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Montrose Collective: Office building with Retail Coming to 888 Westheimer

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

That freshly poured sidewalk patch.... is now closed

 

 

 

It's probably only temporary until the scaffolding and construction fence are up.

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1 hour ago, architeckton said:

 

It's probably only temporary until the scaffolding and construction fence are up.

 

This is why I detest Twitter or what I refer to as the "Twatter". All it takes is a few moments to think about why it might be closed to get to this conclusion. But now I, the Twatter poster, need validation right now the moment I see it!

Edited by Luminare
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Even if they are under construction, there's still supposed to be a temporary sidewalk if they close the main one. 

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26 minutes ago, wilcal said:

Even if they are under construction, there's still supposed to be a temporary sidewalk if they close the main one. 

 

This is supposed to be the temp sidewalk. They can close it off for a limited period of time to erect scaffolding. This a completely normal thing to do. They haven't even started demo nor construction.

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17 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

This is supposed to be the temp sidewalk. They can close it off for a limited period of time to erect scaffolding. This a completely normal thing to do. They haven't even started demo nor construction.

 

Houston Public Works actually commented on another discussion of the sidewalk and a lane of traffic being closed for The Sophie on Memorial and they said an ADA alternative must be established if the sidewalk is closed.  Backtracking for wheelchairs is at least feasible on Westheimer. Not so much so on Memorial with one sidewalk. 

 

I'll see if I can swing by and see if the sidewalk has reopened yet. These covered sidewalk barriers are so NYC! lol

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

Houston Public Works actually commented on another discussion of the sidewalk and a lane of traffic being closed for The Sophie on Memorial and they said an ADA alternative must be established if the sidewalk is closed.  Backtracking for wheelchairs is at least feasible on Westheimer. Not so much so on Memorial with one sidewalk. 

 

I'll see if I can swing by and see if the sidewalk has reopened yet. These covered sidewalk barriers are so NYC! lol

 

I completely get it, and understand where you are coming from. However, what I don't like with social media, and that includes this forum sometimes is just because we get to observe the process doesn't mean we are a part of it, yet strangely some feel like they have ownership of it or the right to interject themselves into it. The process must be respected, and even though the result is something of which you speak, an unobstructed sidewalk that is also ADA accessible, there is a process to setting that up which takes time. We can't project what should be the outcome, or conclusion when it still has to go through the process to get there. More than anything, in Architecture and Construction, is respecting and not violating the process, which in my opinion is way more important than the end product or outcome. We don't know where they are at in the process of setting this up because we don't have the schedule. If they are following the schedule and this is setup in the timeframe they have specified for the city than that is what is important, not people like us that have no business butting into the process. We need to just sit back and let them do their work. Our interjections are just going to slow things down, and will only do more harm than good.

 

EDIT: I only say this, even though this is such a small incident, and because its actually important. Plus I bring it up do to the weird notion in todays world that people feel like they have a right to be in everyones business, or some kind of social obligation to interfere in ones process when they don't immediately see their subjective end outcome or conclusion that they imagine.

Edited by Luminare
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The person that posted that on Twitter was in-fact walking on the sidewalk, so they did become a de facto part of it. 

 

HPW said that the official policy is to report these to 311, which is pretty brutal as it easily takes days to investigate. 

 

It took me almost 6 months to force the Brass Tap (well, their landlord) to install grates over the tree planters because they added a patio and it made the sidewalk not ADA compliant. Turns out that they had their plan rejected from the city for this reason, built the patio anyway and never even paid the fee to utilize the city ROW. No repercussions and the solution that was developed still sucks (metal grates set on top of existing granite chunks which, you guessed it have adjusted/sunk a bit). 

 

So yes, being a lay-pedestrian and being annoying to the construction crews is... annoying to the crews, but the city barely gives a flying flip about sidewalk enforcement. In my mind, there is a social obligation to interfere in the process when it appears to break the law. There may be some leeway granted by the city, but the situation is that they have appeared to close the sidewalk without providing or marking an alternative, so they appear to be in violation.

