Residents contest plan for new high rise in Museum District

July 11, 2013 10:30:29 AM PDT
A new residential high rise is in the works in the Museum District and some nearby residents are not exactly thrilled over the plans.

It's expected to be over 20 stories high at the corner of Caroline and Oakdale. It's the beginning of the end for people who live at Winslow Manor. Their apartments will be torn down to make way for a new high rise.

It may not look like much -- window a/c units, old appliances and dated French doors. But the charm and character of the old Winslow Manor captured John Ong's heart.

"There's not any other building that looks like this," Ong said. "We see people passing by the street all the time, and like 'Oh you live here? Can we look around?' or just slowing down and taking pictures. Really nice."

Since in 1929, Winslow Manor has sat quietly, but regally on the corner of Caroline and Oakdale. Once a mansion, it was divided into separate apartment units after World War II.

"I feel like I'm living in a museum," resident Marcia Mercadante said. "It's my favorite part of Houston. It's beautiful. I hate for that to be destroyed."

Winslow Manor is one of several buildings on this block to be demolished to make way for the new 22-story, multi-family residential high rise. And while the people living here understand the benefit of growth, they don't want to sacrifice the antiquity of this particular block.

"I believe it's going to destroy the whole historic aspect of this community," resident Mary Quinlan said.

While Winslow Manor residents like Ong are not looking forward to soon moving out, they worry more about how a massive high-rise will change the landscape and the feel of museum park.

"This area should be preserved. It's historic and it's green," Mercadante said. "Maybe they should be purchased by the city and turned into additional gallery spaces for the museums, or artists studios and renovated -- something."

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