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Top Five: The Year in Architecture and Design

2010 brought a bit of neighborhood controversy, new players in education, hot trends and a welcome restoration project to Houston. These were the highlights.

5. The Lake-Flato HEB Look, Montrose, we miss the Wilshire Village apartments, too, and wish some kind soul had made the economically unwise decision to fix them up into a hipster haven. And a garage would've been nice instead of all that surface parking, but let's be realistic, this is Houston. And considering what we could've gotten on that spot, the prospect of having two of San Antonio's finest exports--HEB and Lake/Flato--in the neighborhood? We'll take it.

4. Electric Cars R Us The nation is shocked to learn that Houston's getting the nation's first, privately-funded electric car charging network. Funny little Euro-sedans for everyone!

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3. The Cricket Trailer Lawndale's Design Fair introduced us to the Cricket Trailer, one of our major design crushes of 2010.

2. Sarah Whiting Becomes Dean of Rice University School of Architecture Whiting brings fresh energy and vision to the school (and the total number of female deans at Houston's three architecture schools to three). Hear her talk about architecture "going back to the future" in the clip above.

1. The Julia Ideson Expansion and Restoration Project The opening of the new archival wing at the 1926 Julia Ideson building at the Houston Public Library, and the ongoing, privately-funded restoration project on the original structure: a rare instance of Houston architectural history getting the respect it deserves.

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