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  1. As featured in todays Swamplot, Daily Demolition Report: http://www.har.com/homevalue/dispSoldDetail.cfm?MLNUM=70842482#
  2. http://swamplot.com/behind-the-westminster-wall-still-modern-after-all-these-years/2010-05-13/#more-18436
  3. "The bulk of the mods designed on Kimberly were built by Floyd... at one point, he owned the whole block and then sold off other lots to a young upstart developer named Kickerillo." There are fine examples of MCM homes on the aforementioned street. And the home now under renovation/addition (second floor) appears at its current stage to be architect designed. This is a "wait and see" situation but so far the second floor addition appears to flow with the original architecture. "The house on Butterfly was always poorly maintained... A sad story - it was a great house with a pedigree, recognition and a great architectural connection. A sad loss." Indeed it is. "BTW, we walked through the house on the corner - you can see it take shape - very cool house. Who is the architect?" Will investigate for the name of the architect/firm. And yes, this house is potentially precedent setting for MB (West side of Sam Houston) as it embraces many of the tenets of modernism. At the very least, it is properly sited and the roof line congruous with the neighborhood vernacular. This property would benefit from a street-side fence enclosure rendering the property more as a compound -- and thus reducing the exposure to the intersection immediately forward of the south-side of the house. Meanwhile, on the East side of Memorial Bend (on Memorial) another newly constructed modern potentially sets the stage for others to follow -- it is hoped anyway. It's also worth noting that 12835 Memorial is undergoing extensive renovation which appears to be proper with respect to the homes original design.
  4. "That is a disappointment about mods - - that minimal machine aesthetic frequently does not lend itself well to additions." I would argue that most homes do not lend themselves well to additions -- especially an addition that does not involve an architect or designer who's attuned to the overall home design. Lot size is a primary driver so the general solution is to go vertical -- this assumes that a reworking of the interior of the house -- for an improved machine -- is not explored first. If the vertical addition is opted for -- as it most often is -- then at least a roof line that mimics that of the original home should be strongly considered. Perhaps the best approach is to render an addition to a Modern home as separate and distinct with an assertive nod to contemporary modern -- again, a sensitive architect or designer should be engaged to render this viable. The unfortunate aspect of the vertical addition (and two story homes in a predominately single story neighborhood) is the potential loss of privacy to neighbors. Which of course does not matter to the two story home owner. I share the hope that the addition to the Memorial Bend home on Kimberly will be in keeping with the original architecture... but as a long-time cynic, I suspect it will not. We'll see.
  5. "Was this a private sale or did anyone know it was for sale? We never did a mod of the month there did we?" Believe this was a "private sale" as I walk the neighborhood weekly and never noted this house as for sale -- such would have triggered the MOTM switch in my noggin. "Looking at the plans, it seems like a very cute and efficient (small) Eichler-like house with only one bathroom." One bath is a tough sell in any scenario... adding a bath is a tidy sum but the end result is enhanced property value. "Someone had already made the patio into another room, which makes it a tough sell to a restorer unless they want to rip it out to get the patio back. The loss of the house is very tough, and I never take that lightly as you know, but it would probably have been quite an ordeal to restore it, don't you think?" Word on the street is that the owners were not sensitive to the homes architectural qualities... regardless any renovation effort would likely have been an expensive proposition. But then, any renovation of a home from this period is. "Houses like this were so great and people did so much to mess with them over the years! There's a Floyd down the street from me that had a workshop addition put onto the back. I don't know what will happen with that house in the future, but it's very Memorial Bend like." There's always hope that the right someone will come along and do what is correct -- in the case of the house near you. As for 12931, the best we can hope for is a architectural solution sensitive to the surrounding context... yes, I'm making a joke.
