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Incarnate Word Academy


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Breaking holy ground

Incarnate Word Academy will celebrate the 133rd anniversary of the Academy's Foundation Day and break ground for the school's new $8.5 million Fine Arts Center at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 5.

The three-story center for the school, which has been in downtown for more than a century, will be built at the corner of Crawford and Capitol streets.

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Breaking holy ground

Incarnate Word Academy will celebrate the 133rd anniversary of the Academy's Foundation Day and break ground for the school's new $8.5 million Fine Arts Center at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 5.

The three-story center for the school, which has been in downtown for more than a century, will be built at the corner of Crawford and Capitol streets.

Cool, does anyone know what was there(please let it be a surface lot ;) )

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The new building will be built on the exisiting courtyard area of the school property. I've been trying to figure out how to paste a rendition of the building, but it's in a pdf format, and this site won't take it!

The new building will mirror the existing "new" construction that was builit in '79-80. The original convent that faces Capitol St. will remain. Included in the new building will be a fine arts center, new auditorium, new science and computer labs, etc.

If you would like to see a rendition, go to www.incarnateword.org and click on the "Groundbreaking Ceremony" .

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I've been trying to figure out how to paste a rendition of the building, but it's in a pdf format, and this site won't take it!

easiest way is to cheat and take a screen shot with the PDF open (hit the "print screen" button) and then paste it into Paint (or whatever other program). then you can crop it and post it as a jpg or bmp

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cool thanks you guys

iword.jpg

Since it is right next to Annunciation Church, it's too bad they didn't go with a design that complemented the church. Instead they went with something that matched their last addition. The poor building in the middle looks out of place. I believe there was a little courtyard next to the church with some trees. I can already hear the chainsaws now.

Edited by musicman
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gonna have to agree with you here sevfiv...but it would probably look right at home next to the George R. Brown

Well, I'm sure that they were somewhat restricted by construction costs. The new building and renovations to the old one are going to run around $8 million. So far, they have raised about 1/2 of that.

I do have to admit that I am dissappointed that the couryard will be significantly reduced. But, in the end, they will have a new facility, with a lot of new amenities to educate Catholic girls on Houston. In case y'all didn't know, Incarnate Word is the oldest Catholic school in Houston, founded in 1873.

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Let's give the school a small break. It's not like Incarnate Word is rolling in the cash like St. Agnes or Duchesne. Incarnate Word serves a totally different population.

Also, if you are really disgusted by the design, why not use the school's website to DONATE CASH to the building campaign? They're only halfway to their $8 million goal...

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Let's give the school a small break. It's not like Incarnate Word is rolling in the cash like St. Agnes or Duchesne. Incarnate Word serves a totally different population.

Also, if you are really disgusted by the design, why not use the school's website to DONATE CASH to the building campaign? They're only halfway to their $8 million goal...

Thank you, KinkaidAlum, for coming to IWA's defense. Historically, the students that attend IWA are not as, for lack of a better term, well off as those that attend the other Catholic high schools in Houston. However, with the area around the school having been improved greatly in the last 10 years (Minute Maid, Inn at the Ball Park, etc), and more people becoming aware that IWA even exists, there is renewed interest from the general community in the school. In order for IWA to be able to compete with the other Catholic schools in Houston, it has become necessary for them to expand their facilites to be able to offer the classes and activites that students now require.

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My wife graduated from IWA so yea, I've helped fund that addition.

BTW, I don't think being well off has anything to do with going to IWA, its not cheap, its just not as accessible to the soccer moms as the other schools.

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BARF! :o

Why are they mirroring that God-awful 80s building, instead of the older structure? I always thought that addition was an abomination to the Lord, and they are copying it? :wacko:

Rather than creating new old buildings, I wish they'd come up with something modern...even if nothing but a cinder-block box. I just can't stand willful unoriginality.

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Rather than creating new old buildings, I wish they'd come up with something modern...even if nothing but a cinder-block box. I just can't stand willful unoriginality.

Well, there's something to be said for a degree of architectural unity. Not exactly copying old styles, but designing new buildings that are at least are reflective of older neighbors. This can be done by colors, proportion, window lines, etc. In this case a jumble of incoherent styles looks just like, well, a jumble of incoherent styles. If they are choosing to mimic an old style, in this case they should have at least mirrored the cool older building, rather than that ugly 1980s-vintage barn.

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Well, there's something to be said for a degree of architectural unity. Not exactly copying old styles, but designing new buildings that are at least are reflective of older neighbors. This can be done by colors, proportion, window lines, etc. In this case a jumble of incoherent styles looks just like, well, a jumble of incoherent styles. If they are choosing to mimic an old style, in this case they should have at least mirrored the cool older building, rather than that ugly 1980s-vintage barn.

