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The Kirby Mansion: 15-Story High-Rise @Brazos/Gray

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8 minutes ago, Avossos said:

I will chain myself to this beauty before I let this get torn down willingly...

 

I learned my lesson with that crappy hotel by the Alley Theater... It got some of it's due justice... being flooded... Although the family who ran it and sold it may not have been affected. I don't know how they can sleep at night.

 

I imagine they sleep just fine on their mattresses filled with money.

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4 minutes ago, HNathoo said:

 

I imagine they sleep just fine on their mattresses filled with money.

 

they are using the money to buy drugs to numb their conscious 

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The Kirbys took in a cousin of mine that was abandoned by her mother and raised her as their own. If I owned this place and could make more money by pushing it down and building a high rise or selling it to someone else to do the same thing I would. Keeping this building is going to cause someone to lose a lot of money. I wouldn't sacrifice a few million for other people to be able to drive by and say "Neat... an old house."  You'd have to pay me for that luxury. 

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Looks like the appraised value is about $4 million. I bet it will go for more. If we want to see how much people really care about this building someone should start a fund raiser to buy it. That’s the perfect mechanism for finding out if people really care or if they just like to b**ch.

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23 minutes ago, jgriff said:

Looks like the appraised value is about $4 million. I bet it will go for more. If we want to see how much people really care about this building someone should start a fund raiser to buy it. That’s the perfect mechanism for finding out if people really care or if they just like to b**ch.

I think you're missing the actual point. This has nothing to do with just some house. This is a foundation piece of the city. With so many empty blocks surrounding this property, why does it have to be this one to be threatened by another developer? When you destroy every little thing a city is made of, it's like building a new city every time and you begin to lose who you are. Houston is just now starting to build smarter but great cities add to what they have, they don't destroy what they have in hopes of the grass being greener on the other side, because it isn't. You lose history which is very important. 

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Diaspora - is that who's buying it? I imagine they are relocating from their Main @ McGowen site and selling it to a multi-family developer?

 

cuevas - don't feed the trolls.

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, jgriff said:

The Kirbys took in a cousin of mine that was abandoned by her mother and raised her as their own. If I owned this place and could make more money by pushing it down and building a high rise or selling it to someone else to do the same thing I would. Keeping this building is going to cause someone to lose a lot of money. I wouldn't sacrifice a few million for other people to be able to drive by and say "Neat... an old house."  You'd have to pay me for that luxury. 

You can apply that same logic to national parks. Should we cut down all the trees in Yellow Stone and start strip mining the land to make more money? Why not tear down the Esperson building down town and replace it with some soulless glass box that will surly be more profitable? 

Edited by jmitch94

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I'm all for historical preservation, and in fact I've worked on projects/repairs at the Esperson building. I have a nice set of the architectual drawings Ive been trying to restore. 

 

Anyway, I dont really find your national parks and city architecture metaphor to be equitable. Perhaps youre being intentionally hyperbolic, and thats fine. In my opinion, with cities I think theres a balance between preservation/restoration/and demolition/new construction. This balance allows a city to remain dynamic, competitive, and grow. 

 

To be fair, I'm speaking a little bit of ignorance here. I'm aware of the Kirby Mansion. However, I'm unfamiliar with the historical significance. My opinions on that specific building are neutral at best. 

Edited by Purdueenginerd

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36 rooms.... could make a really cool independent boutique hotel for the midtown hotspots. Lots of cities have tiny but very desirable hotels in the city center.

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I really hate that the Kirby Mansion is in danger ........and regret that some one at COH didn’t come up with the idea years ago that Houston may have been ready for a Mayoral official residence. I think I remember Lee Brown toyed with that idea.

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Why can't a non-profit buy this for their offices? No taxes to pay since they'e a non-profit, great for employee retention. My cousin works for a non-profit in Boston that offices in an old mansion. Where are the creative people in this town? There's a huge upsurge of interest in living and working in central Houston as well as growing appreciation for history, but you still have these little episodes that remind you of the old, philistine Houston.

