Much like its coastal counterparts in New York City and Los Angeles, Houston boasts an impressive number of loft options. In fact, there are more historical lofts, both residential and commercial, in Houston than any other city in Texas. Combining a rich history (including the Great Depression and both world wars) with the modern practicality of today, loft spaces have become increasingly popular.
In 1910, the Bayou Lofts was the headquarters for the Southern Pacific Railroad, where major decisions regarding transportation across the country were made. However in 1997, the building was heavily remodeled into over 100 lofts with high ceilings, brick exteriors, and original hardwood floors. It even features a rooftop swimming pool for its residents.
Another converted loft building in the historic downtown of Houston are the Franklin Lofts. When first built in 1904, it housed the First National Bank and was considered the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi at a whopping eight stories tall. Although the interior has been completely renovated and upgraded with new electrical and plumbing systems, 11-18 foot ceilings, and stainless steel appliances, the exterior of the building has remained remarkably true to its origins.
Other notable converted lofts include City View Lofts, a former cookie factory originally constructed in 1910 for Nabisco; Post Rice Lofts, a renovation of the historic Rice Hotel with 100-year-old maple hardwood floors; and Hermann Lofts, one of the first loft conversion projects in Houston that also once doubled as headquarters for the Salvation Army. Hermann Lofts is also on the National Register of Historic Places.