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squatterkid

The Savoy Hotel / Apartments

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Just have to market it right. No floors or roof?

"Airy, soaring space"

edit:

That shot of the demolished bathroom is amazing! How did you rig the lighting?

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it was a little tricky - there is a fire escape on the western side of the building and one of the fire doors was open...the thing was, once you open the door, there was nothing...that and you're on a wobbly fire escape about five or six floors up...

at this point, i can't handle things like that (vertigo-like issues) so my very brave friend hopped on, peeked in the door and took a few fast pictures with my camera (i had forgotten but now have added a credit to him!).

the lighting was not an issue since there was no roof! haha

and i am *trying* to work on the height issue i have...baby-steps! :lol:

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at this point, i can't handle things like that (vertigo-like issues) ....and i am *trying* to work on the height issue i have...baby-steps! :lol:

Just repeat to yourself: "Margaret Bourke-White...Margaret Bourke-White...." :D

bwhitechrysler.jpg

I empathize...even standing up straight is scary for me!

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The sooner the Days Inn falls into the center of the earth, the better.

But the Savoy...I don't know. I might be the only person who says this but I kinda like the building (the new one). It's like a monument to the old 1960s oil wildcatter era in Houston. If left standing (and perhaps restored) I wonder how a building like that would be looked upon 50 years from now when there wouldn't likely be much else from that era left standing given this city's track record.

I don't think it would work out as residential but couldn't it get fixed up into office space or something?

As for the old building....I dare say it's toast. Another case of historic neglect in Houston.

The most likely development I see with this decrepit block is a Main@Leeland red light camera embedded into that concrete head.

I'd like to see photos of the actual interior of the new building....too bad squatterkid's apparently not in there to give me a guided tour :D

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What do you think will happen to the Savoy? It looks like it actualy has two sections an older one and a newer one.

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It's a miracle it is still there. The Savoy may have got its name from the popular 1940's Benny Goodman tune? Well, just for old times sake here it is :P

Stompin' At The Savoy

Benny goodman

Lyrics by: Andy Razaf (b. Andreamentena Razafinkeriefo)

Music by: Benny Goodman (Benjamin David G.)

Savoy, the home of sweet romance,

Savoy, it wins you with a glance,

Savoy, gives happy feet a chance to dance.

Your old form just like a clinging vine,

Your lips so warm and sweet as wine,

Your cheek so soft and close to mine, divine.

How my heart is singing,

While the band is swinging,

I'm never tired of romping,

And stomping with you at the Savoy.

What joy - a perfect holiday,

Savoy, where we can glide and sway,

Savoy, let me stomp away with you;

The home of sweet romance,

It wins you at a glance,

Gives happy feet a chance to dance.

Just like a clinging vine,

So soft and sweet as wine,

So soft and close to mine, divine.

How my heart is singing,

While the band is swinging,

I'm never, never, never tired of romping,

And stomping with you at the Savoy.

What joy - a perfect holiday,

Savoy, where we can glide and sway,

Savoy, let me stomp away with you;

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What do you think will happen to the Savoy? It looks like it actualy has two sections an older one and a newer one.

The original Savoy is a virtual twin to the Beacsonfield, which is next door. Like the Beaconsfield, it was a high-end apartment building built in or around 1908, a few years before the Beaconsfield. The front facade of the original Savoy faces the newer Savoy building, which means that you can't really see the facade from the street. I assume that this contributes to the lack of interest in this building, which is, or was, one of the more significant residential buildings in Houston before it was allowed to decay so badly.

As for what will happen to the original Savoy, my best guess is that the western most portion will finally collapse sometime in the next few years. The roof is completely gone over a large portion of the building as are many of the floors. I'm not a structural engineer, but it looks very, very bad. I think someone here mentioned that the Newer building has extensive asbestos problems, so I would not look for much action there anytime soon.

