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Houston Preservationists At Work?

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I'm still confused...from another neighborhood board I'm on where people are talking about it as well there is some intersting info. How could he have been working on it for a year, when Ashland's just closed in September and the new owner bought it on 10/21/05? Was he working WITH the previous owners? That sounds unlikely because I don't see why they would be helping a new owner who hadn't even closed on the house do potential remodeling? And if it was so 'unsafe' how come Ashlands was up and running right up until as recently as September?

Hmmmm, something still smells fishy about this. Perhaps if someone knows how to get in touch with the previous owners they could fill us in.

I think they realized they made a mistake and are now caught in a PR disaster and are just trying to ward off the bad press...

We need some more info to the story they are telling.

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Does the city issue a condemned certificate of some sort? If so, I'd like to see it. If they don't have one, what other proof besides a paid-for opinion of their engineers do they have? I'd like to see the paper before I believe their story.

good question, although i doubt the structure would fall under the condemned category.

either they are 1.) lying,

or 2.) they screwed up and did not properly assess what would happen once the interior walls were removed...

Edited by sevfiv

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Crocodile tears!

If the house was unsuitable to be gutted and refitted to whatever configuration they'd decided, then go elsewhere. As the house stood, there was no suggestion of structural problems. Did these people not take the obvious step of hiring a structural engineer before they started ripping the place apart?

Quote:

"Our contractors, by the way, have been active in saving and restoring old properties - and been awarded for their efforts."

A beautifully constructed sentence - but it doesn't really tell us much. Which properties? What award?

As anyone who's familiar with old houses knows, repairs and alterations can be daunting tasks - which is why a suitable structure should be chosen before undertaking such a project. Often, it's easier just to start from scratch. Which is what they've done.

But they still have the location...goody. :angry:

Edit:

Quote:lilyheights Posted Today, 01:58 PM

Does the city issue a condemned certificate of some sort? If so, I'd like to see it. If they don't have one, what other proof besides a paid-for opinion of their engineers do they have? I'd like to see the paper before I believe their story.

I didn't see the word 'engineer' mentioned in Mr. Hanna's letter. Just 'contractors' - and anyone can call himself a contractor. Isn't it usual to get a second opinion before pulling the plug on a patient?

Edited by dbigtex56

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I just wrote to the email address someone provided for the owner and asked him some point blank questions about this 'year long renovation' and why they never contacted anyone from ANY association or preservation group. I asked why all the secrecy in the days before the demolition? Why all the commentary now AFTER the fact. I told him that there are potentially hundreds of people who are not going to frequent the new place and we all know that bad press spreads faster than good press. I told him he keeps referring to 'misinformation' yet they are not giving clear answers either.

I'll let you know what, if anything different, he says.

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so maybe both of my assumptions were correct, but in reverse order:

1.) they screwed up

2.) they lied to save face

hmm

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I emailed the guy who sent me the response I posted above. I included a link to this thread and told him he should try and answer the questions here openly and honestly if his "client" has any hope of his restaurant succeeding.

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Markus's house:

16713517_c23e6f0052.jpg

:D:D:D

Even though I wrote this...I can't tell if the B.S. is in RED or BLACK text.....

"My name is Markus

This IS my house

What you may not know is that for almost a year, I was in the process of restoring the property to open a restaurant. Recently, soon after the interior demo had been completed, it was discovered that there was a big freaking vortex in this building and so damaged the structural integrity of the building, the contractors deemed it both unsafe and unsalvageable. I explored the possibility of selling the house and having it moved but I was informed the structure would not survive.

My decision to demolish the building comes at both an emotional and financial loss. We did salvage as much of the vortex as possible."

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That was hilarious! :lol:

This did remind me though to ask if anyone has any pics or links to pics, of the demolition of the Ashland house?

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from the ghpa email:

n1qmph.jpg

hildebrand has only owned the property since october 21, 2005...hmm

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I sent a nastygram to Ryan Hildebrand's e-mail address and received the following reply:

I would hope that you might check the Heights bulletin. Another Heights

resident sent me a similar message. I sent her a reply explaining the

situation. There has been a severe lack of information and I hope my

response will clarify.

