Thursday, August 20, 2009

Light Rail's Destruction

The address appeared yesterday on Swamplot's Daily Demolition Report, but the Google Street View link just showed the side of the building, which did not look very special. The facade that faces Harrisburg, not Stiles, is very interesting though. It features an art deco canopy and clock tower! The building sold as an artist live/work/gallery just a few years ago for under $200k. Now the land is being cleared for METRO's new East End Light Rail line.

Architectural historian Stephan Fox said, "The Sterling Laundry & Cleaning Co. Building, was built in 1935 and designed by the architect Sol R. Slaughter. In the 1980s and '90s it was the residence and studio of the Houston artist William Steen, who died last year. It is illustrated in Jim Parsons and David Bush's book, Houston Deco, on page 37."

Eastwood resident Steve Parker said, "METRO pledged to save the facade of the building with the clock on it, across from Eastwood Park. They preferred to have someone else buy it and move it, but if that didn't happen, they were going to move it back on the property and reattach it behind the new setback."

Steve added, "I am very disappointed that METRO has decided to demolish an East End landmark that we had worked with them to save. They changed their mind without letting the community know. It just showed up on the demo list yesterday. Now we only have a couple of days to save it.

The neighborhood has alerted their government representatives and local preservationists.

More at Art Deco Slaughter on Harrisburg: Is METRO Taking to the Cleaners?

and Neighbors Say Metro Promised to Save a Building it Now Plans to Demolish,

and Facade Value: Saving the Skin isn’t the Same as Saving the Building. But at least it’s Something.

UPDATE (08/25/2009):
Neighbors and concerned citizens met with Houston City Council members and Metro officials today to discuss preservation options. Below are photos of the interior and roof condition.

Main gallery.

Operable skylight.

Main gallery.


Main gallery.

Roof access stair.

Skylight with roof access stair.

Inspecting the condition of the tower.


View towards downtown.

Photo by David Bush.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the comment today! Your blog is interesting. I just love all aspects of architecture so you know I will be back!


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