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msq2073.jpg

That brick wall is cracked and it looks like it could fall over any time....and people (who work at the Exxon Bldg.?) still park basically at the base of the western half of the old Savoy.

msq2072.jpg

I was trying to get a closer look inside....hard to do from the ground level outside...

msq2064.jpg

It's kinda sad to watch it rot; this has to be one of the oldest buildings still standing downtown. I'd like to see them do something with the new building.

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This is what the inside looks like:

savaptint002.jpg

:(

I remember seeing that picture in the Houston Press last year. That toilet is hanging up there from what was one of the top floors right? I think they mistakenly labeled it as being in the old Holiday Inn.

BTW sevfiv, your site and pics are awesome.

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I remember seeing that picture in the Houston Press last year. That toilet is hanging up there from what was one of the top floors right? I think they mistakenly labeled it as being in the old Holiday Inn.

BTW sevfiv, your site and pics are awesome.

Thanks :)

Yeah, Houston Press used some of my pictures, but the online content (and print, too, i think) were all mis-labeled.

That picture is from the fourth/fifth floor or thereabouts.

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I remember seeing that picture in the Houston Press last year. That toilet is hanging up there from what was one of the top floors right? I think they mistakenly labeled it as being in the old Holiday Inn.

BTW sevfiv, your site and pics are awesome.

Yes, I remember that photo. Could double as a still from a disaster film. :P

We went to a small casual Christmas party by a friends company on or around the 5th or 6th floor around 1982-83? Seems like a zillion years ago. It seemed like a dinosaur even then.

This was when DT was not a very pleasant place to be since everthing new & exciting was on the Westside. If you said downtown people thought you lost your marbles.

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Note the two Savoy topics were combined.

Sad to say, but I don't understand how the original Savoy can be left standing. It is seriously beyond restoration.

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There have been a few building back east thet have been saved that were in the same shape as the old Savoy but it took a whole lot of money and I can not see anyone in Houston willing to spend that kind of money.

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The Nassifs have been sitting on this land for almost ten years now *trying* to sell I suppose. I guess the $53k in taxes he has to pay every year makes it hard for "upkeep" or whatever. <_<

But yes, the extremely bad stewardship of the property has pretty much ensured that no one will want to or have the ability to restore it. Shame on them.

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It would be cool if they could at least redo the roof, shore up the walls, gut the interior, put up a couple support columns as needed and make it a sort of museum to modern downtown's history as being basically the whole of old Houston. I think the Savoy Apartments were on what was then the "edge" of town more or less in 1909. Pictures, artifacts, perhaps pieces of old historic buildings that didn't make it through the *progress* - pictures, maps, you name it. I can dream, anyway.

The new Savoy would require the asbestos to be removed for demolition, but it seems to be in generally good shape from the outside. I wish I could check out the inside. sevfiv's brochures seem to make it out to have been a rather nice place in its day. I sorta tried looking for a way in (or at least to see inside without necessarily entering) but it appears the owners might have caught wind of the squatterkid's conquests here and turned it into a regular Fort Knox. Can't really see anything inside at all anymore. The window facing Main with "1616" is busted out, probably has been for a long time, and it looks like that door led to some sort of enclosed foyer rather than the center of the building which is basically one gigantic, trashed-to-hell room.

Let's see how the ambitions to reclaim the Holiday Inn turn out before we write off the newer building. There's just something about it I like. To me it's like a monument to the oil boom/bust from the 70s/80s, and a constant reminder that Downtown Houston has seen both brighter and darker days. It's at worst the second-ugliest abandoned hotel on the south end of DT :D

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Just repeat to yourself: "Margaret Bourke-White...Margaret Bourke-White...." :D

bwhitechrysler.jpg

I empathize...even standing up straight is scary for me!

She's one of my favorite photographers, as well. What ever happened to the Savoy?

I'm dusting off the cobwebs on these old threads.

