Just two years after winningBest Abandoned Building
by us, the old apartments known to everyone as the Fear Factory have been town down.
Located a block north of Milam and Elgin, the building has always looked spooky, and a weathered sign advertising it as a one-time haunted house added to the allure.
Now reports are that Houston Community College has torn it down. (We drove by it this morning, but apparently were not awake enough to notice anything.
J.R. Gonzalez of the Houston Chronicle's Bayou City History blog tweets that the building is/was formally known as the Windward Courts apartments and was built in the early 1920s.
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He attaches a portfolio of the architect, Williams Ward Watkin, who also designed the old library downtown.
Here's our 2008 Best of blurb:
We have no idea when, or why, the big "Fear Factory" sign came to rest on the side of the abandoned house at Travis and Rosalie near the big HCC high-rise in Midtown, but it's hard to imagine a more appropriate sign or a spookier-looking building. A Google search for "Fear Factory Houston" offered no clues on why the sign wound up there or how the house came to be abandoned -- it's one of those gigantic Midtown/Montrose houses that was probably split up into several different dwellings, the kind that line West Gray around Cecil's and Barnaby's -- but filmmakers looking for a low-budget horror location could do a lot worse, especially since the overgrown courtyard looks straight out of Apocalypse Now. Since this is an election year, the house is also being used as a convenient -- and presumably free -- billboard for campaign signs, which, come to think of it, might be the scariest thing of all.
And now it's gone.