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Saints preserve us!

Or, failing that, HAHC preserve us, with the “us” being the River Oaks Shopping Center, the River Oaks theater and Alabama Theater/Bookstop.

Betty Chapman, who chairs the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission, said Tuesday the commission will vote on whether to designate the properties as historic landmarks. It would be the first time the commission has launched the designation of a building as a historic landmark and without the approval of the buildings’ owners, Weingarten Realty Investors.

Weingarten Realty could not be reached for comment.

“We are going to initiate that, and then there is a process we have to go through,” Chapman said. “We feel the buildings are so important that they need the designation of being historic landmarks.”

Sounds good, though of course in and of itself it means little – as Houstonist points out, that just means there’s a 90-day delay before the bulldozers can do their job. Still, this is an important statement for the Commission to make, whatever its practical effect may be. We’ll see how Weingarten reacts.

Meanwhile, Miya Shay teases us with the possibility that there may be a plan to actually save the River Oaks Theater. One can only hope. Click over and check it out.

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One Comment

  1. jim says:

    Miya Shay’s piece on Peter Brown’s sketch is interesting, but the whole sketch thing doesn’t add up to me. Nothing against Mr. Brown’s skills, but why would Weingarten – which, I imagine, has a bunch of able architects at its command – have a hush-hush meeting with Brown to ask him, “Do you really think we could fit a parking garage behind the River Oaks Theater?” It doesn’t make sense.

    Unless, of course, it’s a diversion tactic to make it appear that Weingarten is trying its hardest to save the theater (despite the fact that Weingarten has already said it doesn’t think the theater will be able to afford the rent once the rest of the shopping center is rebuilt). Hmm.