Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark Owner: Weingarten Realty Investments
Time Frame Date Accepted September-7-2011 90-day Waiver December -6-2011

HPO File No. 1109000

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Applicant: Same

SITE INFORMATION:
TR 1, ABST.696 O. Smith, City of Houston, Harris County, Texas. The site includes a contiguous historic one story shopping center and theatre building.

TYPE OF APPROVAL REQUESTED:
The existing historic theatre building will be retrofitted for a new retail tenant space. The applicant requests approval of a certificate of appropriateness for the following work: • East Elevation (front - facing Shepherd Drive): Install a new business name sign above the historic marquee; The sign will consist of individual channel letters that will be mounted to the top edge of the historic theatre marquee in the same location as the previous long term tenant. At the location of the main entrance facing S. Shepherd Drive, remove the existing glass and brushed aluminum storefront system that is inset within the main entry to the theatre building; Construct a new storefront system of the same materials that will be moved forward (towards Shepherd Drive) approximately 7’-0” to the beginning of the radiused wall opening which is located approximately 1’-0” aft of the facade; Any historic enameled panels disturbed during renovations to the entry way will be saved for future reuse on the building; A single pedestrian door located to the left (south) side of the façade will be enclosed and finished on the exterior with stucco to match; The door is located in the former location of an original breezeway that was enclosed in the 1990’s and is not original to the building; West Elevation (facing rear property line and parking lot): The rear of the theatre building was remodeled during an earlier phase to accommodate a prior tenant; During that earlier remodeling, a one story glass and stucco vestibule was created to accommodate customers from the rear parking lot; At the location of the existing glass and stucco vestibule, construct a new semi-circular parapet wall with faux windows on top of existing which will be lower in height than the main original roof structure; At same location construct a new circular turret, which will be the same height as the existing historic roof structure and will feature a business name sign; The business sign will be constructed of reverse illuminated individually mounted channel letters; The exterior of the rear addition/remodel will clad in stucco to match existing; New one story shed roofed shopping cart shelters will be constructed to either side of entry doors to store;(see elevation drawings for fenestration details)

HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE:
The Modernistic buildings are located at 2900-2946 South Shepherd Drive. The Alabama Theatre was constructed in 1938-1939 by Interstate Theatre Company, and opened on November 2, 1939. Interstate, a large national company, at one time operated 10 movie houses in Houston, including the Garden Oaks, Majestic, Metropolitan, River Oaks, and Village Theatres. They also operated more than 150 theatres located throughout the country. Interstate Theatre Company hired Dallas architect, W. Scott Dunne, who by 1928 had specialized his practice in theatre design. Dunne designed the Alabama Theatre as well as other notable theatres, including Houston’s Tower Theatre on Westheimer and Dallas’ Texas Theatre. The Alabama Theatre is notable for its imposing façade which forms both the physical and visual axis of the Alabama Shopping Center. The 800-seat theater’s most distinguishing exterior feature is its prominent fluted center bay/canopy. The shopping wings flanking the theater were constructed by the Clayton Foundation in 1940 to service the surrounding
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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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River Oaks, Winlow Place, Montrose, and the Museum District neighborhoods. The Clayton Foundation, whose trustees were prominent Houstonians Benjamin, Julia, and William Clayton, commissioned well-known architect, Kenneth Franzheim, to design the wings.

APPROVAL CRITERIA FOR ALTERATION:
Sec. 33-241. Alteration, rehabilitation, restoration and construction. (a) The HAHC shall issue a certificate of appropriateness for the alteration, rehabilitation, restoration or construction of an exterior feature of (I) any landmark, (II) any building, structure or object in an historic district, or (III) any building, structure or object that is part of an archaeological site, upon finding that the application satisfies the following criteria, as applicable: S D NA S - satisfies D - does not satisfy NA - not applicable (1) The proposed activity must retain and preserve the historical character of the property; (2) The proposed activity must contribute to the continued availability of the property for a contemporary use; (3) The proposed activity must recognize the building, structure, object or site as a product of its own time and avoid alterations that seek to create an earlier or later appearance; (4) The proposed activity must preserve the distinguishing qualities or character of the building, structure, object or site and its environment; (5) The proposed activity must maintain or replicate distinctive stylistic exterior features or examples of skilled craftsmanship that characterize the building, structure, object or site; (6) New materials to be used for any exterior feature excluding what is visible from public alleys must be visually compatible with, but not necessarily the same as, the materials being replaced in form, design, texture, dimension and scale; (7) The proposed replacement of missing exterior features, if any, should be based on an accurate duplication of features, substantiated by available historical, physical or pictorial evidence, where that evidence is available, rather than on conjectural designs or the availability of different architectural elements from other structures; (8) Proposed additions or alterations must be done in a manner that, if removed in the future, would leave unimpaired the essential form and integrity of the building, structure, object or site; (9) The proposed design for any exterior alterations or addition must not destroy significant historical, architectural or cultural material and must be compatible with the size, scale, material and character of the property and the area in which it is located; (10) The setback of any proposed construction or alteration must be compatible with existing setbacks along the blockface and facing blockface(s); (11) The proposed activity will comply with any applicable deed restrictions

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approval of the certificate of appropriateness

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark
Site Location Map Not to scale

HPO File No. 1109000

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark
Current Photograph Showing Front of Building

HPO File No. 1109000

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Proposed Rendering

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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Current Photograph Showing Rear of Building

Proposed Rendering

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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Site Plan Not to Scale

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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Site Plan Detail Showing Proposed Work to Storefront Not to Scale

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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Site Plan Detail Showing Proposed Work to Storefront Not to Scale

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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East (front) Elevation Not to Scale

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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West (rear) Elevation Not to Scale

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark HPO File No. 1109000
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North and South (side) Elevation Not to Scale

NORTH SIDE

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services

Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission

Meeting Date: September 22, 2011

AGENDA ITEM: I??
SITE NAME: Alabama Theatre SITE LOCATION: 2922 S. Shepherd Drive–Landmark
SOUTH SIDE

HPO File No. 1109000

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CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS
City of Houston Planning and Development Department, Neighborhood Services