Sincerely,

Ryan Hildebrand

I don't have access to the Heights Bulletin, so does anyone know what is being put out with regard to ths building? I assume it would be pretty much the same thing that's being discussed here but would like to see what it says.

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I sent a nastygram to Ryan Hildebrand's e-mail address and received the following reply:

I would hope that you might check the Heights bulletin. Another Heights

resident sent me a similar message. I sent her a reply explaining the

situation. There has been a severe lack of information and I hope my

response will clarify.

Sincerely,

Ryan Hildebrand

I don't have access to the Heights Bulletin, so does anyone know what is being put out with regard to ths building? I assume it would be pretty much the same thing that's being discussed here but would like to see what it says.

Here is a response from Ryan that I found on another board. I just cut and pasted complete as it was posted there, no editing.

Subject: Re: 1801 Ashland

Mrs. XXXXX,

Unfortunately, there is a severe lack of information out there. We did try to restore the house, for the better part of a year, we did explore the possibility of moving it and we have salvaged as many aspects of the house as possible with the intent of incorporating them into the new structure. It was our wish to re-model the house, but the structural integrity of the building was lacking to the point of it being dangerous. This could not be known until we completed the interior demo necessary for a re-model. No one involved wanted to tear down the house. In point of fact, we had to. I am sorry for the lack of communication and that you feel strongly enough not to let us show you how much we do care about the Heights and its history by demonstrating it in the new building and our business.

Ryan Hildebrand

Edited by houstonray

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so they demolished the interior (non-load bearing) walls and THEN found out it was a bad idea?

hmm

One of our trade contractors worked on the demo and told me last week that the structure was seriously damaged. I know the conspiracy theorists won't believe it but much of Mr. Hanna's response seems to be accurate. It doesn't excuse demolishing the building without exhausting whatever public/private avenues were available for saving the structure but it's probably a stretch to conclude that the owner is a lying, cheating bastard with a blatant disregard for his neighbors, good taste and humanity.

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...it's probably a stretch to conclude that the owner is a lying, cheating bastard with a blatant disregard for his neighbors, good taste and humanity.

You left out ties to Al Qaida who tried to sell yellowcake to Saddam Hussein. :o

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One of our trade contractors worked on the demo and told me last week that the structure was seriously damaged. I know the conspiracy theorists won't believe it but much of Mr. Hanna's response seems to be accurate. It doesn't excuse demolishing the building without exhausting whatever public/private avenues were available for saving the structure but it's probably a stretch to conclude that the owner is a lying, cheating bastard with a blatant disregard for his neighbors, good taste and humanity.

Good points.

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Even though I wrote this...I can't tell if the B.S. is in RED or BLACK text.....

"My name is Markus

This IS my house

What you may not know is that for almost a year, I was in the process of restoring the property to open a restaurant. Recently, soon after the interior demo had been completed, it was discovered that there was a big freaking vortex in this building and so damaged the structural integrity of the building, the contractors deemed it both unsafe and unsalvageable. I explored the possibility of selling the house and having it moved but I was informed the structure would not survive.

My decision to demolish the building comes at both an emotional and financial loss. We did salvage as much of the vortex as possible."

I have tears, I am laughing so hard. I was trying to read this to my husband but I couldn't even get all the words out! Thank you. That was truly a joy!!

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He may not be lying per se, but he certainly ain't telling the truth. How do you work on the house for a better part of the year when you've only owned it since mid/late October? I didn't realize that three months = a better part of the year. I am going to sign off now and yell at my parents for not sending me to St. John's.

Oh, I live in a Victorian bowfront in Boston's South End (the largest Victorian neighborhood in the US). For almost an entire century, the South End was considered Boston's biggest slum. Most of these grand townhomes had been turned into rooming boards and whore/crack houses. Yet, in the 1980s, people started moving in and renovating. Today, the entire neighborhood is nearly intact and even the worst of the worst have been salvaged. Knowing that, I find it hard to believe that what was a FUNCTIONING restaurant just last September was housed in a building beyond repair.

