Everybody who drives in the Magnolia Pkwy/Kirby area, whether they are from here or not, has noticed the large mansion sitting at that corner. I am talking about the second one from Kirby Dr. The largest one. I have heard all kind of rumors regarding the story behind that mansion. It has been sitting empty for years. Well, just over 10 days ago on December 27th , it has suffered a major collapse on the back side. It looks like 15-20% of the building is destroyed. As a reminder, contractors were working at the site to “renovate” it. As a reminder, a school and a church were supposed to move in later this year as first tenants in over a decade. The building of over 60,000 sqft, that was built in 2001, looks miserable and has been condoned by the City’s Fire Marshal because nobody knows when or if the rest of the building will collapse.
The cause of the collapse is unknown at this time but a few hypotheses were brought up. It could have been damaged by termites, water penetration from years of lack of maintenance and from vandalism. Several pieces of lumber (joist and rafter) were rotten upon inspection after collapse. Structural engineers have been hired by the owner to try to certify the building so the remodeling can continue but it seems the effort has been unsuccessful so far. The insurance company has hired a forensic engineer to try to determine the cause of the collapse.
Thankfully this collapse happened before the building was put to use by the future tenants. Think about it, people including kids from the school could have gotten trapped in this collapse. If the building is deemed damaged beyond repair it is highly possible it may eventually be torn down but not after a potential long court battle.