Edited by H-Town Man

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http://swamplot.com/midtown-kirby-mansion-sold-to-midtown-car-dealership-owner/2018-08-20/

 

Quote

The Tudor-revival mansion that sits along the bend in I-45 at 2000 Smith St. has been sold to the owner of several car dealerships, including Central Houston Nissan on the S. Loop off the S. Main/Buffalo Spdwy. exit and Central Houston Cadillac off McGowen St. between Travis and Main. Prior to the closing earlier this month, Preservation Houston reported that the buyer didn’t plan to keep the house standing.

Nine blocks away from it, the new owner Ricardo Weitz also has all 3 of the parking lots that surround his Cadillac dealership to the north, east, and west. He purchased the mansion through an entity he owns called Central Houston Auto Properties II.

 

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4 minutes ago, Timoric said:

What if we get this?

1.jpg

 

So what? There are plenty of other empty Midtown lots such a project could be built on. 

 

Tearing down the Kirby Mansion is downright criminal. The “historic preservation” in this city is completely laughable at this point. 

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On ‎6‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 6:42 AM, trymahjong said:

I really hate that the Kirby Mansion is in danger ........and regret that some one at COH didn’t come up with the idea years ago that Houston may have been ready for a Mayoral official residence. I think I remember Lee Brown toyed with that idea.

I agree, like the Gracie Mansion in New York City, the Kirby Mansion could serve as the "official residence" of the mayor. That doesn't mean he or she has to  sleep there but it would be wonderful for official receptions, special ceremonies, and visiting dignitaries' overnight visits.

 

IIRC, former New York mayor, Ed Koch (a bachelor at the time) was the only NYC mayor in modern times to actually reside in the Gracie Mansion. I doubt Michael Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, or Bill de Blasio even considered living there.

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Houston does have some benefactors that do nice things for the city, seems too bad one of them didn't act before a car dealer.

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Forty, thirty, even twenty years ago it made sense to have auto dealerships in Midtown. There was a lot of vacant land and not much demand for it.
They have definitely worn out their welcome. Surface parking lots are bad enough, but at least they provide a service to the community. I don't care if they are Cadillacs and BMWs - they're eyesores, and dead spots in one of the few walkable neighborhoods in Houston. 
And now some douchebag thinks he needs to demolish one of the most unique, historic, and beautiful houses in Houston to provide parking for even more of his yahoo-wagons? 
(BTW, I'm already aware that Houston has no zoning laws, that people have the right to do with their property what they wish, that it's all about the Benjamins, etc. Save it.)

edit: Let's not forget that Midtown Advantage BMW demolished the Rice mansion (Beyoncé's house) just last year. Has this turned into some sort of bizarre contest?

Edited by dbigtex56
add info

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What a feature this gorgeous, one of a kind, old home would make, once the Pierce Elevated is removed.  It is distressing to think that a car dealership will have such a prominent location along the new Pierce Parkway...or whatever it will be.  It's "F"ed up. 

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Maybe the silver lining is that the dealerships will start building vertical, freeing up many blocks of prime real estate in midtown for development.

 

I don't think these guys paid what they (probably $100+psf) to build a surface lot.

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Are you saying this like it would be a good thing?

 

No, just mixing car dealer and sort of high rise, I actually drive by this thing sometimes in my area, it is a car vending machine

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This is the original house of John Henry Kirby? There was a remodel I read.

 

Edit:

Quote

The mansion was built in 1894 by businessman J.S. Price and was sold to lumber magnate John Henry Kirby two years later. Kirby remodeled and enlarged the house twice; the second remodeling, an extensive addition and reconstruction designed by architect James Ruskin Bailey and completed in 1926, resulted in the 36-room Tudor Revival-style building that stands today.

http://www.preservationhouston.org/news/2018/6/20/kirby-mansion-in-midtown-could-be-demolished

Edited by ekdrm2d1

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11 hours ago, Specwriter said:

I agree, like the Gracie Mansion in New York City, the Kirby Mansion could serve as the "official residence" of the mayor. That doesn't mean he or she has to  sleep there but it would be wonderful for official receptions, special ceremonies, and visiting dignitaries' overnight visits.

