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Hakeem buys mansion along Clear Lake.

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Former basketball star Hakeem Olajuwon has purchased the historic West mansion along Clear Lake, a Mediterranean-style estate on 41 acres of prime property.

Built in 1929 and designed by prominent architect Joseph Finger, the home at 3303 E. NASA Parkway was built for the family of oil, lumber and cattle baron James Marion West.

Olajuwon, who bought the property for an undisclosed price, is planning to sell it to developers, who could build high-rise residential buildings, retail centers or medical facilities there. Olajuwon bought the property from the Pappas family of Houston, which owns restaurant chains.

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Guest danax

As a Texas Historic Landmark, hopefully Hakeem will save and restore the mansion, although he can still demolish it if he wants to.

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from the way I read the article, I think it will get demolished. That sucks - its one of those houses where it doesn't matter who I've been with when driving by there, someone always asks "who lives there?" Its a gorgeous piece of land even if its at the corner of Space Center and Nasa Rd 1. The water and trees, plus the style of the house is great. My preference would be that some of the land gets left untouched and the mansion is restored with some other buildings filling in around it. However, I just don't see that happening.

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from the way I read the article, I think it will get demolished. That sucks - its one of those houses where it doesn't matter who I've been with when driving by there, someone always asks "who lives there?" Its a gorgeous piece of land even if its at the corner of Space Center and Nasa Rd 1. The water and trees, plus the style of the house is great. My preference would be that some of the land gets left untouched and the mansion is restored with some other buildings filling in around it. However, I just don't see that happening.

Is this the house on the north/west side of Nasa Rd 1 (not actually "on" the lake)?

flipper

Edited by flipper

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Is this the house on the north/west side of Nasa Rd 1 (not actually "on" the lake)?

flipper

yes near space center and nasa rd 1

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Man, what an Icon.

I don't have faith in Hakeem, even if he is my Cougar brother!

He's not a developer. Just a $peculator and uber-flipper.

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Goodness that is gorgeous. Anyone have a current photo? Never seen it before. I wonder how many structures were built in the Bay Area along with Galveston back then.

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Who would have ever thought that the Westheimer Moving and Storage facility would be missed? It certainly looked better off of 59 than the current hodge podge.

My hopes for this landmark getting saved are about the same as the Supreme Court making Gore the president.

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I too, don't have a lot of faith that this building will be saved. Get ready for your new strip center, Clear Lake... that nail salon, subway, cell phone place and cleaners you've been waiting for is on its way!

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Ok - maybe I am losing my mind, but we would drive by there weekly, and about once every two months, it looked like a party going on. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Someone was using it for SOMETHING. Can't WE do something to help save it??????

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Guest danax
Ok - maybe I am losing my mind, but we would drive by there weekly, and about once every two months, it looked like a party going on. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Someone was using it for SOMETHING. Can't WE do something to help save it??????

If it's in the City of Houston, Hakkem could have it designated a Historic Landmark which, I believe, would prevent it from being demolished in the future. The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance is aware and were quoted in the article as being hopeful that Hakeem will have a heart and restore the place. Are they Dream-ing?

But, he wants to sell to developers so I think he's in it for the flip profit, and so taking a step to secure the mansion's future would be counter what he appears to be all about; making money. Maybe I'm reading him wrong, I hope I am.

Hakeem, show Houston some love and do the right thing. Pull this one off the boards and pass off for the assist. The team is depending on you. Don't let them slam-dunk one of our last architectural masterpieces.

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Hakeem, show Houston some love and do the right thing. Pull this one off the boards and give an assist. The team is depending on you. Don't let them slam-dunk one of our last architectural masterpieces.

don't foul this up Hakeem!

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hakeem's track record isn't pretty - plus, he lives across the globe now, and i have little faith that he really gives a damn (i love to be proven wrong, though!).

it is already on the national register...there is no additional city ordinance that could help

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Nothing will save this place now. All Hakeem could care about is $$$$$.

A news report on the radio yesterday said that the place was last occupied by NASA in 1991. Since then it was owned by the Pappas Family, think food. The last time anyone lived in it was 1947 or 1949. It is already listed on Texas and National Historic sites but that doesn't provide any protection in Houston.

The news report also said that the site will be subdivided into retail and hotel. The house may actually be saved.

Edited by gto250us

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Nothing will save this place now. All Hakeem could care about is $$$$$.

A news report on the radio yesterday said that the place was last occupied by NASA in 1991. Since then it was owned by the Pappas Family, think food. The last time anyone lived in it was 1947 or 1949. It is already listed on Texas and National Historic sites but that doesn't provide any protection in Houston.