Edited by KinkaidAlum

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Renovating a 100 year old house can be frustrating, expensive and time consuming. I have little doubt that they found structural problems once the walls came off. My question is...what did you expect? Frankly, a person who gives up too easily or is ignorant of the demands of retoring old structures should not be buying them anyway. There are many things that could have been done to attempt to salvage the structure, including building the kitchen in a separate structure beside or behind the house.

A more likely scenario is that the renovation was going to bust the budget. Therefore, the structural problems became "insurmoutable". While replacing it with a period appropriate design is appreciated, it will always be a "Disneyesque" approach to historical preservation...putting up something that "looks" historic, rather than keeping the historic structure itself.

There is something sadly American about that process.

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I have little doubt that they found structural problems once the walls came off. My question is...what did you expect?

exactly

I know the conspiracy theorists won't believe it but much of Mr. Hanna's response seems to be accurate.

yes, conspiracy theorists....that's it! ^_^

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As I mentioned above, I emailed the guy back and told him that he should address our concerns here. I gave him a link to the thread, as well as the main board. If he hasn't responded, I can only think it's b/c he knows people are demolishing his story faster than he took down the house....

Also, as I mentioned before, I worked with a woman who was close friends with the old owners. As of six months ago, she was still telling me I should really try their place for lunch. It was just a couple weeks before I changed jobs in early November that she told me they were selling to someone who was going to make it in to a fine dining establishment. So, not only could Ryan not have been working on it for a year b/c he didn't own it- as far as I knew, it was still an operating restaurant until it was sold...

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We are working to put a complete package together for all interested parties. We have documentation from our structural engineer, completed plans for the re-model and kitchen addition and documentation from our designer confirming everything. I can say now that we began working with our current designer in May of last year. The previous owners did not want to release the information about the sale for fear that their business would suffer. It is true that we did not close on the property until October of last year, but the Walters, previous owners, allowed us access to the property during off hours. I hope that we will be able to answer all questions as it was always our intention to re-model and expand upon the structure. The sructural integrity simply was not there. No one could have forseen this. Not until the necessary demo for the re-model was complete did we find that the many additions and manipulations over the years had weakened the structure to the point of it being dangerous. We are starting over with the best of intentions. The Heights and its history are the exact reasons we explored the Ashland House in the first place. All involved care, did try and are trying everything to make this project a good one for the Heights.

Ryan Hildebrand

If anyone is interested in helping me do so, I would be willing to post the plans that we completed.

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We are working to put a complete package together for all interested parties. We have documentation from our structural engineer, completed plans for the re-model and kitchen addition and documentation from our designer confirming everything. I can say now that we began working with our current designer in May of last year. The previous owners did not want to release the information about the sale for fear that their business would suffer. It is true that we did not close on the property until October of last year, but the Walters, previous owners, allowed us access to the property during off hours. I hope that we will be able to answer all questions as it was always our intention to re-model and expand upon the structure. The sructural integrity simply was not there. No one could have forseen this. Not until the necessary demo for the re-model was complete did we find that the many additions and manipulations over the years had weakened the structure to the point of it being dangerous. We are starting over with the best of intentions. The Heights and its history are the exact reasons we explored the Ashland House in the first place. All involved care, did try and are trying everything to make this project a good one for the Heights.

Ryan Hildebrand

If anyone is interested in helping me do so, I would be willing to post the plans that we completed.

Ryan,

Thank you for addressing this issue personally. I think your best bet is to ask to speak at the Heights Association's monthy meeting and present your materials. The meetings are held the second Monday of every month, 7 p.m. at the Heights Fire Station located at W. 12th and Yale. If you can prove your good intentions to them, you can do anything!

I understand that owning a restaurant in The Heights was probably a dream come true. After all your hard work and planning, it must feel terrible to see what everyone is saying in this forum (and elsewhere). We really know how you feel. It's a lot like we all felt when we heard the house was demolished. Again, if you have documentation to back up your story, I would go to the general Heights meeting, as well as some of the smaller neighborhood meetings, to plead your case. That may sound like a lot of time and effort, but winning back support of Heights residents (even if you have to do it one at a time) is the only way you're going to make your dream a reality.