 

There are some four story town homes being built next door to me and they are finishing the framing on the third floor right now. I saw a worker tight-rope walking an exterior wall 2x4 cap without a safety harness. Should I not worry and trust that they are following the process? I'm not in the industry, but gonna guess that isn't part of the process. 

 

TLDR: construction companies don't get the benefit of the doubt from me, especially when blocking sidewalks are concerned lol

 

 

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I don't understand how the 4TH LARGEST CITY IN AMERICA can't enforce simple sidewalk rules. We have all these "pilot" programs for walkable neighborhoods for what? Why do we need pilot programs? Look at NYC as your pilot program, DONE. I file a 311 complaint about simple sidewalk maintenance often, and I get the same response, "It's the property owner's responsibility." Then why tell me to file a 311 complaint??? This city want's more walkability then shoots itself in the foot. 

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1 hour ago, wilcal said:

The person that posted that on Twitter was in-fact walking on the sidewalk, so they did become a de facto part of it.

 

 

That person is also former journalist, and apparently part of RDA. So that person is posting that for attention...clearly, yet at the same time if they are part of the RDA, they should know that the company (one which has been very involved in the community, and has shown they are willing to go above and beyond for it) are in the process of complying with procedure which does take time.

 

1 hour ago, wilcal said:

 

HPW said that the official policy is to report these to 311, which is pretty brutal as it easily takes days to investigate.

 

 

There are times to do this, and there are times when it isn't called for. From what I have seen, its being abused heavily. 311 is a tool which should be applied for certain egregious situations and violations. Not for mere inconveniences. They posted a sign which says the sidewalk is closed. Its clear why its closed. Could they have shown an arrow indicating to take an alternate route, sure, but they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. Its the ole saying that if your only tool is a hammer than everything looks like a nail. 311 for some is a hammer to nail people for anything they deem as an inconvenience to them instead of comply with actual law.

 

1 hour ago, wilcal said:

It took me almost 6 months to force the Brass Tap (well, their landlord) to install grates over the tree planters because they added a patio and it made the sidewalk not ADA compliant. Turns out that they had their plan rejected from the city for this reason, built the patio anyway and never even paid the fee to utilize the city ROW. No repercussions and the solution that was developed still sucks (metal grates set on top of existing granite chunks which, you guessed it have adjusted/sunk a bit). 

 

 

I appreciate the example. Thats a pretty crappy situation and you were right to report this. Clearly 311 was necessary in this situation. This is a pretty clear violation, and it was intentional. However, this situation does not apply here. Once again you are seeing every situation as a nail which requires a hammer to fix. They literally just got started setting this whole thing up which requires a little bit of time to do. I'm not saying they are doing it perfectly, and I'm not saying that they haven't done zero wrong, but you are starting with the conclusion in your mind that 'when I walk up to this sidewalk it should automatically be covered and ready for use, and since its not my favorable outcome, then its a violation'. Don't you think that it should be the opposite? Is it right to force that preconceived conclusion/outcome on a situation where you don't know everything that is going on?

 

1 hour ago, wilcal said:

So yes, being a lay-pedestrian and being annoying to the construction crews is... annoying to the crews, but the city barely gives a flying flip about sidewalk enforcement. In my mind, there is a social obligation to interfere in the process when it appears to break the law. There may be some leeway granted by the city, but the situation is that they have appeared to close the sidewalk without providing or marking an alternative, so they appear to be in violation.

 

There are some four story town homes being built next door to me and they are finishing the framing on the third floor right now. I saw a worker tight-rope walking an exterior wall 2x4 cap without a safety harness. Should I not worry and trust that they are following the process? I'm not in the industry, but gonna guess that isn't part of the process. 

 

 

Do you do everything perfect in everything that you do? This is like if you are baking a cake, but I already have the conclusion that when I look at a cake it should always be finished and ready for me to eat whenever a look upon one, and then yelling at you asking why the cake you are making isn't done and ready for me to consume.