 

IIRC, former New York mayor, Ed Koch (a bachelor at the time) was the only NYC mayor in modern times to actually reside in the Gracie Mansion. I doubt Michael Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, or Bill de Blasio even considered living there.

 

Bloomberg was the only NYC mayor in recent history who did not live in Gracie Mansion. De Blasio and his family live there now (although I believe they kept their house in Park Slope and rented it out). 

 

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/gracie/about/about.page

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39 minutes ago, mkultra25 said:

 

Bloomberg was the only NYC mayor in recent history who did not live in Gracie Mansion. De Blasio and his family live there now (although I believe they kept their house in Park Slope and rented it out). 

 

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/gracie/about/about.pageI sho

 

Thanks for the clarification. I guess my recollection is not very good. :(  When the mansion was built in 1799 by Archibald Gracie it was five miles from "town."

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On 8/21/2018 at 9:53 AM, Specwriter said:

I agree, like the Gracie Mansion in New York City, the Kirby Mansion could serve as the "official residence" of the mayor. That doesn't mean he or she has to  sleep there but it would be wonderful for official receptions, special ceremonies, and visiting dignitaries' overnight visits.

 

IIRC, former New York mayor, Ed Koch (a bachelor at the time) was the only NYC mayor in modern times to actually reside in the Gracie Mansion. I doubt Michael Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, or Bill de Blasio even considered living there.

 

 

 

The Kirby Mansion is a jewel that could shine for Houston—It would be great if more people got behind the idea of “official residence”—— too bad there isn’t a milestone celebration( like Houston’s 200th birthday (instead of 182th) that could gather momentum to save the mansion. But maybe someone with deep pockets can come to rescue.

 

LOL—Giuliani did  live in Gracie Mansion. Back in the height of his marriage troubles’, his wife took out a restraining order against his girl friend to prevent her from entering Gracie Mansion.

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15 hours ago, trymahjong said:

LOL—Giuliani did  live in Gracie Mansion. Back in the height of his marriage troubles’, his wife took out a restraining order against his girl friend to prevent her from entering Gracie Mansion.

Best people :huh:

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On 8/21/2018 at 9:53 AM, Specwriter said:

I agree, like the Gracie Mansion in New York City, the Kirby Mansion could serve as the "official residence" of the mayor. That doesn't mean he or she has to  sleep there but it would be wonderful for official receptions, special ceremonies, and visiting dignitaries' overnight visits.

 

IIRC, former New York mayor, Ed Koch (a bachelor at the time) was the only NYC mayor in modern times to actually reside in the Gracie Mansion. I doubt Michael Bloomberg, Rudy Giuliani, or Bill de Blasio even considered living there.

 

I too would love for this building to be saved and possibly even used as a focal point for whatever replaces the Pierce Elevated.

 

As for Gracie Mansion, I'm not sure what you mean "in modern times", but it has only been the mayoral official residence since the 1940s. though George Washington did have a command headquarters there for a while in another building near the site. And, as far as my memory goes, all mayors (including DeBlasio now) have lived there - except for Bloomberg. The City took advantage of that opportunity by doing extensive renovation and modernization during that relative downtime. The building was still used for official functions during the 12 years of Mayor Mike.

 

And, while a car dealer owner has apparently bought the site, and owns lots of other property around the area, why is everyone just assuming it'll be a car dealership? He (they?) are business people and may be positioning themselves to take advantage of the increasing interest in Midtown. As an aside, much of the high rise development on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River is owned and operated by a trucking magnate who just happened to own a lot of waterfront property when the waterfront was 'rediscovered'. Suddenly he realized that he was also now in the real estate development business. Now it is all highrises and new parks and homes.