Edited by heights_yankee

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I have also been in personal contact with the owners and some other involved parties and I can tell you with certainty that yes, they have been working on trying to turn the house into a major restaurant since last May. They did work with the owners, who asked for it to be kept quiet until the closing in October for fear of other developers coming in. In other words it was 'quietly' put on the market and 'quietly' promised to them.

Believe me, all you have to do is read my posts, I was as suspicious as anyone, but I'm beginning to think that the story is true. Did they handle it correctly? No. I think even they would admit to that. I'm willing to keep an open mind until I see some more details that they are going to provide me with. When I'm told it's ok to share, I will do so.

I don't remember if it was this thread or on another forum, but there was a rumor that they were affiliated with Landry's. Absolutely not, it is a group of private investors and in no way connected to Landry's or Tillman Fertitta. They are not even corporate investors, just private people with money to invest.

Time will tell, we'll see how it all transpired.

Edited by houstonray

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Y'all are getting pretty creepy.

Oh, Coog! You love us :wub:

I have also been in personal contact with the owners and some other involved parties and I can tell you with certainty that yes, they have been working on trying to turn the house into a major restaurant since last May. They did work with the owners, who asked for it to be kept quiet until the closing in October for fear of other developers coming in. In other words it was 'quietly' put on the market and 'quietly' promised to them.

Believe me, all you have to do is read my posts, I was as suspicious as anyone, but I'm beginning to think that the story is true. Did they handle it correctly? No. I think even they would admit to that. I'm willing to keep an open mind until I see some more details that they are going to provide me with. When I'm told it's ok to share, I will do so.

I don't remember if it was this thread or on another forum, but there was a rumor that they were affiliated with Landry's. Absolutely not, it is a group of private investors and in no way connected to Landry's or Tillman Fertitta. They are not even corporate investors, just private people with money to invest.

Time will tell, we'll see how it all transpired.

Fab! That's why I suggested they speak at the meetings. It came up the other night at the PPNA meeting and I know we all would have been more than happy to hear Ryan's side of it. No, they did not handle it the right way. Not even close. If they can prove their good intentions, people may be as quick to forgive as they are to judge. At least that's this girl's opinion...

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I am still angry about this, but maybe Mr. Hildebrand does deserve the benefit of the doubt. He has at least made an effort to address everyone's concerns, which is more that can be said for those who destroyed the Cenikor Building last week. Perhaps he could have done a better job of communicating his issues with the property and his intentions to the community before going ahead with the demolition, but he wouldn't seem to have much to gain by stepping into the middle of the controversy after the deed has been done. Most of the time, it seems that developers will tear down a structure, refuse to comment, and then just wait for the controversy to blow over. I'm not saying that I agree with what he did, but only that he seems open to discussing the issue and that maybe people should hear him out before drawing any conclusions.

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Welcome to HAIF, table (Ryan).

This must be a difficult time for you. People are passionate about what few historical structures we have left in Houston, and feel their trust has been betrayed.

It's as if someone announced that he was going to adopt the orca from Free Willy, then declared a week later, "We decided it would be better to have him put down. By the way, he'll be on the menu tonight."

The structural problems with the house seem entirely plausable. Could it have been saved? Of course. With sufficient money, any house can be saved; but funds are a consideration for nearly everyone. Presumably, you're no exception.

The only way out (that I can see) is to do a full-out Jimmy Swaggart:

"Ah....hayve....SINNED!"

With tears.

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Actually, Coog, at times the Heights Assoc. is a LOT smug, and a LOT self-absorbed. It's approach to Starbucks was ridiculous. However, situations like the 1801 Ashland debacle reinforce the militant approach the Association sometimes appears to take.

This old neighborhood is in a prime location. Therefore, it is looked upon lustfully by thoughtless developers daily. If no one was aggressive in trying to preserve what's left, it would be gone quickly.

