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12939 Memorial: Post War Modern For Sale


domus48

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This one has a somewhat stealth quality as there is no "For Sale" sign posted. The HAR listing possesses no interior images and the property is listed as "Lot Value Only". Built in 1957 -- owner possesses architectural drawings -- this one is a flat roof modified building as is evident on the Memorial Bend Architecture site. Listed at 270K I would venture to guess this is a high price for only lot value -- but it's also a high price for the building as well. There have been at least two offers to date, neither accepted.

Chances are, this one is a goner.

http://www.har.com/9958541

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  • 2 months later...

I talked to my realtor about it yesterday. He was over looking at the exterior of it a couple months ago when the listing agent called him and told him it was sold so neither he nor I ever went inside. We're planning on looking at it in the next few days. I want to see for myself what "lots of work needed" is.

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I talked to my realtor about it yesterday. He was over looking at the exterior of it a couple months ago when the listing agent called him and told him it was sold so neither he nor I ever went inside. We're planning on looking at it in the next few days. I want to see for myself what "lots of work needed" is.

I was only in it once. If I remember correctly it appears the roof had been "let go" before the latest one was put on there with signs of old water leak damage. I think there may have been signs of foundation work needed. Plumbing, electric, HVAC, appliances, etc all appeared to be on their last leg. The house was laid out in an "H" shape, with a courtyard entry that had floor to ceiling glass overlooking a back courtyard. A fireplace divided the front living area from the den and the kitchen/breakfast area was at the rear. bedrooms down the other side with the master at the rear. The back had a lot of glass looking into the rear courtyard.

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I did a driveby yesterday...for some reason I had been thinking it was east of the Beltway instead of the small strip west. Whatever its condition, it's going to be a hardsell. In some areas, i.e. east of Voss, a Memorial Drive address would be pretty desirable, here it's just being on a busy, noisy street with minimal setback. I'm sure when the houses along this stretch were originally constructed, Memorial Drive was a lazy meandering path to the country, now it's a couple hundred yards from the intersection with Beltway 8. This falls into the category of very likely that it will linger on the market for a while, then someone will probably try building a McMansion with lots of brickwork on the front to insulate it from the road noise. I did notice that the mod next door to it is undergoing some sort of service with a dumpster in the driveway. There's also a couple of mods east of the Beltway that look vacant or in pretty poor shape. Along the same lines, I visited the Riverside Terrace house on MacGregor at Scott on my bicycle Saturday. It looks to be in horrible shape from the outside, even the wood siding looks warped. The listing realtor told me it had flooded at least twice, and with the seedy looking apartments right behind it, I see this one sitting for a long time too.

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Always perusing HAR.com...I noticed the Riverside Terrace listing on South McGregor and Scott has been drastically reduced from $260K to $160K. It would still take a very brave soul to undertake restoration but it's much more in reach now. It's kind of out of my way to go look inside but I would love to hear first hand how good/bad it is, I know the exterior is pretty worn.

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I was in it about 2 years ago and it wasn't pretty. Honestly I think it would have to be completely gutted. Hopefully someone could salvage the kitchen cabinets if not have new ones built in the same design.

Personally I think it would be too much money to spend on that particular house due to it's location, nearby busy streets plus the complex that is behind is less than desirable. It's not so much visable as there is a lot of bamboo growing in the back but that doesn't help to cut down on the noise associated with multi-unit housing.

I would love to hear first hand how good/bad it is, I know the exterior is pretty worn.
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I was in it about 2 years ago and it wasn't pretty. Honestly I think it would have to be completely gutted. Hopefully someone could salvage the kitchen cabinets if not have new ones built in the same design.

Personally I think it would be too much money to spend on that particular house due to it's location, nearby busy streets plus the complex that is behind is less than desirable. It's not so much visable as there is a lot of bamboo growing in the back but that doesn't help to cut down on the noise associated with multi-unit housing.

I'm assuming you're not referring to the house on Memorial. The only thing behind the house is more of Memorial Bend.

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12939 Memorial Drive

Houston, Texas

This house is very deserving of a second look. If you can live with the location, there is a lot of potential here. One of the best features of this one are the public schools. They are among the finest available in Houston. The house is a wonderful classically styled mod that appears to have been lovingly maintained in its original condition by the same owner since the late 1950's or before. If you want to see what it was like to live in a mod in the 1950's this is a very rare opportunity. Living areas are located on the West side, private areas on the East and a glazed bridge links the two and serves as the foyer. All rooms are surprisingly large, have abundant closet space and very nicely designed walls of glass. The glass walls of the interior courtyard flow seamlessly uninterrupted from individual room divisions. There is a great potential for development of many garden areas. The most striking thing about the place is it's very thoughtful design and proportioning. There is nothing abnormally awkward about the design which is rare for this price range. The owner has the original plans.

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Front Entry

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SH2qBt60qeWZ3nT1KPx5qe365P857SBK0300.jpg

View from Den looking to foyer and living room

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Master Bathroom

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Dining Room and Kitchen

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1950s Mod Draperies

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I went to see the house today. As SpaceAge noted, it is a very cool design and I could even live with the busy street. That said, it is in deplorable condition. Evidence of roof leaks is everywhere, I would think the only way to do it right would be to strip off all the old sheetrock and paneling, fix any current leaks, then fix the damage from the previous ones. The tile flooring also needs replacing, and what I could see of the wood floors MIGHT be fixable, but lots of other foibles such as rotting window casements around the rear atrium. Frankly, it's just out of my price range. I have limited experience with remodeling, but I'm guessing you could easily spend $100K to restore the house to its former glory. At or near its asking price, that would put it around the price of other similar houses in the interior of the subdivision. If the price was closer to $150K or less, I'd be all over it and take my chances that the structure is still good, but at $245K, I'm afraid it will go the way of the McMansion.

