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Best Ruins Houston 2007 - Westbury Square

This 48-year-old outdoor mall looked old when it opened and was full of life. Designed by architect William J. Wortham, Jr., a man with a fixation on all things Italian Renaissance, Westbury Square was supposed to evoke a village in Tuscany, and for a decade or so it thrived as a hotbed of the counterculture outside the Loop, far from Montrose. Today it looks more like Pompeii. Almost half of it was pulled down about ten years ago to make way for a Home Depot, while the other half molders and crumbles in the sun, rain, wind and mold. And yet there's life there — people still live on the upper floors of some of the buildings, and a cigar shop there claims to have Houston's largest humidor. So grab a stogie, fire it up and remember the way things were.

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4 comments
Paul Staton
Paul Staton

To "anon"

I don't think you can rely on the property owners to repair items or do pest control. On my last visit (Dec 2007) there were boards with nails point up laying near the few apartments that are still occupied. There appears to be no routine maintenance other than what the two current shop owners and the residents do for themselves. The people at the Cigar Shop could tell you for sure.

anon
anon

Would anyone recommend living there now? I looked around the otuside, but have not seen the inside? Do they repair broken items? DO they do bug and rat prevention?myspace.com/treasure211

Paul Staton
Paul Staton

I lived in Westbury when the Square was built and spent time there as a teenager. I went to see its ruins on 12/15/07. It's very depressing to see such a unique area, which was once a well known source of pride for Houston, in such a terrible state of disrepair. It ought to be razed and returned to a vacant lot. At least then it could be fond memories instead of a rotting slum.

David Stallard
David Stallard

The Square still has about 8 habitable apartments, I live in one. The owner Antonini and Associates own the property and in my five years I've watched it slowly crumble away as A & A will not put any money into the property. A few shops besides The Cigar Shop, will open till the second month rent comes due and the tenants empty their belongings in the middle of the night stiffing the owner.

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