Very Houston News 

The Medical Center’s Spires Are Gone, But Spanish Village Is Saved

Plus, why we’re thunder-stuck. 

By Catherine Wendlandt July 16, 2021

Another Landmark Disappears

Houstonians are used to iconic landmarks disappearing seemingly overnight, but still, like a deer in headlights, we’re shocked the next time a landmark falls to the wayside. 

On Monday, July 12, Houstonians noticed something missing from the city’s skyline: Over in the Medical Center, the iconic spires of the O’Quinn Medical Tower at St. Luke’s, which some sardonically referred to as “shot towers” or “Madonna’s bra,” were missing. 

“The iconic ‘hypothermic needle’ spires atop the O’Quinn Medical Building have been completely taken down,” wrote one user, htxrunner, on reddit. “They made this one of the most iconic buildings in Houston. How could the owners commit such a travesty?”

Well, according to a report from Click2Houston, the owners—Texas Children’s Hospital—could do that because the aviation strobe atop one of the spires, which had been there since 1991, had fallen into disrepair. Instead of fixing it, the hospital deemed it would be too expensive and dangerous to fix the spires, which are 470 feet above the ground, every five years. 

And so, another one bites the dust. 

But Sometimes, a Landmark Does Get Saved 

Earlier this month, we wrote that Houston’s second-oldest Tex Mex spot, Spanish Village, was closing its doors after 68 years on July 17. 

Well, in a twist of fate, owner Abhi Sreerama posted on Facebook Wednesday that new owners had purchased the restaurant, and after a two-week hiatus, the spot will reopen August 1. While not much is known about the new owners or how Spanish Village will operate moving forward, Sreerama did comment that all employees will be able to keep their jobs. 

Miracles do happen—even in Houston. 

Then When It Rains, It Pours 

Remember when we thought May’s rain was bad? You’d have to be living under a rock, or, well, in Austin, to have not noticed it’s been raining a lot this week. Over the past week, most pockets of Harris County have gotten two-to-five inches of rain. 

Seriously, the thunder’s rolled more than a Garth Brooks song, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. According to Space City Weather’s Eric Berger, this pattern of thunderstorms developing on the coast then lazily meandering to Houston should continue into early next week, although we should have some sunny skies this weekend. 

Why all the thunderous hubbub? “These storms are driven as the sea breeze moves inland from the coast,” writes Berger, “and combines with warmer surface temperatures to lift moisture higher into the atmosphere where it can condense.” 

So, if you go out and about this weekend, don’t forget your rain boots, and hope another love doesn’t grow cold.

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