours ago, Ross said:

The nuns (and to a much larger extent, the Church) don't really care what you, or me, or anyone else thinks. 

Such a pity that an institution that draws is legitimacy, funding and, frankly it's very existence from the community in which it resides won't, in your view, listen to the preservationists and urbanists from that same community.  In your view, has the Christian Church become that distant and uncaring of the community to which it is a part?

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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...and the city gave the church the old historic home, to use.  Well, after it is used, for however long they are required to maintain it, there is no doubt in my mind what will happen to that part of our cities architectural history. B'bye! 

These structures just become old, disposable buildings. But who can blame them.  They are not concerned about the soul of the herd...just the souls of the sheep. 

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Window awnings on southern exposure in Houston's climate make perfect sense.  What I don't get is the point of having orange window awnings, except as an homage to mini-storage buildings.  

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No the 15 year old with legos wouldn't bother to color coordinate all the bricks, so it would end up looking like this

loos-fm-lego-church-temporary-space-6.jp

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2 hours ago, Purdueenginerd said:

This building just seems like the owner hired a 15 year old with legos as the architect. I agree with the notion that it already looks dated. 

 

 

All the nuns care about is whether it's a good building for providing a college preparatory education to girls.

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On 12/15/2016 at 1:21 PM, Texasota said:

They also could have kept the Clayton facade and built something completely new behind it. Or, hey, just build something new that isn't hideously ugly. The idea that this monstrosity was their best option is absurd.

 

 

They do that in many other cities. 

Don't know why some act like NOTHING can be done to preserve some architectural history or that there is no value in spending more to building anything nice. 

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12 minutes ago, HoustonIsHome said:

They do that in many other cities. 

Don't know why some act like NOTHING can be done to preserve some architectural history or that there is no value in spending more to building anything nice. 

 

Therein lies the rub. There is no value in spending more to build something "nice" if you don't have the money to do so. I would imagine if some kind soul with a strong interest in preservation had offered the nuns a plan AND a massive infusion of cash, they would have considered it.

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19 minutes ago, HoustonIsHome said:

They do that in many other cities. 

Don't know why some act like NOTHING can be done to preserve some architectural history or that there is no value in spending more to building anything nice. 

It's easy to spend someone else's money. When it's your money, the priorities often change. If you don't have enough money to build something nice, or you have other uses for the cash that something nice would consume, then you build something that gets the job done.

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And it's perfectly fair to criticize an organization's priorities and not just accept their claim that this was their only option. This could have been the kind of project o generate good publicity AND donations to make something better possible, but I'm not aware of any attempts to do that. 

 

In an earlier post, you said they were in the "business of saving souls," but no, they're really not. They have responsibilities to the community in line with their status as a non-profit AND as an organ of a major church. If they are, in reality, in "the business" of anything at all then they have failed that responsibility. 

Edited by Texasota
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54 minutes ago, Texasota said:

And it's perfectly fair to criticize an organization's priorities and not just accept their claim that this was their only option. This could have been the kind of project o generate good publicity AND donations to make something better possible, but I'm not aware of any attempts to do that. 

 

In an earlier post, you said they were in the "business of saving souls," but no, they're really not. They have responsibilities to the community in line with their status as a non-profit AND as an organ of a major church. If they are, in reality, in "the business" of anything at all then they have failed that responsibility. 

The nuns have zero obligation to satisfy your personal esthetic values with respect to what their buildings look like. Their non-profit purpose is not to further the goals of architecture mavens, in this case it is to provide religious based education to girls. I assume they are fulfilling that role.

 

Perhaps the next time this comes up, you can lead the fund raising effort and convince the next group to "save" the building. I'm perfectly happy for that to happen - I actually like cool old buildings. I am not happy when people with no stake in the project, other than personal esthetic preferences, try to tell people what to do with their property.

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My personal aesthetic values? First of all, I'm clearly not the only person who finds this thing a massive aesthetic downgrade. Secondly, this is more than that; this is about maintaining our history and a city we can all be proud of. Yes, i actually believe we all have a responsibility to our neighbors and community.