  6. Another William Floyd lost to the ages: http://memorialbendarchitecture.com/12931but.htm William Floyd designed house at 12931 Butterfly was quietly demolished by Ambush Demolition a week or so ago. A real pity this one, rarely do you find a house possessing architectural significance as well as occupant provenance – Gil Thweatt/Partner @ Welton Becket Associates and 3DI. Welton Becket Associates – Los Angles based – was responsible for many significant mid-century commercial buildings including Disney World’s Contemporary Resort and Capitol Tower in Hollywood . As you will see in the Memorial Bend Site listing, the property also had been published. This sort of documentation and credentials are a gold mine with respect to submitting for a historic designation… unfortunately, it appears the owners/buyers had little compunction with respect to recognizing this properties historic significance. Pity. And you can pretty much guess correctly what will take it’s place.
  7. Key to the topic at hand is architectural integrity. That is to say that at home's inception, there existed a design intent which in turn was echoed within the neighborhood at large. By reducing the original look to that of a "decorated shed', what remains is a shell of the former edifice. And as "Willowisp" points out, such is problematic to restore once stripped away. The issue here is more about rendering correct, informed decisions rather than those of style over all else. What's to be gained by reducing a Modern home to old world, neo-colonial pastiche? While such may make the current homeowner pleased, it is not true to the nature of the home as it was intended. Nor for that matter is such true to the neighborhood -- which has unfortunately, suffered at the hands of both ill informed renovators and context oblivious builders (as if) of late. Nothing new, it just is.
  8. "Matchstick Men" finds Nicholas Cage living in a cool West Coast Mid Century home.
  9. Many of you may be familiar with this site: http://artsandarchitecture.com/index.html For those who are not, this link offers a plethora of images and text concerning post-war modern architecture. Many issues may be downloaded for detailed analysis and there is also an architect search option. Really a well done site... enjoy.
  10. Per Swamplot (www.swamplot.com), the following Post-War Modern home is slated for demolition -- this one is a doozy: http://har.com/HomeValue/dispSoldDetail.cfm?MLNUM=3419461 Modified over the years with neo-classic elements but the buildings origins remain present. Impressive.
  11. Per Swamplot (www.swamplot.com), the following Post-War Modern home is slated for demolition: http://har.com/HomeValue/dispSoldDetail.cfm?MLNUM=2468643# This one appears largely unaltered and possesses some above average residential design elements.
  12. Per Swamplot (www.swamplot.com), the following homes are slated for demolition: 11 Knipp Rd., 77024 – Built 1960, 2320 s.f. on 17248 s.f., four bdrm., two baths (rectilinier design with flat roof) 15 Knipp Rd., 77024 – Built 1969, 3794 s.f. on 19851 s.f., four bdrm., four baths (rectilinier design with flat roof) Go to www.zwillow.com for a birds-eye view – 11 Knipp is more visible than 15 Knipp – be sure to pan around for a look at imposing stepford homes
  13. Interesting modern real estate piece from Oct. issue of Dwell: http://www.dwell.com/articles/an-introduction-to-modern-real-estate.html
  14. Interesting piece in the NYT: www.nytimes.com/2009/10/01/garden/01film.html?scp=1&sq=the%20lens%20that%20loved&st=cse Perhaps the film will be showing here. Following this post, I investigated the films itinerary and there does not seem to be a Houston venue.
  15. Try to stick to Texas indigenous flora… many of the books geared to Texas landscaping will identify plants that prosper in Texas but are not indigenous. I am only aware of three books – the names of which escape me at the moment – that are specific to Texas and its flora. One of which – the largest and most comprehensive – offers a fair amount of information but the accompanying imagery is fairly poor given that a close-up of a flower does not adequately convey the quality of the plant. Nevertheless, it’s a start. Here are several sites that offer info on Xeriscape landscape: http://herselfshoustongarden.com/tag/xeriscape http://xeriscape.sustainablesources.com/ http://www.wildflower.org/sitemap/ http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/wildscapes/certification/index.phtml And as far as modern landscaping is concerned, Thomas Church's "Gardens are for People" -- especially the early editions -- is a terrific resource with respect to "look".
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