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Get Your Nominations In For The Worst In Houston Real Estate

Swamplot, the terrific real-estate blog (Winner of a Best of Houston award this year!) is trying to honor the "best" in Houston architecture, and note the quotes around "best."

Gus Allen, Mr. Swamplot, is seeking nominations for such categories as "Favorite Houston Design Cliche," "Most Grandiose Development" and "Best Teardown of the Year."

It's a contest after our own hearts.

Allen tells Hair Balls this is the first year for the contest, and there are some bugs to work out.

"It's quite possible, for example, that some absolutely brilliant Houston design cliches will go unrecognized in this year's awards, just because we've all become so blind to them," he says.

Nevertheless, the leader in the clubhouse seems to be the "Tuscanization" of malls and developments, which includes this complaint: "Towers. Nothing is more place making than a tower in the crotch of a strip mall with bloated Italianate surround details on unopened openings."

Others are nominating stucco overdose and the two-story McMansion entryway.

And the "Most Grandiose Development" category may be in trouble too.

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"If the downturn in the economy continues, this might be the last year in a long time we'll be able to have such heated competition in the 'most grandiose' category," Allen says.

But don't underestimate the ingenuity of kitschy Houston developers, he adds: "Builders will just have to work even harder to squeeze more affectation out of even cheaper materials."

There are rolling deadlines for closing the various categories, so get your picks in early.

-- Richard Connelly

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