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LottaLiving.com • Landmark Cohen "carousel" house slated for demolit
Page 1 of 2

Landmark Cohen "carousel" house slated for demolit

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:20 pm
by txmod

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:01 am
by Futura Girl
the whole story is freaking depressing to me - what a loss for your community...
i wish someone would take on the job of at oldest reloacting the carousel part of the structure? has that been looked into - it might be moveable?

loved this picture by the way - reminds me of a motel on sepulveda blvd in north hills, ca - maybe same architect? john english had a postcard of the original
Image

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:27 am
by Izzy
so sad!
what a cool house, wish i could see inside.
Even the address is swanky, "moonlight drive..."

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:46 pm
by sumu
The story is heartbreaking - gee, why am I not surprised some crackerbox contractor bought it? May he always have bad luck and never a day's peace if he tears that down.

sending out my stink eye.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:36 pm
by Futura Girl
sorry - sumu. please, no anti-developer talk here. it's just not fair... house was for sale for quite a while and no preservationist was willing to step up to the plate and snatch it up and buy it. so can't blame the developer at this point.

that's why it's such a sad story...

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:58 pm
by sumu
That's not completely accurate - the house wasn't put up for sale to the general public - it was sold by a lawyer to this developer. So, preservationists couldn't purchase it.

So, in fact, I will continue to pass stink eye onto said developer.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:18 pm
by Futura Girl
again - sumu - please Lotta Living is NEVER a place to dis people you have never met. please respect the rules of the forum.

as i read through the houston modernists forum, it seems like this house had been an ongoing issue for at least 2 years as the building became derilict and broken into and vandalized. there should have been neighborhood outcry, but if there was - it was not loud enough.

but 'should haves' and 'could haves' do us no good now...

IF we care about buidlings, i am sorry to say, but at this point in time, the burden is on us to save them as preservationists - to alert the media about issues and to try to get investors who are interested in restoring properties. if you and i are not personally willing to put up the money to save them - how can we condemn anyone else from not doing so?

if a business person who has not been educated into the historic preservation scene buys something that makes economic sense as a tear down - it is not right to immediately make them the enemy.


it is now in the hands of the good folks in houston mod to provide the owner with education and documentation about the building they have just purchased. i believe houston mod has been trying to get a hold of him since this past month.

the burden unfortunately is now on the cultural community of houston to try to landmark and educate about the building. i think that they can count on some letters of support from Lotta Living members if they reach out to us.

BUT casting an evil eye to the unknowing buyer does us no good as preservationists and actually makes us look bad to be unfriendly to business people. we must educate them and hold good thoughts that they can be turned around to re-think development - if not this time around, maybe next time.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:19 pm
by Futura Girl
p.s.

it would be nice if the houston mod website linked to us?

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:27 pm
by Futura Girl

SAD So....

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:16 am
by modfan

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:25 pm
by Futura Girl

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 6:29 pm
by sumu
In fact I do put my money (what there is of it) where my mouth is.

In fact, I wrote to Randy Pace. Anyone else?

I'll put my stink eye on hold, for the time being.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:45 pm
by txmod
This one was off the radar since the house was being maintained on the outside, it wasn't readily apparent that it was in danger until it was too late. I knew it was vacant and had made some effort to contact the owner, but being the uber-lawyer that he was I didn't really expect to be able to get through to anybody. Personally I didn't know the house was in the kind of shape it is in. You couldn't tell from the outside. Had I stayed on it with him more, maybe I could have found another buyer and averted this outcome.

Apparently the builder that got it has a girlfriend that lives on the block and he had really stayed on it more with John O'Quinn. When a tree limb fell on the house and the HOA started riding the owner, he then called the builder and basically "dumped" the house I think. Who knows what that builder got it for. Its not like the Lawyer needed the money. Thunder, from that article it looks like he had 29 cars missing from a very expensive collection and didn't even know it. It wouldn't surprise me if he sold it cheap, but I have no idea what it actually went for.

I contacted Lisa Gray with the Chronicle to get the story going, hoping that possibly raising awareness would help. I even tried to contact Granit builders to see if he would resell the property. No luck.