Houston's preservation ordinance is of no help to the Jim West mansion because it's not in Houston. It's in Pasadena. Yes the Pasadena city limits reaches all the way to NASA Road One. Pasadena does not have zoning, but it does have a planning commission which has a little bit of power.

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groovehouse:

Get ready for your new strip center, Clear Lake... that nail salon, subway, cell phone place and cleaners you've been waiting for is on its way!

Don't forget a Hallmark and liquor store.

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hakeem is in jordan, raising money for the spread of islam. he couldn't care less about the historic preservation of some rich, white, european descendants' home. this property is doomed to mediocre condos or apartment complexes. if this property is preserved, i will eat my words with a few pints for those who have faith in hakeem's intentions. :)

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i posted this in the endeavor thread, but it mentioned olajuwon's purchase, too:

Last month , former Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon purchased the historic West Mansion and the surrounding 41 acres at NASA Parkway and Space Center Boulevard in Pasadena. The mansion was built in 1929 for the family of oil, lumber and cattle baron James Marion West. His son, Jim West Jr., was a colorful millionaire known as "Silver Dollar Jim" because of his penchant for showering silver dollars on those around him.

Olajuwon is expected to sell the property in parcels to developers wanting to build high-rise residential buildings much like he did with land he acquired at Kirby and the Southwest Freeway in Houston, the Houston Chronicle has reported.

Cities in the Clear Lake area are welcoming the development plans because of the promise of increased property tax revenue. Cities already are amending zoning ordinances and issuing variances for never-before-built high-rises on the water's edge.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headli...ro/4345603.html

bleh

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Houston's preservation society has added yet another structure to its ever-expanding list of endangered buildings.

The property it says is at risk for demolition: the historic James and Jessie West mansion along Clear Lake.

In October, Hakeem Olajuwon bought the 17,000-square-foot Italian Renaissance mansion and its 41-acre site from the Pappas restaurant family. The property is to be sold in parcels.

Though the estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, neither designation would prevent its demolition, according to the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. If someone were to save the building, however, its National Register listing allows for substantial federal preservation tax credits if the house is restored to high standards.

"We had hoped that Mr. Olajuwon would use his resources to preserve this extremely important property as he did with his adaptive reuse of the Houston National Bank building on Main Street," said Ramona Davis, the group's executive director.

The old Houston National Bank was purchased by the former Houston Rocket and turned into the city's first downtown mosque.

A real estate broker marketing the West property said there have already been offers from developers of apartments, a hotel and a senior housing community.

"There is interest in incorporating the house as a part of some of these development plans," said David Cook of Cushman & Wakefield, adding that parcels won't be sold until it's determined how the acreage will be divided.

In the late 1920s, oil, lumber and cattle baron J.M. West Sr. commissioned architect Joseph Finger to design the opulent house, at 3303 E. NASA Parkway at Space Center Boulevard. The expansive site still includes the original tennis court with twin gazebos, swimming pool and changing rooms, a nine-car garage and a manager's house.

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I was about to post this in the Historic Houston forum when I saw this thread. My concern is that, given the circumstances, the public has been given little opportunity to provide feedback on the potential destruction of this historic and beautiful building. I spoke to someone at GHPA who said that their only contact at that point with regard to the building was David Cook, at Cushman & Wakefield, who represents Mr. Olajuwon in the transaction, and has been quoted in the Houston Chronicle articles. I found his email address on the property listing (which is listed under "land for sale" in Clear Lake, with no mention of the house).

I hope I'm not naive to take a bit of encouragement from the fact that some of the offers for the property do not contemplate the destruction of the house - but I would like very much to have an address to which I could write to encourage Mr. Olajuwon to accept one of those offers. Having not seen any other contact information, I plan to email Mr. Cook. My understanding is that Mr. Olajuwon has been at least somewhat sensitive and responsive to past input he's received with regard to historic Houston structures, and so I do think that there is a chance he might accept a lower-yet-still-profitable offer in this case - especially if he knows that there is (I hope) strong public interest in preserving the historical landmark on the property.

Thanks to those of you helping to spread the word. If anyone has any updates, I'd be very interested.

west4.JPG

west1.jpg

west2.jpg

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That's what Hakeem does best.

sad that people only care about money and would bring down such a wonderful house. We can't take our money with us but we can leave great houses instead of Hotels and shopping centers.

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I was about to post this in the Historic Houston forum when I saw this thread. My concern is that, given the circumstances, the public has been given little opportunity to provide feedback on the potential destruction of this historic and beautiful building. I spoke to someone at GHPA who said that their only contact at that point with regard to the building was David Cook, at Cushman & Wakefield, who represents Mr. Olajuwon in the transaction, and has been quoted in the Houston Chronicle articles. I found his email address on the property listing (which is listed under "land for sale" in Clear Lake, with no mention of the house).