I have a definite love-hate view of the Heights Assoc. But, at the end of the day, I appreciate what they are trying to do. I understand the profit motive, as well, of some of the developers who come through, trying to make a buck and leave. What I don't understand, is a businessman who wants to move into the neighborhood and invite these smug, self-centered residents into his business, while ignoring what they feel is important.

I agree with your comments about the HHA, but the only way to change that is to join it an make your voice known. We have many new neighbours and I hear the same things from them. We ourselves have drifted away but have now decided that if we want to keep our community the charming place it is, we need to participate more. We are now the chairs of a committee and so do know most of the seriouly involved people. They are all very passionate and caring people who are happy to include new members. They are working on a survey to put out to the community to get better ideas of what is wanted and needed and the direction people want to go in. It is and has never meant to be a clic but sometimes things degrade into that a bit if fresh energy and new people are constantly involved. Hopefully we can find away to get a greater involment from more people with new ideas and fresh energy!!!!

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I agree with your comments about the HHA, but the only way to change that is to join it an make your voice known. We have many new neighbours and I hear the same things from them. We ourselves have drifted away but have now decided that if we want to keep our community the charming place it is, we need to participate more. We are now the chairs of a committee and so do know most of the seriouly involved people. They are all very passionate and caring people who are happy to include new members. They are working on a survey to put out to the community to get better ideas of what is wanted and needed and the direction people want to go in. It is and has never meant to be a clic but sometimes things degrade into that a bit if fresh energy and new people are constantly involved. Hopefully we can find away to get a greater involment from more people with new ideas and fresh energy!!!!

Very good point. I have not joined or gone to the meetings in large part b/c I feel that a person living in new construction doesn't fit their mold. I will take your comment into consideration and may just come to the next meeting...

(No we did not tear anything down...not even a rickety old warehouse -- even if we did, we're here now).

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I will add that I have been in personal contact with Ryan as well and have now seen their plans that do indeed go back to last May, 2005. The original plans, indeed the plans all the way up until the interior remodeling was begun, were to house a top notch restaurant in the existing home structure. He even had plans to add on a kitchen addition so as to have state of the art cooking facilities while maintaining the original character of the home.

Yes, the prior owners did ask him to keep the sale quiet, I'm sure so as to not affect their own business during that time. It was only after the closing, and even then after permits began to be issued for construction, that inspectors found the structure was too unstable to be safe. Are structure standards different for residential vs restaurant? I suppose since there could be several hundred people in there at any given time, that might make a difference as well. It was going to have dining on both floors. I guess 99 years of add ons and remodels had taken their toll.

Ryan attempted to have the house moved, but again, inspectors determined that it was too unstable to be safely moved. As a last resort, they salvaged as much as they could (from what I understand, the porch columns, windows, the fireplace mantle, the front doors, and other details), and have plans to incorporate it all into the new building, which I understand will be a proud addition to the neighborhood.

I don't think I'm speaking out of line when I say that Ryan would probably agree that communication was not very good prior to demolition. That's a given. But, he is doing everything in his power to make sure that everyone understands the situation and that there was no attempt at anything subversive.

Think about it this way, he paid alot of money for a piece of land with a building on it that he thought he was going to be able to use. Now they are sitting there with an empty piece of land, no building, and are having to go back to the drawing board...with the added expense of a whole new building now. All of this on top of a longer time to grand opening than originally intended.

Yes, it's sad that the neighborhood lost a grand structure, and we should all do what we can to put tougher teeth in historic ordinances, but I believe we are going to get an equally grand structure that pays homage to the original and adds to the Heights character, not to mention a great new restaurant to call our own, which will serve a modern American cuisine (and brunch on Sundays!).

Edited by houstonray

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Here's a thought...

Why didn't he try to sell the house/restaurant?

Wouldn't it have been cheaper to flip the property and just build new somewhere else once he realized HIS plans wouldn't work there? There are plenty of empty parcels in the Heights and plenty of structures that need to be replaced but very few HISTORICAL buildings. Additionally, a restaurant had been functioning in that space until the sale, so it's entirely plausible that another restaurant entity without such grand plans could have moved in or maybe even an interested buyer could have converted it back to a single family home or B&B.