Trust me, I understand this cities flippant applications of sidewalks more than anyone, residential developments being the worst offenders who literally will pour concrete for sidewalks directly on top of our expansive clay soils without putting before it a layer of top soil just to save a couple dollars. The fact that we don't have a universal standard for pedestrian realm design for districts and the city at large has lead to some really weird situations and incredible inconveniences, or the fact that the city doesn't repair roads the right way so even though there are ADA ramps they then lead to a road that isn't fit to let those continue on their way and instead have to go over a giant hump to get across.

Once again though...just look at how over blown this has gotten. None of these things apply to this situation. Not everything that fits to ones subjective or even objective outcome or conclusion means that an injustice is afoot, or that there is some grave misdeed at hand. Not everything has to be such a high risk or have so much at stake. Its a freakin temp sidewalk with scaffolding for a construction project that hasn't even started yet, and by a company that is already going above and beyond to be subservient to the needs of the community. Enough is enough. When you see an actual clear violation I'll be right there to stand by you, and support you, but this is ridiculous and it comes off as one simply looking for something to complain about.

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Sidewalk still closed 2 days later. Cross members removed from walkway cover, so opening soon?

 

6eoHVnJ.jpg

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last night i drove by and the whole land mass that will be this development is now all chain link fenced in...

with that demo permit issued yesterday as shown by @ekdrm2d1 , it will all be gone before we know it...

i for one am excited!

 

Edited by gene
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2 hours ago, phillip_white said:

 

The more I see the Rowdy tags on HAIF threads, the more I wonder if he/she is a commenter here...

At least we won't have to look at that nit-wit's (I refuse to dignify it by name) handiwork for very long.

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...and Theo's bites the dust.

 

Had some time during lunch to go check out the demo.

 

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Edited by Luminare
a word
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The building won't be missed, but my family grew up going to that Felix's (Uchi)  every other Sunday night for family dinner. I bought my prom date's flowers at the floral shop that used to be in this center being torn down. 

 

As I've lived in other places a lot, I used to wonder if Houstonians lack a sense of place compared to other cities I've lived in because so few are from here but I am beginning to suspect because nothing ever stays the same. This building isn't a loss, but Montrose is losing it's flavor and it was one of the few places that had it in Houston. That said, Montrose has the potential to grow into something much grander so don't take this as a criticism post... just observation.

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2 hours ago, KinkaidAlum said:

I used to wonder if Houstonians lack a sense of place...

 

It's hard to have a sense of place when the place you're trying to have a sense of keeps disappearing out from under you. 

 

I first moved into Montrose (the fourplex at West Alabama and Mulberry...it's still there) in January of 1979. The flavor of THAT Montrose is long gone.

 

Houston's not the only place that's changing so rapidly that any sense of place is at risk...Dallas and Austin are like that to some extent. Seattle, too. Toronto is almost a whole new city from the one I lived in as a kid for a couple of years in the early 70s.

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Edited to add: I will say this, azaleas, pine trees, pine needles, live oaks, asiatic jasmine, moss on bricks, broken sidewalks, torrential rain and mildew all scream "HOME" to me. I suppose that's a sense of place.

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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2 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

 

It's hard to have a sense of place when the place you're trying to have a sense of keeps disappearing out from under you. 

 

I first moved into Montrose (the fourplex at West Alabama and Mulberry...it's still there) in January of 1979. The flavor of THAT Montrose is long gone.

 

Houston's not the only place that's changing so rapidly that any sense of place is at risk...Dallas and Austin are like that to some extent. Seattle, too. Toronto is almost a whole new city from the one I lived in as a kid for a couple of years in the early 70s.

.

.

.

Edited to add: I will say this, azaleas, pine trees, pine needles, live oaks, asiatic jasmine, moss on bricks, broken sidewalks, torrential rain and mildew all scream "HOME" to me. I suppose that's a sense of place.


West Alabama and Mulberry - love that intersection!

Before the Menil in 87ish, what was there? Was Menil Park always there?

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16 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:


West Alabama and Mulberry - love that intersection!

Before the Menil in 87ish, what was there? Was Menil Park always there?

Yep, Menil Park was there when I lived there. The Center For Photography was a convenience store. What freaks me out is that there are two fairly good-sized live oaks in front of the apartment building where I lived...that weren't there at all when I lived there. Talk about making a person feel old!

