Home Description

NotsuoH: The Home Above2019-09-19T16:19:57-05:00

The Kiam Annex is the tenth oldest commercial building in Houston. It was constructed in 1893 and at the time was the tallest building in Houston and had the third electric elevator in America. Currently the bottom floor houses two bars … Dean’s and Notsuoh. The second and third floors are the residence and studios of artists Jim Pirtle and Bronwyn Lauder, along with resident caretaker and magic-maker, Dawn Lerro. Ten thousand square feet stuffed with objects left behind from the previous tenants since 1929…  4 Clothing stores, a jewelry store and a pawn shop plus the art brought in by Jim Pirtle from 35 years of object making and collecting!

It is a Surreal blend of mid century retail and classic artist loft reminiscent of the early 1970’s artist’s lofts in New York.

The environment of the building both the objects and social events is considered a “social sculpture.” Jim bought the building in 1996. He kept most of the left behind objects from the previous tenants and allowed other artists to engage the space – a dance company, theater groups, a local weekly newspaper, art openings and drawing classes as well as raising his daughter in the building.

Life is full circle as Jim’s grandmother worked in the building as a salesgirl in 1919 when it was Sakowitz…. almost a 100 years later Jim’s daughter works in the building as a bartender!