Honestly, if you are going forward Ryan, I would suggest NOT throwing up a mock Victorian. That would be quite offensive. Making it a themed version of what was once there just adds insult to injury. Go in a completely different direction and pray that people forget...

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The Heights and its history are the exact reasons we explored the Ashland House in the first place. All involved care, did try and are trying everything to make this project a good one for the Heights.

Ryan Hildebrand

If anyone is interested in helping me do so, I would be willing to post the plans that we completed.

A good one for the Heights? Please re-read the CYA guide, I'm sure it didn't say you could get away with a statement like that.

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Not trying to speak for Ryan, but as an insurance person who is always dealing with properties for sale and inspections for insurance, I can say with good certainty that once he had gutted it and it was inspected and determined to be unstable (which from the reports I've read was only discovered once interior walls were removed for the beginning of the remodel), there was very little chance that anyone would be able to (or even want to) buy it.

Our insurance company cannot insure any building that has already been inspected and deemed unsafe. So I doubt any business could have come into there or would want to given potential problems inherent with that.

Case in point: I had an client once who had a house that we insured. It looked great, beautiful 1950's ranch home. No problems at all...that we could see. He decided to add on a new master suite to the back of the house. Once the walls were removed and the linoleum and carpet on the back part of the house were taken up, it was discovered that there was a huge (and I mean HUGE) crack from one side of the slab to the other (he called us wanting to turn in a claim, but that's another story). Anyway, contractors had to notify the city inspector and they actually CONDEMNED the structure. Long story short, he ended up tearing down the house. He still owned the lot and so built back in the same spot. Had they not decided on the add on master suite, it would probably still be there just as it was, with no one the wiser.

I guess my point is there are a ton of factors involved that might not be so obvious on first glance.

And I think I'd rather have something Victorian, or at least period appropriate architecture...as long as it's done well and does honor the neighborhood. There are a few new 'Victorians' on Heights Blvd the last few years and they are great additions. Would we want him to go in the direction of the 'brick single family monstrosity/orphanage' further down the Blvd? I don't think so. Plus, I love the idea of using what was salvaged in the new building. That's the only way to do it.

I'm willing to give him a chance and see what happens.

Edited by houstonray

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Just got this email as a response to mine:

Good afternoon,

My name is Mark Hanna, and I am working with the owners of the property at 1801 Ashland. Your email was forwarded to me as I have asked to be informed of any communications regarding the unfortunate demolition of the house that stood on this site.

All of us fully understand and associate with the feelings regarding the destruction of historical buildings in the Greater Houston area. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation concerning the Ashland house.

What you may not know is that for almost a year, the current owners of this house were in the process of restoring the property to open a restaurant, slated to open this spring or early summer. Recently, soon after the interior demo had been completed, it was discovered that the many additions, renovations and alterations that had been made on this building over the years had so damaged the structural integrity of the building, the contractors deemed it both unsafe and unsalvageable. Our contractors, by the way, have been active in saving and restoring old properties - and been awarded for their efforts. We explored the possibility of selling the house and having it moved but were informed the structure would not survive.

Our decision to demolish the building comes at both an emotional and financial loss. We did salvage as much of the home as possible, and it will be incorporated in the building to be constructed. Our architects are now working on a design which we assure you will be very compatible to the historic nature of the Heights. At such a time when the exterior drawings are made and we feel they meet our demands, we will work to show them to those who live and work in the neighborhood. All of this will be more expensive than anticipated as well as delaying any hopes of opening a restaurant until early fall.

I hope you understand that our initial plan had always been to open a restaurant with the fanfare of being in a unique, historic area and in showing off the restoration and modification of a grand old structure. The reality of the situation has not been pleasant for anyone. And while I cannot expect this explanation to smooth over the anger you feel at the loss of another historic building, I can assure you it was not done with callous disregard nor was it a decision that came easily or painlessly.

