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    City of Katy

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  1. Long before the planned community 'Cinco Ranch' really was a working ranch, owned by 5 prominent Houstonians. For many years it was a destination for hunting trips and family gatherings....hundreds of folks spent many days there - anyone know of any photographs from the old ranch - for inclusion in a new book about the history of the Katy area.....
  2. There really was a 'Cinco Ranch'...owned by 5 prominent Houston families for many years a place to gather for recreation and holidays....hundreds of Houstonians visited the ranch - anyone know of any photographs that could be included in a new book on history of the Katy area?

  3. There is a great Wylie Vale home available in old Katy, offered by the estate of the original owner who lived in it without making any updates since 1950....this is a beautiful home, still full of original furniture. We just got our Christmas card from Wylie and Alliene Vale, they're doing well in Austin and he's still always glad to visit about his properties, designs, etc...the buyer of this house could call him to learn more about the construction and design. I think the sq. ft. is a little exagerated, I think they're including a little apartment in the garage...but it is a great house in a great location. Backs up to a creek and park, quiet street, worth the drive. http://www.har.com/63389
  4. There are some nice areas on both N & S sides of the freeway. The south side has some areas that are in as bad a decline as the north...around Mason Rd. you'll find some justifiably inexpensive housing. There are some blighted neighborhoods on both sides of I-10...N & S can't be the dividing line, albeit, more of what some folks call upscale is on the south. The Katy area is hard to define, the city of Katy is not. You can move into the city limits (mostly north of I-10) and buy a home...ranging from a $95K bungalow to a multi-million dollar estate. The nice thing about the city is that it is not so much defined by neighborhoods - on my street houses range from the mid 100's to over a million....all blending very nicely on well shaded large lots...I don't think the problem areas detract from those that have real value, and wouldn't worry about what's going on on the other side of the freeway.
  5. Ben, this is beautifully done! Our home is located in Katy, and Wylie Vale was the architect. I contacted him a few years ago when it was listed on the NRHP...below is the information he gave me to include in that paperwork. He was a very kind man, still passionate about his work and offered to design an addition for me. It wasn't necessary, these homes are timeless and beautiful and need little improvement... Vale designed 5 or 6 houses out here, gave me probably the same list he gave you...I was sorry to see that so many of his addresses are now occupied by new construction. Regardless, below are some of his thoughts...about our home and his designs in general... Traveling through California in the 1940s, architect Wylie W. Vale witnessed the new trend first-hand, and he consciously began incorporating Ranch style elements in his designs. In a November 2002 interview, Mr. Vale explained what aspects of the style most appealed to him. He felt that the rambling, angular plans could be better fit to the site, with a low-lying profile and less ostentatious effect. He preferred natural materials with warm, earthen colors and textures instead of applied decorative ornamentation. The materials should also be durable, however, and require minimal upkeep. For these reasons, he especially liked stone and woods with natural preservatives like cypress and redwood.[13] Vale also wanted his homes to be livable and inviting. He often incorporated shaded entry loggias that welcomed visitors with protection from the weather. Large expanses of operable windows were a must, with projecting bays that added intrigue to the design. Interiors were also made warm and inviting with natural materials, especially wood paneling of beautifully grained pine, ash, walnut or cypress with soft, rich wiped finishes. In addition to its beauty, the paneling was affordable, practical and permanent. Vale also used durable, natural flooring materials, typically polished stone in heavy traffic areas and pegged, random-width wood floors throughout most major rooms. Ample built-in furniture including bookcases, desks, chests and dressing tables, along with spacious closets, made the spaces more useful and comfortable. Spacious kitchens open to informal dining areas were also an important feature to Vale, as was a massive dominating brick or stone chimney, properly designed for non-smoking fireplaces.[14] While many of these features are characteristic of Ranch style homes built across the country, Vale also managed to maintain some of the look and feel of Texas
  6. Wylie Vale designed my home,which I listed on the NRHP a few years ago. I visited with him often during that process...from his home in Austin. He gave me a list of all the homes he designed in Houston, most were in the Memorial area, where he lived when he was here. Our home, and several others he designed is in Katy (the actual city, not the greater Katy area) Very kind and talented man.
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