If you place value on the unity of things, then perhaps you should question the context with which you're comparing the new addition. The campus is already disunified; the only way to maintain the unified sense of disunity is to allow for it to continue. Alternatively, the largest most visible parts of Houston were built in the 1980's style. Viewed in that context, everything should be built in the 80's style. :P

Seriously, in 100 years, they'll be worshiping '80's 'barns' just as 'barns' (actual and hyperbolified) from the 1880's are today.

Edited by TheNiche
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Come to think of it, they should build something contemporary, as that's what they had done. The Old building was probaly contemporary at the time and the 80's addition certainly was. They should hire Frank Gehry, now talk about making your school a landmark!

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holy crapcakes (no pun intended)

that is quite awful :wacko:

Yes, what misguided architect is responsible for this waste of money?

Incarnate Word should be in a good financial condition after selling their former facility on the West Loop at Bissonnet. It was about 35 acres of prime realestate which is currently valued at about 38 million dollars. They sold it in the early 1980s and should have invested the proceeds to fund the institution far into the future. This proposed new building is another example of poor judgement.

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Yes, what misguided architect is responsible for this waste of money?

Incarnate Word should be in a good financial condition after selling their former facility on the West Loop at Bissonnet. It was about 35 acres of prime realestate which is currently valued at about 38 million dollars. They sold it in the early 1980s and should have invested the proceeds to fund the institution far into the future. This proposed new building is another example of poor judgement.

I do not consider this new building a waste of money. This new building will give the girls that attend IWA a new auditorium, new classrooms, new labs (computer and science). It will help the young women that attend IWA become better prepared to become productive citizens. You may not agree with the architecture of the the structure, but it will be a building put to good use.

As far as the convent on Bissonnet and the Loop, I was extremely sad to see them sell that property. I was only about 12 when the convent was moved to it's current location on Bradford next to St. Vincent de Paul's Catholic Church. The chapel at the convent on Bissonnet was absolutely gorgeous. However, the property was no longer practical for their use. The Sisters, as a community, are growing older, and could not keep up the facility on Bissonnet, which is one of the reasons it was sold. Also, with diminishing numbers, they did not need that large of a facility. With that money, they built the convent on Bradford, and I'm sure are paying for their day to day living, you know medical care, food, etc.

While you may not agree with the style of building they have chosen, it will be used to send many young women into the world with a top notch education.

Edited by native_Houstonian
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I do not consider this new building a waste of money. This new building will give the girls that attend IWA a new auditorium, new classrooms, new labs (computer and science). It will help the young women that attend IWA become better prepared to become productive citizens. You may not agree with the architecture of the the structure, but it will be a building put to good use.

As far as the convent on Bissonnet and the Loop, I was extremely sad to see them sell that property. I was only about 12 when the convent was moved to it's current location on Bradford next to St. Vincent de Paul's Catholic Church. The chapel at the convent on Bissonnet was absolutely gorgeous. However, the property was no longer practical for their use. The Sisters, as a community, are growing older, and could not keep up the facility on Bissonnet, which is one of the reasons it was sold. Also, with diminishing numbers, they did not need that large of a facility. With that money, they built the convent on Bradford, and I'm sure are paying for their day to day living, you know medical care, food, etc.

While you may not agree with the style of building they have chosen, it will be used to send many young women into the world with a top notch education.

Although I would agree with many of the comments posted here about the architectural merits of the additions to the school, you have a very valid point in that there is utility in any type of architecture. Also, architects will continue to work if their designs are sought by the clients that employ them. Whether or not a particular building has mass appeal is probably immaterial to its private owners.

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Welcome to the board Tuscany. :)

Seriously, in 100 years, they'll be worshiping '80's 'barns' just as 'barns' (actual and hyperbolified) from the 1880's are today.

No doubt, but by then they will have the age factor going for them.

You have to wonder why they chose to copy the 1980s building. The old one is so beautiful, you would think they would want to echo that one instead. As you point out, even a more current styled building could be an improvement.

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buildings can be cheap and elegant

I am glad the future students have an opportunity for a new facility. For the same cost, a creative architect could come up with a solution that surpasses the utilitarian with a truly interesting result. It is a waste of money to settle for 70% when they could achieve more for the same funds. If they don't aspire for much they more than likely will not receive much.

As for the old location on Bissonnet at Loop 610, it seems the Episcopalians have been successful in turning the former Incarnate Word into a highly sought after school.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Welcome to the board Tuscany. :)

No doubt, but by then they will have the age factor going for them.

You have to wonder why they chose to copy the 1980s building. The old one is so beautiful, you would think they would want to echo that one instead. As you point out, even a more current styled building could be an improvement.

Thanks for the welcome. I've been reading these posts with great interest for quite some time. I've been WAY overdue to participate. I'm a fan of great architecture. I get inspired when I see a well-done building, old or new. I'm also very critical of poor architecture. I think we owe it to ourselves as a society to create a built environment that inspires us today and that will continue to inspire many years into the future..

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