Community Improvement Awards Presented to Exceptionally “Heights-y” Homes and Businesses
A record number of nominations were submitted for this year’s Community Improvement Awards. Chaired by Jason Starr for 2017, these awards recognize outstanding contributions, both new and newly reimagined, to the architectural pedigree of Houston Heights and are scored based on:
- Architectural integrity and appropriateness of style,
- Compatibility with the neighborhood,
- Site planning and landscaping,
- Incremental improvement,
- And, in the case of commercial nominees, economic and environmental factors.
Jeff Cox, Liz Hanks, Pete Hansen, and Kathleen Williamson selected the following as most deserving of this designation.
Winner: 104 W. 12th Street with main tenant Elegant Additions
Owned by: Gerald Bodzy
Designed by: Gary R. Chandler, Architecture & Interiors
Built by: Kahanek Construction Co.
In accepting the award along with Gerald Bodzy, Gary Chandler spoke to how significant and unique the Heights’ propensity for adaptive reuse truly is. His hope, he said, was that they have created a building for the next century, from what was previously a dilapidated property on highly visible Yale Street. Both Gerald and Gary thanked the buildings tenants, especially main tenant Elegant Additions, for supporting the vision of the project.
Other Finalists: Golden Bagels & Coffee at 3121 White Oak, Presidio at 911 W. 11th
Commercial New Construction
Winner: Tritico Rainey, PLLC at 1523 Yale
Built by: Taylor Radley, KBR Homes
Chris Tritico spoke fondly of his family roots in the Heights as he accepted the award on behalf of the firm of nine, now Heights-based attorneys. He described the project as a labor of love that was painstakingly designed to keep with the neighborhood’s character.
Winner: 534 Cortlandt, The Stewart Residence
Owned by: Matt & Christy Stewart
Built by: Bill Riley, Bicycle Bungalows
Though the homeowners weren’t able to attend, the audience was audibly wowed by the result of their remodel and modest addition. Builder Bill Riley proudly accepted the award on their behalf, relating humorously the care he took in taking the home to the studs. Apparently, he said, the bank-shy previous owner of the historic home may just have “buried treasure in those walls.”
Finalists: The Gamble Residence at 1418 Ashland, The Seeburger Residence at 734 Arlington
Residential New Construction
Winner: 1016 Rutland, Anthony Harnden of Contemporary Craftsmen
Owned by: Anthony Harnden, Contemporary Craftsmen
Designed by: Sam Gianukos, Creole Design
Built by: Anthony Harnden, Contemporary Craftsmen
Builder and Houston transplant Anthony Harnden received the award for his project on the previously vacant lot, describing our neighborhood as a unique place in a city that “almost feels like a science experiment.” Especially after living in the Heights for several decades, he feels like it has “really grown up.”
Finalists: The Castagno Residence at 734 E. 7th, The Russell Residence at 715 Tulane