Edited by NenaE

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Was driving by and noticed it is deteriorating even more. The huge crack along the right bank of windows is getting larger and the bricks above the windows are falling out (and in a huge mass on the west-facing side) - apologies for the bad resolution:

savoy102508.jpg

savoy102508_2.jpg

  • Like 1

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Great pics, thnx...you can tell that's a very old bldg. from the shape of the windows.

AIA Houston Architectural Guide, (S. Fox, 1990) says ..."Across Pease Avenue, half buried in the ex-Savoy Field Hotel, is the 7 1/2-story Savoy Apartments (1906, C.H. Page & Co.), the first high-rise apartment bldg. constructed in Houston." Mentions that it was located in the Main Street residence district.

Too bad it's crumbling, surprised it hasn't been bulldozed already.

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Too bad it's crumbling, surprised it hasn't been bulldozed already.

No kidding, especially considering its condition. I consider this building to be a major safety hazard that could easily result in serious injury or death to any passers by who have the misfortune of being next to it on Main Street when it finally collapses. Just the bricks falling out of the walls can be deadly. The City of Houston is negligent in my opinion if anything bad should happen, because they have not taken appropriate action to ensure that the structure is either safely demolished, or is shored up in a way that prevents an uncontrolled collapse.

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No kidding, especially considering its condition. I consider this building to be a major safety hazard that could easily result in serious injury or death to any passers by who have the misfortune of being next to it on Main Street when it finally collapses. Just the bricks falling out of the walls can be deadly. The City of Houston is negligent in my opinion if anything bad should happen, because they have not taken appropriate action to ensure that the structure is either safely demolished, or is shored up in a way that prevents an uncontrolled collapse.

I would hope that the property owner was the one named in the lawsuit!

It doesn't make any sense to me that this building is still standing. It should've been demolished long ago. The demolition would pay for itself by way of revenues from surface parking, from reduced insurance expenses, and from increased marketability of the land.

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She's one of my favorite photographers, as well.

Sorry for going off-topic; have you ever read "Portrait of Myself", Margaret Bourke-White's autobiography?

Fascinating stuff.

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Sorry for going off-topic; have you ever read "Portrait of Myself", Margaret Bourke-White's autobiography?

Fascinating stuff.

No, I haven't, but will definitely make a note about that one, thanks. She always stood out to me because she was a well-known woman photographer from a time period when you just didn't see women in those careers, and of course her work drew me to it, speaks for itself.

Caution: when walking by the Savoy, take a hard-hat. :wacko:

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Was it Savoy House or Houston House that was in the movie Urban Cowboy? The place that John Travolta stayed. He took that gal he met in a bar to his hi-rise apartment.

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Was it Savoy House or Houston House that was in the movie Urban Cowboy? The place that John Travolta stayed. He took that gal he met in a bar to his hi-rise apartment.

That was 2016 Main - Penthouse #1

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The Savoy Flats - Located at Main St. & Pease Ave., opened in 1909, 7 stories, 19 housekeeping apartments, 4 bachelor's apts., had steel & conduit system of refrigeration resulting in an ice making plant in each apartment. Oh la la... Pretty modern for early 1900's. So I'm guessing that it was only a hotel for 3 yrs. ? Original Build date 1906. from Standard History of Houston, Texas, B.H. Carroll (1912)

Edited by NenaE

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Was it Savoy House or Houston House that was in the movie Urban Cowboy? The place that John Travolta stayed. He took that gal he met in a bar to his hi-rise apartment.

It was 2016 Main, and you have it bass-ackwards on who went where in the movie. The girl took him to HER high rise apt. Remember Travolta's character lived in a trailer park in Deer Park.

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A friend of mine took a high resolution photo of the main crack-line (lol?) of the Savoy apartment building

(click on thumbnail):

savoyaptsth_1108.jpg

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the main crack-line (lol?) of the Savoy apartment building

Wow that is super scary stuff :(

Its a miracle that Ike's winds didn't topple it over. Jeesh.