As far as Randy Pace with the city, thats all well and good, but I don't see that doing any good. Houston is the 4th largest city in the US, but I think the Historic Preservation department (I forget its official title) at city hall consists of JUST Randy Pace. If he even has an assistant that would be a new development. The preservation ordinances they do have amount to nothing more than a 90 day waiting period for demolition. So what can they do? Oh wait I know...nothing.

An incredible neighborhood outcry would have done nothing. The outcry to save the Art Deco River Oaks shopping center was like none Houston had seen before. It ended up doing nothing to stop Weingarten Realty from demolishing it. So to say that the "outcry wasn't enough" is naive at best. Right now there is really only one way to save these houses, and that is to find buyers that will save them. Unfortunately this one was NOT on the open market.

The latest is the demo permit process has started.

Hate to say it

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:59 am
by modfan

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:39 am
by tallrick

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:23 am
by txmod

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:19 am
by SpaceAge
We need someone who can appreciate this house to come in and save it quickly. Time is running out. It seems the owner has responded to the newspaper article and asked why doesn't someone offer him a fair price to scrap his plans and sell it to be preserved. I imagine about $600,000 would do the trick. Surely some ultra-swank millionaire could use a house in Texas. What would this house go for in Palm Springs? Wouldn't this house keep up with the best of them anywhere?

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:32 am
by SpaceAge
9602 Moonlight Drive
Houston, Texas

[img]http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r85/zoomanderson/DSC_0428copy.jpg[/img]


[img]http://www.arch-ive.org/cellar/moonlight_cohen.jpg[/img]

[img]http://shutter07.pictures.aol.com/data/pictures/15/005/7F/FE/7C/2F/fCsbYD0ZcRH4Hd2p-XxxRvVM8c+I3J-L0300.jpg[/img]

Murphy's Law

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:26 am
by jenkinshouse
This house is so tragic. I will shed a tear for Houston when it is gone. O'Quinn is one of the richest men in Houston. He has many cars that are more valuable than this house including a Batmobile and a JFK Limo, both of which would make a great picture with this house, come to think of it.

He buys the house, probably with good intentions, but doesn't take good enough care of the inside. The outside looks presentable and no one really knows how bad it is inside. He could have hired someone to take care of the house, but no, he didn't. Houston is moist and mold takes over making it more expensive to fix than to tear down and build anew. and then he decides he should just be rid of it and cut his losses. A builder conveniently appears and poof story over.

You would think a builder would appreciate such an interesting house and pick another house to tear down. But ranchers see cows differently than vegetarians do. I don't know why that comparison makes sense to me except that I'm vegetarian and that can be a depressing moral stance to take as well in America and Houston especially.

Some have suggested that Houston Mod should have been there in the last two years somehow to tell the owner his options. Ideally I guess that would have been the case, but this wasn't a case of knocking on a door and telling the owner his options. This was a case of calling a secretary who would relate the message to the owner that we called and not getting a response. Well, the Mod Squad all have our own jobs and life priorities to take care of so this kind of thing gets done on lunch breaks and vacations.

Houston has recently lost an even more interesting and important house (in my opinion), and that was sold by an owner who DID care and DID love his house. The house was by an architect who was definitely Texas famous if not world famous, and he lived in the house he built for himself too. And Houston Mod DID call. That was a tough call to make, asking the man to try to wait to find a potential buyer. He couldn't wait, I guess.

You'll find the house in the mods no more section now. We'll keep fighting the good fight, but it's not an easy battle. It tends to get depressing. But along with that are bright spots that make the fight worthwhile.
Jason

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:41 pm
by txmod
Image

Image

Image

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:36 pm
by tallrick
What is that roof made out of, wood concrete or? In Texas it would be scary to pay 1/2 mil for a house with their outrageous property taxes. I have yet to see a modern home of any significance for a middle-class price of 150K or less. As long as they are expensive they will continue to be replaced with homes that people are willing to overpay for.

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:11 am
by jenkinshouse

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:52 pm
by Futura Girl

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:59 pm
by luther
Here are the awful pics. Seems that the owner/developer expedited the demo once the house began getting publicity. Sickening...

Image

Image


Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:55 pm
by txmod

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:56 pm
by Futura Girl

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:53 pm
by tallrick

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:11 am
by Izzy

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:02 am
by Perks

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:08 am
by txmod