 

And Ed "How am I doing" Koch, was never married.

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16 hours ago, trymahjong said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Kirby Mansion is a jewel that could shine for Houston—It would be great if more people got behind the idea of “official residence”—— too bad there isn’t a milestone celebration( like Houston’s 200th birthday (instead of 182th) that could gather momentum to save the mansion. But maybe someone with deep pockets can come to rescue.

 

LOL—Giuliani did  live in Gracie Mansion. Back in the height of his marriage troubles’, his wife took out a restraining order against his girl friend to prevent her from entering Gracie Mansion.

 

Kind of a cool idea, but the folks on AM 700 would howl and holler 'til kingdom come if the city paid millions of dollars to buy a mansion for the mayor to live in. Look what a brouhaha it generated when they paid like $40,000 for a nice desk to go into the lobby of City Hall. And that is a public lobby that forms a first impression of our city government to visitors and special guests.

 

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3 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

 

Kind of a cool idea, but the folks on AM 700 would howl and holler 'til kingdom come if the city paid millions of dollars to buy a mansion for the mayor to live in. Look what a brouhaha it generated when they paid like $40,000 for a nice desk to go into the lobby of City Hall. And that is a public lobby that forms a first impression of our city government to visitors and special guests.

 

 

Not a talk radio listener, but I say, make the dignitaries go out to that forsaken municipal courthouse building in Alief to which I was summoned for jury duty if they spent all of the drainage tax money before getting to pretty lobby furniture. 

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1 hour ago, Nate99 said:

 

Not a talk radio listener, but I say, make the dignitaries go out to that forsaken municipal courthouse building in Alief to which I was summoned for jury duty if they spent all of the drainage tax money before getting to pretty lobby furniture. 

 

This was a long time ago, different city department, etc. The lobby at City Hall belongs to everyone in Houston. Anyone with interest in the matter should walk into it sometime and get familiar with the place.

 

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Back in the late 80's and early nineties a friend of mine owned the building and officed there with his brother. They were oil and gas brokers doing very well at the time and then things went south and they sold the building. I had a chance to visit him several times and was always impressed with how beautiful it was.

 

Once the Pierce elevated comes down I could see this becoming a focal point for the area as possibly a boutique hotel or some kind of  civic building. Just for the architectural preservation and the history behind the early owners is enough to make some kind of effort to save this building.

I thought we had made huge strides in the last five years with the amazing number of conversions of old edifices into hotels and rentals. 

I counted almost ten projects that had been repurposed from old buildings and I thought that maybe developers had started to see the forest for the trees.

The fact of the matter is  some just don't give a damn and all that matters to them is how much money they will make.

I'd love to hear from the new owner on whether he is speculating or has some master plan for the area.

I was really disheartened to hear he owns the blocks around his dealership. Does that mean that he owns the lot where Mongoose and Cobra is?

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18 hours ago, trymahjong said:

 

The Kirby Mansion is a jewel that could shine for Houston—It would be great if more people got behind the idea of “official residence”—— too bad there isn’t a milestone celebration( like Houston’s 200th birthday (instead of 182th) that could gather momentum to save the mansion. But maybe someone with deep pockets can come to rescue.

This isn't SimCity where you get a Mayor's House as a first goal...if it was, I bet you I could bulldoze Houston out of traffic congestion issues. 

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2 hours ago, IronTiger said:

This isn't SimCity where you get a Mayor's House as a first goal...if it was, I bet you I could bulldoze Houston out of traffic congestion issues. 

And I don't get a House of Worship and Cemetery reward if I become mayor?? :o

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This is unfortunate. I'm normally okay with demolition of a structure, so long as what replaces it is a economic, artistic, or public improvement over the previous structure. Should this go to a car-dealership, which no offense to car dealers, seems like a gross use of land in the midtown area. Especially since residents in this part of town are more likely to be walking, biking, and taking public transportation to their place of work. 

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