 

Thirdly, I have every right to criticize someone else's decisions, just as you have every right to criticize my arguments. What I don't appreciate is your statement that somehow, because I have no personal direct FINANCIAL stake in this property, that I have no stake at all or shouldn't criticize.  

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The sad part about this is that this was the only remaining Clayton building in Houston, at least that I'm aware of. The good news is you don't have to travel far to see some of his best works in Galveston, or Dallas or Austin (grrrr). 

I feel differently about this demolition than I did the Lancaster demolitions. This building was built for and has always belonged to Incarnate Word, so it's ultimately up to them. Their number 1 mission is to provide a high school education to girls and they require the necessary facilities to do so. 

In the case of the Lancaster, they bought the two historic buildings much later on, most likely with the initial intention of expansion or additional parking. They also have made a name for themselves as historic preservationists,  which seems pretty hollow in the wake of demolishing the two neighboring century old buildings.

Edited by Sunstar
Grammatical error

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2 hours ago, Sunstar said:

The sad part about this is that this was the only remaining Clayton building in Houston, at least that I'm aware of. The good news is you don't have to travel far to see some of his best works in Galveston, or Dallas or Austin (grrrr). 

I feel differently about this demolition than I did the Lancaster demolitions. This building was built for and has always belonged to Incarnate Word, so it's ultimately up to them. Their number 1 mission is to provide a high school education to girls and they require the necessary facilities to do so. 

In the case of the Lancaster, they bought the two historic buildings much later on, most likely with the initial intention of expansion or additional parking. They also have made a name for themselves as historic preservationists,  which seems pretty hollow in the wake of demolishing the two neighboring century old buildings.

 

The Lancaster has made a name alright. A pretty bad name. Whatever good they had done is erased by their awful decision to remove the buildings. I have told everyone I know to ignore that hotel. The only gratification I can get now, referring to them, is the knowledge I have deterred some of their business. I hope they fold up shop, honestly. I have little patience when it comes to destroying our city's valuable architectural history.

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1 hour ago, Avossos said:

 

The Lancaster has made a name alright. A pretty bad name. Whatever good they had done is erased by their awful decision to remove the buildings. I have told everyone I know to ignore that hotel. The only gratification I can get now, referring to them, is the knowledge I have deterred some of their business. I hope they fold up shop, honestly. I have little patience when it comes to destroying our city's valuable architectural history.

So, you are against property rights and the ability of an owner to utilize property in a manner that best suits his needs? Why do you think your opinion is superior to the property owner's?

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5 hours ago, Texasota said:

My personal aesthetic values? First of all, I'm clearly not the only person who finds this thing a massive aesthetic downgrade. Secondly, this is more than that; this is about maintaining our history and a city we can all be proud of. Yes, i actually believe we all have a responsibility to our neighbors and community.

 

Thirdly, I have every right to criticize someone else's decisions, just as you have every right to criticize my arguments. What I don't appreciate is your statement that somehow, because I have no personal direct FINANCIAL stake in this property, that I have no stake at all or shouldn't criticize.  

Feel free to criticize, but unless you are willing to put your own money out there to preserve a property that belongs to someone else, your criticism rings hollow. As I've said before, it is very easy to use someone else's money to achieve a goal you favor, it's much harder to commit yourself to paying a potentially uneconomic price to achieve that goal. I recall the hate shown to Gulf Publishing when they decided to demolish their building on Allen Parkway and sell it for a highrise, but like they said, they were not willing to spend $3 million, or $10 million, whatever it was, to create a building worth $1 million. You can say "it would have only cost (name of owner here) $x more to preserve the building", but where's that money supposed to come from?

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9 minutes ago, Ross said:

So, you are against property rights and the ability of an owner to utilize property in a manner that best suits his needs? Why do you think your opinion is superior to the property owner's?

 

I don't think my opinion is superior. The greater good for the community / the community's best interest many times don't align with a property owner's decision. This is why historic districts exist / protected landmarks / etc. It is normal for a city to dictate development with restrictions, protections, zoning, etc.