There are some that understand your predicament. We were just sad to see it go. Even if you had had the house moved, as I feel would have been good, you would still not satisfy the extremist who is narrow and waste times and does keep an eye on what is coming. Thank you for working toward providing like architecture.

Here's a thought...

Why didn't he try to sell the house/restaurant?

Wouldn't it have been cheaper to flip the property and just build new somewhere else once he realized HIS plans wouldn't work there? There are plenty of empty parcels in the Heights and plenty of structures that need to be replaced but very few HISTORICAL buildings. Additionally, a restaurant had been functioning in that space until the sale, so it's entirely plausible that another restaurant entity without such grand plans could have moved in or maybe even an interested buyer could have converted it back to a single family home or B&B.

Honestly, if you are going forward Ryan, I would suggest NOT throwing up a mock Victorian. That would be quite offensive. Making it a themed version of what was once there just adds insult to injury. Go in a completely different direction and pray that people forget...

This is not the consensus of the Heights. We thank you for trying to fit your plans with the Heights.

Ryan,

Thank you for addressing this issue personally. I think your best bet is to ask to speak at the Heights Association's monthy meeting and present your materials. The meetings are held the second Monday of every month, 7 p.m. at the Heights Fire Station located at W. 12th and Yale. If you can prove your good intentions to them, you can do anything!

I understand that owning a restaurant in The Heights was probably a dream come true. After all your hard work and planning, it must feel terrible to see what everyone is saying in this forum (and elsewhere). We really know how you feel. It's a lot like we all felt when we heard the house was demolished. Again, if you have documentation to back up your story, I would go to the general Heights meeting, as well as some of the smaller neighborhood meetings, to plead your case. That may sound like a lot of time and effort, but winning back support of Heights residents (even if you have to do it one at a time) is the only way you're going to make your dream a reality.

Please don't speak for the "Heights Residents". We are all sad for the demo, but we don't wish any ill upon anyone. The Heights was asleep at the wheel probably doing this. We need to be more attentive and fight the best fight. We need to trust our neighbor and not have to see proof of good will or intent. Don't misguide them into thinking there is hope for forgiveness if you have to ask for proof.

Not trying to speak for Ryan, but as an insurance person who is always dealing with properties for sale and inspections for insurance, I can say with good certainty that once he had gutted it and it was inspected and determined to be unstable (which from the reports I've read was only discovered once interior walls were removed for the beginning of the remodel), there was very little chance that anyone would be able to (or even want to) buy it.

Our insurance company cannot insure any building that has already been inspected and deemed unsafe. So I doubt any business could have come into there or would want to given potential problems inherent with that.

Case in point: I had an client once who had a house that we insured. It looked great, beautiful 1950's ranch home. No problems at all...that we could see. He decided to add on a new master suite to the back of the house. Once the walls were removed and the linoleum and carpet on the back part of the house were taken up, it was discovered that there was a huge (and I mean HUGE) crack from one side of the slab to the other (he called us wanting to turn in a claim, but that's another story). Anyway, contractors had to notify the city inspector and they actually CONDEMNED the structure. Long story short, he ended up tearing down the house. He still owned the lot and so built back in the same spot. Had they not decided on the add on master suite, it would probably still be there just as it was, with no one the wiser.

I guess my point is there are a ton of factors involved that might not be so obvious on first glance.

And I think I'd rather have something Victorian, or at least period appropriate architecture...as long as it's done well and does honor the neighborhood. There are a few new 'Victorians' on Heights Blvd the last few years and they are great additions. Would we want him to go in the direction of the 'brick single family monstrosity/orphanage' further down the Blvd? I don't think so. Plus, I love the idea of using what was salvaged in the new building. That's the only way to do it.

I'm willing to give him a chance and see what happens.

Ditto!!!!

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There are some that understand your predicament. We were just sad to see it go. Even if you had had the house moved, as I feel would have been good, you would still not satisfy the extremist who is narrow and waste times and does keep an eye on what is coming. Thank you for working toward providing like architecture.

