Soon after the sale was finalized, we began a much anticipated, controlled demolition. We began pealing back layers of history uncovering portions of the original building dating back to 1932. The first tenants, Rettig’s Heap-O-Cream and ABC Grocery Store gave way in the late 50’s to Ivy Russell Ford. In the 70’s the building housed the bonus stamp loyalty customer reward retrieval center for Weingarten Grocery Stores. Finally, Eckerd Drugs added square footage and renovated the original art deco building into a 1980’s masterpiece (seen in the before shot).
We were fortunate to be able to convert this coveted cornerstone back into its original condition. The City of Houston awarded us the Good Brick Award for our efforts.
These are the types of buildings that preserve the character and culture of our inner city. This project sparked our new passion – saving well-built structures that add to the character of our city. We are obviously pro development, but feel that there is a real threat looming in Houston. Meticulously built structures demolished and forgotten and faux finished structures built in their place.
BEFORE: After purchasing the building from the family that formerly operated the Rettig’s Heap-O-Cream empire, we were fortunate enough to be invited into their home to learn greater detail of the building’s history. Without this experience we may not have been able to restore the building.
We learned greater detail of the building’s history and with that were able to restore the building to mimic its original condition.
Peeling back the layers drew the attention of many area residents who stopped to tell their stories.
AFTER: We replaced the original rotted wood canopy with aluminum materials and replaced the damaged stainless steel art deco accents with new stainless steel that will shine many years into the future.