 

I am not sure what you would like from us or if you just want to fight. I (we) don't agree with you. There are always options. They chose to destroy history and I will never agree with it. The building they have built will never be a significant part of Houston architecturally. God knows if they are even around in 30 years. I will remind you this is an architecture forum. Happy NY Ross.

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2 hours ago, Avossos said:

 

The Lancaster has made a name alright. A pretty bad name. Whatever good they had done is erased by their awful decision to remove the buildings. I have told everyone I know to ignore that hotel. The only gratification I can get now, referring to them, is the knowledge I have deterred some of their business. I hope they fold up shop, honestly. I have little patience when it comes to destroying our city's valuable architectural history.

As I have said earlier in this thread,  it is an utter pity that a Church, which draws all of its constituancy, legitimacy, (and its entire reason for being), from the local community, does not consult that same community to gather input on a building the Church wishes to demolish and then build fresh.  It shows a level of disengagement that will ultimately lead to further marginalization of the Church.  

 

Ross, you can take your argument of "Property Rights" and shunt it into the Dustbin of Dogma.  This is not about "property rights". It's rather about an organization that should know that it's ability to survive is grounded in its ability to engage in civic and civil dialog --- especially around historic preservation (literary and otherwise) which has been central to the fiber of it's being for centuries.  Any community organization that is unwilling to simply LISTEN, hear, and after hearing and considering all, act as it believes it should, is an organization that is deeply flawed.

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6 hours ago, kbates2 said:

Put Ross on ignore, makes everything better.

 

I've been on this board from before it was even this board and he's the only one I've put on ignore.

 

That said, someone quoted him and I am LOLing about his "PROPERTY RIGHTS" argument. It's so tired. And when it comes to an organization that pays NO taxes, I don't think it really works that well...

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Putting someone on ignore kind of defeats the purpose of a discussion board. It turns it into a circlejerk of like opinions where you pat each other on the back and marvel over what wonderful chaps and lasses you are.

 

You are all entitled to your opinion on this, and every other subject, just as you're entitled to argue with a differing opinion. If you don't want to hear differing opinions, I suggest you lock yourself in the airing cupboard and have at it.

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14 hours ago, KinkaidAlum said:

 

I've been on this board from before it was even this board and he's the only one I've put on ignore.

 

That said, someone quoted him and I am LOLing about his "PROPERTY RIGHTS" argument. It's so tired. And when it comes to an organization that pays NO taxes, I don't think it really works that well...

What does paying taxes have to do with property rights? Are you seriously arguing that because we grant certain property owners an exemption from taxes they should lose their rights? That's mushy thinking. One has nothing to do with the other.

 

Property rights is a tired argument? OK, how about anti-discrimination rights. Those are pretty tired too, let's ignore them. Freedom of speech is so tired now, and it's and to let someone rile up others with certain speech, let's ignore that as well, and only allow speech that we agree with.

 

I think I've said that I like cool old buildings, and am happy for them to stay. However, I am against using the police power of the City, State, or Country to enforce someone's aesthetic ideals to the detriment of the property owner, especially when the rules are changed midstream, as happened with the historic district ordinances.

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15 hours ago, Avossos said:

 

I don't think my opinion is superior. The greater good for the community / the community's best interest many times don't align with a property owner's decision. This is why historic districts exist / protected landmarks / etc. It is normal for a city to dictate development with restrictions, protections, zoning, etc.

 

I am not sure what you would like from us or if you just want to fight. I (we) don't agree with you. There are always options. They chose to destroy history and I will never agree with it. The building they have built will never be a significant part of Houston architecturally. God knows if they are even around in 30 years. I will remind you this is an architecture forum. Happy NY Ross.

What I want is for people to realize "it ain't about you". The restrictions and limitations you want to impose on property owners come with real costs that may not be acceptable to the property owner. Sure, the nuns could have avoided demolition, but could they afford it and still achieve their goal of educating girls? Who pays the extra costs to retain the old building? Is there an unlimited well of money to keep old buildings from being razed? It may surprise you, but I have donated many times to funds to maintain or save old buildings in various parts of the world, especially gothic cathedrals. But that's what the owners of those structures wanted. Would you donate to save an old building?

