The Slow Destruction of All That is Good and Dear (or Houston Sucks)

The Houston area is a beautiful metropolis. From beaches to bays, forests to bayous, ultra-modern to beautiful Victorian, Houston has a rich, varied past and is flying towards a fantasy future. Trees and buildings 200 years old stand in our Downtown nestled in with futuristic structures serving the globe’s every need. A hundred neighborhoods divide the five million inhabitants that represent every country and culture in the world. Houston is a vast, grand jewel of America.

Unfortunately, people with the money to make decisions don’t seem to care about any of that. Real estate companies, city planners, urban developers and pseudo-governmental organizations like Metro seem hellbent on the total destruction of everything that makes Houston what it is.

Every time I pull out of my drive way, every glance at the news, every conversation, there is glaring evidence of the rampant gentrification of Houston. One by one, historic homes and buildings are being torn down to build new buildings that look like old buildings. Age old shopping centers are being demolished to make way for the latest and greatest chain store. Houston is becoming the worlds largest suburb. Our culture is being systematically dismantled to make way for blah, standardized, corporate convenience. They call it development, I call it barbarism.

The bad news is: consumers in Houston are the villains. Companies only build because there are people willing to move into townhomes and condos, willing to shop in the new multistory Barnes & Noble/Starbucks #32548. The consumers buy tiny new homes in the Heights built three to a lot for half a million dollars each. The consumers pre-buy lofts in highrises before they’re even finished mutilating the lot. Consumers personally sponsor this crime.

So, what are we going to do? What can we do when votes don’t matter, when nobody asks us before they destroy our landmarks? I guess all we can do is enjoy Houston now, the splendor and history. Show your support for Houston’s culture. Shop at local stores, eat at local restaurants and choose places with history. Maybe join the GHPA. Maybe if we do it enough, if we tell others enough, we won’t loose any more culture.

5 Comments so far

  1. Victoria (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

    I totally agree and it’s extremely sad. There must enough native Houstonians that actually care about the city. I have a feeling this destruction is being done by non-natives that have no history here. Houston is such a gem and I think Mayor White is doing a great job. Someone should rally the troops and perhaps start the “Native Houstonian Alliance to Stop the Destruction of Our City”.

  2. a~lotus (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 9:30 pm

    yeah really, it’s getting to a point where i’m more than tired of these construction happenings…

  3. dguet (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 12:11 pm

    Yes. Seriously. Let’s do it. I am not a native Houstonian, but I love this city…or whats left of it.

    I am all for building new, but I oppose the wholesale rape of the unique and urban environment by the suburban lifestyle. If they want to “revitalize” and area, then they should do so by preserving theparts that work.

    Sign the petions; demand change; threaten boycotts. If necessary, lay in front of the damn bulldozers.

  4. Jen (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 7:00 am

    Great post, Adrian.

  5. katya (unregistered) on July 28th, 2006 @ 10:40 am

    I saw a short piece on the news about a bunch of Heights homeowners protesting ‘McMansions’ and ugly ‘Hummer Houses’ that were being built in place of great old 100-year homes. Anyone know anything about them? I really admired their passion and would like to join up with them….

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