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Cameron Iron Works

Cameron Iron Works Milby 2 crop 1
Ironworks | Courtesy Kaldis Development
24 After 4 2021 June Exterior Office Building Front West Facade
Ironworks | Houston, TX
Cameron Iron Works Milby 1
Ironworks | Courtesy Kaldis Development
Type Offices Retail/Commercial Mixed-Use
Location Houston, Texas
Built 1935; 1940-1946

Kaldis Development

Project partners

William R. Franks

Page Architects

Bega Design + Construction


Keller Williams Houston

Segunda Coffee Lab

Shop Local


BMS Autoworks


Kaldis Development rehabilitated and adapted the historic property at 711 Milby Street in Houston’s East End into a mixed-use destination with leasable office and retail spaces. Next to the former Maxwell House coffee plant, the property now houses several local businesses, including Segunda Coffee Lab, Shop Local, Cargo, and Keller Williams Houston. Originally manufactured by Truscon Steel Company, the property served as the headquarters for Cameron Iron Works from 1935 until 1946. Credited with inventing the blowout preventer, Cameron Iron Works was founded at the site by Harry Cameron and James Abercrombie in 1920.


The 64,000 square-foot property, which is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is composed of two, parallel, internally connected warehouses with a high-style, administrative office façade on the older, northernmost building. The northernmost warehouse was completed in 1935 and the southernmost warehouse was completed between 1940 and 1946.

After serving as the Cameron Iron Works headquarters, the property was utilized as a warehouse and tool shop. Throughout its life, the property was altered by various tenants with the office at the front of the north warehouse specifically reconfigured and expanded several times. Despite this, however, the overall property retained a high degree of historic integrity, making it an excellent candidate for historic tax credits and rehabilitation.


Kaldis Development brought on consultants MacRostie Historic Advisors, preservationist William R. Franks, and architects Page to strategically redevelop the property with a focus on preserving the property’s historic materials and original, vast interior volume. Rehabilitation work started in 2018 and included the removal of non-original, exterior paneling covering the original windows, removal of non-original drop ceilings and wall coverings in the interior, removal of non-historic, corrugated metal awnings on the high-style office façade, repair of all windows, replacement of the non-original entry doors, and installation of a new roof.

With all rehabilitation work following the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, the brick veneer and cast stone Art-Deco-style detailing of office façade on the western end of the north warehouse was sensitively cleaned. All original multi-light steel windows were retained and refurbished (an effort which included the replacement of 5,700 panes of glass). The west façade of the south warehouse’s non-original metal paneling and entry door were removed and replaced with a new bronze aluminum storefront with an 18-light window and one paired-full-light aluminum frame door. This portion of the south warehouse now functions as a main, retail entrance with a shared lounge, utilized by pop-up food service tenants and goods retailers.

Within the rest of the south warehouse, shipping containers of various sizes and configurations have been utilized as individual office spaces for local business tenants. The use of shipping containers (some with second-story, open decks) allowed for the preservation of the industrial interior’s original, open, vast volume with exposed, historic steel trusses. The industrial portion of the north warehouse has retained its industrial use with BMS Autoworks leasing the space as an auto repair shop.


Preservation Houston | 2022 Good Brick Award