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I know this is like 4 years late but it's now official ! I am now the "Houston King of Urban Exploring" ! B) Here's some pics from the roof of Days Inn. I love all these buildings and hope they remain here forever . The longer they sit the more interesting they are.

My pictures are all re sized all wrong. Oh well , you can see em fine. I just found this website recently and have been reading through posts for weeks. I wanna give a special thanks to Squatterkid for customizing all the places he lived in. It makes all those places much more interesting . The bouncy room is one of my personal favorites. I had to try it out for myself. :D

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My pictures are all re sized all wrong. Oh well , you can see em fine. I just found this website recently and have been reading through posts for weeks. I wanna give a special thanks to Squatterkid for customizing all the places he lived in. It makes all those places much more interesting . The bouncy room is one of my personal favorites. I had to try it out for myself. :D
Edited by secretsquirrel

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Ooooh....can I bounce in the bouncy room too? secretsquirrel's gonna have to give me a tour...

Looks really clean in there for a building that's been abandoned for >20 years.

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Ooooh....can I bounce in the bouncy room too? secretsquirrel's gonna have to give me a tour...

Looks really clean in there for a building that's been abandoned for >20 years.

The inside is great shape compared to other buildings I've been in .

Edited by secretsquirrel

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Also, the Savoy is mentioned in the Winter 2009 issue of Cite, along with its old peers the Beaconsfield and the Rossonian..

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Also, the Savoy is mentioned in the Winter 2009 issue of Cite, along with its old peers the Beaconsfield and the Rossonian..

Noticed that as well. Should be a good issue, it's titled Here and Gone. The cover is really nice, a 1950's apt. and pool. Just browsed thru, so far.

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Too difficult ! It's on lock down. Only ninja's can gain access B)

I'll bet, because I walked around and couldn't figure it out. You must have entered through the parking garage as best I can figure. That or you did some climbing, or somebody just straight let you in. And I'm figuring the latter didn't happen.

The first picture in your reply to me, is that the older Savoy building? Looks like it, or it's another building that's all caved in on the inside. Got more pictures of the interior of the new building, the one that looks like it's still in good shape? I guess squatterkid looked after it when he was in there.

If this recession puts me on my ass I think I'm gonna go live up there. It's probably better than where I am :lol:

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Ran across this list about asbestos & Houston bldgs. last night by accident, thought it was interesting.

http://www.asbestos.com/states/texas/houston.php

Says the list is compiled from many sources, don't know how accurate it is.

Looks like to me it's mostly just chronologically based. It it was built or substantially remodeled during The Golden Age of Asbestos

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Whatever happened to 'squatterkid,' the person who started this thread? I thought his adventures were fascinating. Anyone know?

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The Savoy is coming down tomorrow! Its been deemed structurally unsound and must come down immediately.

The Savoy (1616 Main St.), one of the half dozen or so derelict high- and midrisesin southwestern downtown, is to be imploded tomorrow in an emergencydemolition, according to HPD public affairs officer Victor Senties. Thebuilding was found to be structurally unsound and must come down atonce, he said, and added that more details are forthcoming fromofficials from Metro, HPD and the Houston Fire Department at a pressconference to be held at 3 p.m. today near the building. But not toonear, we're guessing.

The Savoy is two buildings in one. Theolder section was built in 1906 and was the first public building inthe city to have electricity. The yellow, mid-century modern additionwas added in 1961. Hair Balls has mixed feelings about this. It's sad to see one ofthe city's very first skyscrapers go, but even in spite of ourdownright minuscule engineering knowledge, even we could say that the1906 Savoy was, how shall we put this...falling the thousand dollars down. It madeus nervous every time we walked it in our parking lot -- directlyacross Travis Street -- to enjoy a cigarette. All the same, it's gonnabe weird having just a bigger piece of sky to look at back there.

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2009/09/sayonara_savoy_derelict_downto.php

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