This is not the consensus of the Heights. We thank you for trying to fit your plans with the Heights. (Speaking of speaking on behalf of The Heights... )

Please don't speak for the "Heights Residents". We are all sad for the demo, but we don't wish any ill upon anyone. The Heights was asleep at the wheel probably doing this. We need to be more attentive and fight the best fight. We need to trust our neighbor and not have to see proof of good will or intent. Don't misguide them into thinking there is hope for forgiveness if you have to ask for proof.

Serious(ly), perhaps you should re-read my posts (as well as those of others who live in the Heights) more carefully. While you apparently speak on behalf of some silent majority, I never claimed to speak for all "Heights Residents." I am one concerned neighbor who recommended that if these folks wanted to garner local support, they should equip themselves with information and educate others at the right time and place. This was a very common sentiment on this message board and in the neighborhood at the time this discussion was happening. While I understand you are new to the Heights forum, I fail to understand the need to respond to these prior posts some three months after the fact. No better time than too late, I guess.

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I agree with you heights_yankee...

Even reading this revived thread, I start to feel a pit in my stomach over the Ashland House demolition. I personally never read your posts and thought "hey, she's putting words in my mouth." I felt greif over the demolition, and I'm sure others felt that pain equally, if not more so.

I felt the entire situation was handled incorrectly. I don't care if the establishment uses "like architecture," or a bloody neon ferris wheel, it doesn't change the way I feel about what happened. Maybe some feel that if you make it a victorian theme restaurant, that it in some way honors the neighborhood. I feel the act of tearing down Ashland's was a completely dishonorable act in itself.

If the restaurant is successful, more power to them, but I personally will not feel compelled to try it out.

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Has anyone heard any news about this project? Have the owners come forth with their plans?

I don't live in the Heights, but I do go there often for the funky shops and laidback atmosphere, feels like a small town. I was on my way to Harold's and passed by the site, they have a sign up along with photographs of what looks to be a scale model of the building to come. Looks to be a very interesting design, and they are going to have a patio!!! :D

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so this makes sense in a "Landry's" kind of way.

Let's tear down an actual victorian restaurant so we can build a new faux victorian themed restaurant.

i will also NEVER eat at the new place.

Yep, the million bucks +, he's about to spend to build a NEW eatery could have easily gone into rehabbing the old house. What is the world coming to ? :wacko:

Edited by TJones

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This is not the consensus of the Heights. Please don't speak for the "Heights Residents".

Really? I don't know who you are except you have provided a total of 2 posts in this forum. I, as much or more than anyone else in this forum knows the pulse of the Heights. Are you just a lurker or undercover? Your posts invite suspicion.

BTW, many of us placed our trust in Ryan's pronouncements. We were not "asleep at the wheel". Clearly we were wrong to place our trust in what he said. As others have said in this thread, don't expect much buisness once word had been spread about the under-handed tactics that resulted in the destruction of Ashland House.

Edited by nmainguy

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I don't live in the Heights, but I do go there often for the funky shops and laidback atmosphere, feels like a small town. I was on my way to Harold's and passed by the site, they have a sign up along with photographs of what looks to be a scale model of the building to come. Looks to be a very interesting design, and they are going to have a patio!!! :D

Oh well....so long as they are going to have a PATIO! Let's bulldoze whatever!

If anybody wants to go to the new place, more power to them, I for one will not darken the doorstep.

We thank you for trying to fit your plans with the Heights.

I guess that is the "royal we"

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As of Early June...

And the picture on their sign shows a very contemporary building, despite the fact that they said it would be Victorian.

I don't care that it isn't faux Victorian- I do mind being lied to.

How could I have forgotten to add

www.savethebungalows.org

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As of Early June...

And the picture on their sign shows a very contemporary building, despite the fact that they said it would be Victorian.

I don't care that it isn't faux Victorian- I do mind being lied to.

How could I have forgotten to add

www.savethebungalows.org

In a way, I'm actually very glad that it's not faux Victorian. I'm glad they're not making a mockery of the building they tore down. I'm still not going to eat there, though.

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What?

These folks didn't tell the truth?

I am shocked.

(altough I am glad they didn't do a Mocktorian either.

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