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20 hours ago, KinkaidAlum said:

The building won't be missed, but my family grew up going to that Felix's (Uchi)  every other Sunday night for family dinner. I bought my prom date's flowers at the floral shop that used to be in this center being torn down. 

 

As I've lived in other places a lot, I used to wonder if Houstonians lack a sense of place compared to other cities I've lived in because so few are from here but I am beginning to suspect because nothing ever stays the same. This building isn't a loss, but Montrose is losing it's flavor and it was one of the few places that had it in Houston. That said, Montrose has the potential to grow into something much grander so don't take this as a criticism post... just observation.

 

It's funny, I grew up going to the other Felix's location... in Beaumont when I was growing up.

 

Evidently the original Felix's chairs went to El Real. I wonder what is happening to them now that they're closed. 

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Club No Minors has a Felix's menu and it's pretty much spot on to how I remember it. We still go every christmas eve to buy pints of Felix queso.

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^ I ate at the Felix on Westheimer once...in 1985, I believe... I was not impressed. I much preferred Chapultepec, or even the original Tila's (where Katz's Deli is now) in those days. Still, I do miss seeing the Felix sign and name on the building.

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9 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Yep, Menil Park was there when I lived there. The Center For Photography was a convenience store. What freaks me out is that there are two fairly good-sized live oaks in front of the apartment building where I lived...that weren't there at all when I lived there. Talk about making a person feel old!


What was where the Menil Collection building is now? Was it just a bigger Menil Park?

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9 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:


What was where the Menil Collection building is now? Was it just a bigger Menil Park?

 

Google Earth historical imagery shows houses for 1944, 1978, and then jumps to 1989 when the Menil was already complete.

 

1944

1944.jpg

 

 

1978

1978.jpg

 

 

1989

1989.jpg

Edited by architeckton
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Hmmmmm.......wondering if imagery showed large horse topiary (pre2001)on 800 block Westheimer right of way? thought that plant shop next to HPD storefront should have taken better care of it.  Still the poor old creature lasted till it was torn down last week.......

Edited by trymahjong
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On 1/25/2020 at 2:31 PM, Avossos said:


most wouldn’t survive being removed and the labor cost to get them out would be high. It’s a nice idea though... some things would have a better chance at surviving than others. These materials are best grounded up and used as mulch.

Not necessarily true. At this time of year just about everything I stick in the ground or transplant does exceedly well. Even 15 foot trees transplant very well this time of year.

 

Anyway this is a long overdue facelift for this area.  It's too visible an an area to look so unattractive. Sad to see all the memories torn down but new ones will be made in construction that is more uplifting for the area.

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13 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:


What was where the Menil Collection building is now? Was it just a bigger Menil Park?

 

You know, as I find happens to me a lot in Houston, I don't remember what was there before.

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4 hours ago, architeckton said:

Google Earth historical imagery ...

Ooh! Thanks! I was wondering where I could find information like this.

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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2 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Ooh! Thanks! I was wondering where I could find information like this.

 

FYI, you can download Google Earth Pro for free. Then go to the "view > historical imagery" and you can tab thru the years on record.

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46 minutes ago, architeckton said:

FYI, you can download Google Earth Pro for free. Then go to the "view > historical imagery" and you can tab thru the years on record.

Thanks. I already had it and looked at the historical data immediately upon reading your post.

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11 hours ago, architeckton said:

 

Google Earth historical imagery shows houses for 1944, 1978, and then jumps to 1989 when the Menil was already complete.

 

If memory serves, someone has posted here in the past about living in one of the houses that formerly occupied the land where the Menil now sits.  

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4 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

 

If memory serves, someone has posted here in the past about living in one of the houses that formerly occupied the land where the Menil now sits.  

From the 1978 map, it looks like there are apartments on the Mandell end of the block. That is what I thought I remembered.

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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Back to the topic at hand............................

any new photos? did they knock down the tower?! haha!

 

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On 2/4/2020 at 5:20 PM, architeckton said:

Tower is gone.

IMG-3674.JPG

 

I posted one on Tuesday with the tower knocked down. The site should be clear of debris by now. Just haven't made it back out there.

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