Houston Landmarks

The Houston Archeological and Historical Commission has the legal authority to designate structures as landmarks without owner approval.

Until now, they've never exercised that authority. But David Bush with the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance says there's a first time for everything.

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"This afternoon the Houston Archeological and Historical Commission voted unanimously to proceed with the designation process to have the River Oaks Shopping Center, the River Oaks Theater and the Alabama Theater designated as City of Houston landmarks."

Even with landmark designation for those buildings, owner Weingarten Realty can still move forward with demolition.

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"We're hoping it will send an important message to the companies-also to the community-that people do recognize the value of these buildings and of historic preservation in Houston in general. What it will require is that the Historical Commission be notified of any plans to either demolish or significantly alter the properties and it would allow for a 90-day waiting period."

The decision of the commission still has to be authorized by the Houston City Council.

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