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331 Electra went on the market today. No interior pics on HAR though. It's on a very large ravine lot.

www.har.com/8226540

That's Mark Green's house. I photographed it a long time ago, even before I shot Jason's house. I believe it was fully restored (or at least rennovated). Had alot of personal touches and was really nice on the inside. The light fixture in the entryway is an original feature from the 50's.

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This latest listing makes me sad though. Memorial Bend still seemed reachable to me, I've been patiently watching the last year or so for a house to become available in a condition and a price that I could afford. The two latest mods have been for $435K and over $500K, I guess I was mistakenly hopeful that I might find something liveable for under $300K still. I suspect the influx of McMansions has increased the value of the area and driven the land value up accordingly. I could afford the Memorial house, but I think the cost of repairs would kill me.

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This latest listing makes me sad though. Memorial Bend still seemed reachable to me, I've been patiently watching the last year or so for a house to become available in a condition and a price that I could afford. The two latest mods have been for $435K and over $500K, I guess I was mistakenly hopeful that I might find something liveable for under $300K still. I suspect the influx of McMansions has increased the value of the area and driven the land value up accordingly. I could afford the Memorial house, but I think the cost of repairs would kill me.

Scott:

I patiently watched Memorial Bend for several years, as well as a couple of primo mods in Candlelight Estates. When I discovered the Houston Mod open house in Glenbrook Valley that showcased 2 mod's and a couple of other houses, I gave in to my desire for Memorial Bend and purchased an awesome Glenbrook Valley mod. This was 1 year ago. The home prices here are more affordable than Memorial Bend, and the hood is closer in to downtown....and best....I never have to deal with Katy Freeway. The neighbors are awesome. I've never lived in a neighborhood that holds such frequent social activities....and there is alot going on here with regard to developement of the Hobby Area. You should check HAR.com for Glenbrook. No mods are available right now...but we have alot of older residents that built their mods and ranches in the 1950's at age 30. Do the math.

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Scott:

I patiently watched Memorial Bend for several years, as well as a couple of primo mods in Candlelight Estates. When I discovered the Houston Mod open house in Glenbrook Valley that showcased 2 mod's and a couple of other houses, I gave in to my desire for Memorial Bend and purchased an awesome Glenbrook Valley mod. This was 1 year ago. The home prices here are more affordable than Memorial Bend, and the hood is closer in to downtown....and best....I never have to deal with Katy Freeway. The neighbors are awesome. I've never lived in a neighborhood that holds such frequent social activities....and there is alot going on here with regard to developement of the Hobby Area. You should check HAR.com for Glenbrook. No mods are available right now...but we have alot of older residents that built their mods and ranches in the 1950's at age 30. Do the math.

There is a good all-original ranch that just came up in Glenbrook. I am hoping someone who is appreciative of its mid-century character gets it. It's being sold by the estate of the original owner and has no remuddle jobs. Needs a new roof and the usual suspects repaired for a house of this era. Its not my listing, but for $179,900 it could certainly make someone a nice place. 8015 Erie

it does back up Broadway, so there would be some level of traffic noise to deal with.

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Very very surprised to see that one on Electra for sale. Really surprising. As for the price, the listings do keep going up - however, $400K+ is no surprise for a ravine house. Mark is very concerned with preservation in the neighborhood (331 Electra) so hopefully they found a like-minded buyer.

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I really like that ravine lot. There was a beautiful lot on Buckingham (much larger, much more expensive) down by Memorial and 610 with a 40+foot drop in to the ravine behind it and a three level terrace that was built in to the "cliff" as well as a small apartment built in off of one of the terrace levels.

I would love to be able to build on a lot like that someday.

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331 Electra is going to get torn down for a "Tuscan" style house. :(

That will be a tragic loss. It's one of the best houses in the neighborhood. Memorial Bend needs to revise their deed restrictions and add architectural control. It's a mod emergency. Is anybody working on that?

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Is the current owner tearing it down or have they sold it?

http://memorialbendarchitecture.com/331ele.htm

How would Memorial Bend residents take control of their neighborhood and properties they don't own? It sounds like the impossible dream.

I'm sure a lot of the traditional owners are just fine with seeing some new construction seemingly driving up their property values. But it's a slippery slope, right? All the sudden you don't live in a house anymore, you just live on a lot with an annoying free/worthless house on it. All the sudden it's not worth taking care of anymore because no matter how you care for it, the next owner is planning on tearing it down.

Preaching to the choir here, but it seems like a bit of a deal with the devil to me when new construction starts to take over.

Jason

That will be a tragic loss. It's one of the best houses in the neighborhood. Memorial Bend needs to revise their deed restrictions and add architectural control. It's a mod emergency. Is anybody working on that?
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"Memorial Bend needs to revise their deed restrictions and add architectural control. It's a mod emergency. Is anybody working on that?"

Memorial Bend does indeed possess architectural guidelines, however...

  • It is relatively simple to bypass the building restrictions -- legally no less
  • Enforcement could only occur if one had prior knowledge of what was to occur... and even then one would be subject to the aforementioned item
  • The best measure to restrict non-contextual building is by establishing an historic district

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Maybe this is a chance to salvage some hardware if they're keeping the house but not staying pure to it.

Jason

http://memorialbendarchitecture.com/12939mem.htm

Dumpster on site... demolition of interior and exterior elements in progress. Unconfirmed information from neighbor to 12939 is that the buyer intends on remodeling the property as their home.

They've their work cut-out for them.

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