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3 hours ago, Ross said:

What I want is for people to realize "it ain't about you". The restrictions and limitations you want to impose on property owners come with real costs that may not be acceptable to the property owner. Sure, the nuns could have avoided demolition, but could they afford it and still achieve their goal of educating girls? Who pays the extra costs to retain the old building? Is there an unlimited well of money to keep old buildings from being razed? It may surprise you, but I have donated many times to funds to maintain or save old buildings in various parts of the world, especially gothic cathedrals. But that's what the owners of those structures wanted. Would you donate to save an old building?

 

Yes. And I have.

 

Do I get to have an opinion now?

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56 minutes ago, Texasota said:

Yes. And I have.

 

Do I get to have an opinion now?

I have Also donated my meager funds to specific preservation projects.  Ross's "Holier than Thou" question does little good in supporting his "property rights" thesis.  This is not about donations.  Nor is this about property rights.  Rather this has everything to do with community engagement for a community organization (the Church).

 

let me describe what I think as an acceptable process:

 

1) church hires pros to see how the building can be modified to meet its needs.  Costs are determined. Including the cost to demolish and build new.

2) costs and vision are presented to the community at a couple of public meetings.

3) conclusion of church is presented too :  demolish 

4) discussion with community happens, alternatives may be proposed.  Perhaps sources of money found (perhaps not).

5) in the end the Church, after listening and hearing, makes the best decision it can and either refurbs or demolishes.

 

This entire process might take 3 months.  If new ideas worth considering arise, maybe longer.   at the end of the process, the Church will have fulfilled its mission:  to be a part of and engage with the community from which it derives its legitimacy.  Simple.  But, to my knowledge, that didn't happen here.

 

 

 

 

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That's my understanding as well. The process here is what seems particularly worth questioning.

 

 

Edited by Texasota

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On ‎12‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 11:53 AM, Ross said:

The nuns have zero obligation to satisfy your personal esthetic values with respect to what their buildings look like. Their non-profit purpose is not to further the goals of architecture mavens, in this case it is to provide religious based education to girls. I assume they are fulfilling that role.

 

Perhaps the next time this comes up, you can lead the fund raising effort and convince the next group to "save" the building. I'm perfectly happy for that to happen - I actually like cool old buildings. I am not happy when people with no stake in the project, other than personal esthetic preferences, try to tell people what to do with their property.

**STANDING ON CHAIR AND APPLAUDING!**

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21 hours ago, UtterlyUrban said:

I have Also donated my meager funds to specific preservation projects.  Ross's "Holier than Thou" question does little good in supporting his "property rights" thesis.  This is not about donations.  Nor is this about property rights.  Rather this has everything to do with community engagement for a community organization (the Church).

 

let me describe what I think as an acceptable process:

 

1) church hires pros to see how the building can be modified to meet its needs.  Costs are determined. Including the cost to demolish and build new.

2) costs and vision are presented to the community at a couple of public meetings.

3) conclusion of church is presented too :  demolish 

4) discussion with community happens, alternatives may be proposed.  Perhaps sources of money found (perhaps not).

5) in the end the Church, after listening and hearing, makes the best decision it can and either refurbs or demolishes.

 

This entire process might take 3 months.  If new ideas worth considering arise, maybe longer.   at the end of the process, the Church will have fulfilled its mission:  to be a part of and engage with the community from which it derives its legitimacy.  Simple.  But, to my knowledge, that didn't happen here.

 

 

 

 

So now you are saying a church that doesn't engage with the community as a whole is not legitimate? That's hilarious. And utterly wrong. A church doesn't need your approbation to be legitimate.

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54 minutes ago, Ross said:

So now you are saying a church that doesn't engage with the community as a whole is not legitimate? That's hilarious. And utterly wrong. A church doesn't need your approbation to be legitimate.

Such a pity.

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