I hope I'm not naive to take a bit of encouragement from the fact that some of the offers for the property do not contemplate the destruction of the house - but I would like very much to have an address to which I could write to encourage Mr. Olajuwon to accept one of those offers. Having not seen any other contact information, I plan to email Mr. Cook. My understanding is that Mr. Olajuwon has been at least somewhat sensitive and responsive to past input he's received with regard to historic Houston structures, and so I do think that there is a chance he might accept a lower-yet-still-profitable offer in this case - especially if he knows that there is (I hope) strong public interest in preserving the historical landmark on the property.

Thanks to those of you helping to spread the word. If anyone has any updates, I'd be very interested.

west4.JPG

west1.jpg

west2.jpg

maybe olajuwon still has houston contacts with the rockets or an agent.

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I Spoke last night at Our Pasadena City Council meeting about, Pasadena's lack of preservation ordinaces, and Council woman Dana Philibert also spoke of the need. As I stated since Pasadena has annexed this historic landmark into Our city the need to Preserve the West Mansion is Our Responsibility.Dana stated also that she had forwarded request of city officials that might deal with possible ordinances for preservation in Pasadena.I also spoke about my pet project saving the tall lady of Pasadena Our Skyscraper the 1st Pasadena State Bank Building. I want to protect what little architecture we have left, we are what we protect from our founding fathers and their families. Preserve the Past Protect the Future.

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I Spoke last night at Our Pasadena City Council meeting about, Pasadena's lack of preservation ordinaces, and Council woman Dana Philibert also spoke of the need. As I stated since Pasadena has annexed this historic landmark into Our city the need to Preserve the West Mansion is Our Responsibility.Dana stated also that she had forwarded request of city officials that might deal with possible ordinances for preservation in Pasadena.I also spoke about my pet project saving the tall lady of Pasadena Our Skyscraper the 1st Pasadena State Bank Building. I want to protect what little architecture we have left, we are what we protect from our founding fathers and their families. Preserve the Past Protect the Future.

Hats off to you for placing the photo as your avatar. If I'm not mistaken it is a Frank Lloyd Wright building? It looks like his signature style. I knew a doctor that told me he had to vacate as it was to be demolished? What! More madness? That beautiful structure never seems to go out of style. I always wanted to walk inside out of plain curiosity especially if it is a F.L. Wright bldg.

1001EastSouthmore-001.jpg1001EastSouthmore-002.jpg

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Hi, everyone! I was surfing the internet for information on the James West Mansion and I found this site. I really want to save this beautiful building, and I'm happy to see that so many others feel the same way. Perhaps a group of us could work together as investors to buy the home.

If you have any ideas on how to save this mansion, please reply to me here or contact me privately at SavetheJWMansion at gmail dot com .

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Don't count on this home being saved even if a developer claims to want to. Tilman Fertitta did the same thing when he bought the Sealy home in Galveston on Seawall and 53rd St. He used it for a short time as part of Landry's, kind of like a baquet room. He then said it was in the way, tore it down and proceeded to build that ugly "Rain Forest Cafe". What a trade-off.

His old childhood neighbors in the adjoining Westwood subdivision tried to fight him on this but money and influence always talks loudest.

On a semi-related interseting note: There is a framed picture of the Jim West "River Oaks" home in the BCM Medical Towers lobby floor. It shows several period cars form the 30's parked in front. neat stuff!

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Hats off to you for placing the photo as your avatar. If I'm not mistaken it is a Frank Lloyd Wright building? It looks like his signature style. I knew a doctor that told me he had to vacate as it was to be demolished? What! More madness? That beautiful structure never seems to go out of style. I always wanted to walk inside out of plain curiosity especially if it is a F.L. Wright bldg.

it is a MacKie and Kamrath (FLW influenced)

http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...?showtopic=2928

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On a semi-related interseting note: There is a framed picture of the Jim West "River Oaks" home in the BCM Medical Towers lobby floor. It shows several period cars form the 30's parked in front. neat stuff!

I think that may be the photo linked to in post #8 on this thread. (The split threads on the same subject are my fault - sorry.)

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Hi, everyone! I was surfing the internet for information on the James West Mansion and I found this site. I really want to save this beautiful building, and I'm happy to see that so many others feel the same way. Perhaps a group of us could work together as investors to buy the home.

If you have any ideas on how to save this mansion, please reply to me here or contact me privately at SavetheJWMansion at gmail dot com .

anyone know what it sold for?

hcad lists the appraised value a little over $3 million

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anyone know what it sold for? hcad lists the appraised value a little over $3 million

Now that you mention it, I don't think any of the news reports I saw mentioned the price. In her original article, Nancy Sarnoff said that the market value is "much higher" than the appraised value.

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