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Jersey01

4012 Willowick

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Do any of you know anything about the mod at 4012 Willowick in River Oaks? I've always wondered about that place...

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Do any of you know anything about the mod at 4012 Willowick in River Oaks? I've always wondered about that place...

No idea. Have wondered that myself.

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Interesting. Surprised I've never noticed it. HCAD says built 1965, remodeled 1999. Current owner is one of Ken Lay's daughters. Wonder what else I can find.

Edit: previous owner was the wife/widow of an oilman named H. M. Harrell who was prominent in the '50s.

Edited by marmer

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I've always thought it was very similar to this house by Harwood Taylor. Therefore, I always assumed it was Harwood Taylor... Sorry for the quality. It was a very bright day.

1014 River Bend (1963)

riverbendtaylorsm.jpg

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I've always thought it was very similar to this house by Harwood Taylor. Therefore, I always assumed it was Harwood Taylor... Sorry for the quality. It was a very bright day.

My assumption has been that it was by Harwood Taylor as well, just by the look. I agree that it is similar to the home you posted as well.

While I'm on the topic of R.O. mods, does anyone know who design the brown mod on Troon two houses east of the intersection with Pine Valley?

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I agree about the Harwood Taylor look. In fact, I looked through Ben Koush's book last night and saw several things that looked similar, but that house is not in there. Is there a listing of Neuhaus and Taylor's projects?

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My assumption has been that it was by Harwood Taylor as well, just by the look. I agree that it is similar to the home you posted as well.

While I'm on the topic of R.O. mods, does anyone know who design the brown mod on Troon two houses east of the intersection with Pine Valley?

That's also another recurring River Oaks Mod mystery. I've seen the back of it from the house that backs up to it. That house was by Charles Oliver and it's gardens were on the Azalea Trail this year.

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That's also another recurring River Oaks Mod mystery. I've seen the back of it from the house that backs up to it. That house was by Charles Oliver and it's gardens were on the Azalea Trail this year.

According to Stephen Fox, both of these are Harwood Taylor designs.

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Wasn't there a "who's the architect?" thread about this house earlier? Is this the big square one with white columns all around?

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Cool house!

However I have to say I got a chuckle out of the first 2 pictures in the gallery -- the way the chair was centered in the shot made me think "throne room". :-)

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Wasn't there a "who's the architect?" thread about this house earlier? Is this the big square one with white columns all around?

Yes and yes.

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Cool house!

However I have to say I got a chuckle out of the first 2 pictures in the gallery -- the way the chair was centered in the shot made me think "throne room". :-)

I was thinking that the furniture is a combination of many periods...not necessarily mod. The round bedroom vanity is an interesting 1940's looking piece, but the entryway pieces look like they belong in a traditional mansion. I agree, nice house, though. Like the rectangular pool.

Edited by NenaE

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This is one of those River Oaks houses I've driven by a hundred times wishing I could get in to see (Farfel House is the other main one in that area). Unless "Houston Mod's best friend" (I'm paraphrasing several people who have told me this) the recession spares this house, I'm afraid it will be the only time we get to appreciate it up close. John Daugherty has some realtors that are big Modern Fans though so who knows. Maybe there's a person for this beauty.

What a weekend this is shaping up to be!

Jason

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Just wanted to bring this one back a bit. Back in the summer I got a tour of this house courtesy of a friend at Murphy Mears Architects. They've done an awesome restoration/renovation. It seems much more complete than it did prior to when it sold last. 

Ben

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My grandparents built this house, and my dad grew up there. I grew up spending the night there all the time. When my grandmother passed away, my dad sold it to Ken Lay. He bought it for his daughter...right before the Enron scandle. My dad is HM Harrell III.

Edited by Holly
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Just looking at this thread.  My great-uncle was Uncle H,  whom I visited as a kid on Cortland Place ( with Aunt R and Aunt T).  I knew Uncle H's Junior predeceased hm.  I did not HMH 2 had children.  I learned that there was an HMH3 having dinner with my 2nd cousin in 2015 (son of CMH).  That cousin is another M.  I have that M. Prefer the M to the H. 

 

Love to connect in some manner with a fellow M.

 

JMF.

 

 

 

 

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Sorry for not posting much about this one, there's just not a lot to say about it that we're privy to. I know that this house does have some connection with the house that was formerly on River Bend, as in one of the architects that worked for Neuhaus & Taylor worked on it, and for the life of me I can't remember his name. The house on Willowick was not originally built completely to Taylor's specs, so the current owners tried to complete the original design as much as possible. That's about all I know about it that I can recall. 

 

 

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This thread is so interesting to the Harrell family. 

 

Yes, my in-laws, H.M. Harrell, Jr. and his wife, Dee (formerly Girna "Dee" Duke Harrell), built the house and I knew Neuhaus & Taylor had designed it.  I grew up with Harwood Taylor's children (and him of course being their father and his wife) - and you are right above when you say that it was not built exactly to the original design.  I can't really remember the reason but I do remember that statement from Mrs. Harrell.  Later, in junior high school, I met Achie Harrell, who is H.M. Harrell, III and currently lives in Austin, Texas.  In my senior year of high school, we married and I became a constant family member going to my in-laws home every afternoon and they owned and built 4012 Willowick.  We have 3 children,  Wendy, Holly (who answered above) and Bradley.  They are 52, 50 and 45 years old, respectively. 

 

As Minyard3 brought up above, I had no idea anyone was still alive.  I knew Randy Harrell was killed in the Vietnam War, not sure about Kenneth, I thought I heard he was killed also and so were Clayton and Byron Harrell who were Clayton Sr.'s children (Clayton was shot and killed in Mexico) and those boys were adopted by the H.M. Harrell, Sr.'s who were the original Harrell's in Houston on Courtland Place (Cortlandt Place?) and he was the gentleman who discovered the Bammel Oil Field and the originator of the money that came into this family - He sold 1/2 to Houston Natural Gas and kept the other 1/2 dividing it into 4 parts and giving 1/4th to each son ......He and Pearl Harrell are deceased as are her sisters, Rita and the other...not sure of her name as I never met her....Uncle Jim Harrell was a Rice University student and later married Nancy Nye (Nancy Nye Harrell) and they did not have children...they always lived in Tanglewood.  I don't know whether she is alive or not - she would be in her 80's or 90's now...a wonderful person!    Kenneth was married to Jacque Mossler's daughter who choked to death on a piece of meat at the dinner table leaving Kenneth to raise his 4-5 children...I believe he moved from River Oaks to his ranch with the children..(?)  H.M. Harrell, Jr. and his wife, Dee, had two children, H.M. "Achie" Harrell,  III and Olivia Harrell.  Olivia was born with a brain tumor the size of an English Pea and it was inoperable.  Due to the fact the location of the tumor caused Epilepsy she was put away in a school at 9 yrs. old and never returned to Houston - she worked in Austin the last I heard, but she is probably near 80 yrs. old now...Achie is 72 yrs. old, single and moved to Austin as he has another son by his second marriage named Blake...who also lives in Austin...

 

Achie (H.M. Harrell, III) worked in commercial real estate when we were married and because he owned his own airplane he loved to fly all of the time.  After we sadly divorced, he went to work for Air Liquide and maintained that job until he retired... His father died at 47 years old (that was H.M. Harrell, Jr.) and he died of major organ collapse from alcoholism.  He died in the locked ward of Methodist Hospital.  He was a great man!  I am positive he drank because of his daughter being retarded...so sad....and he and his wife never got over that part of their lives...Dee was a terribly depressed woman - more depressed after he died - and tried to kill herself by shooting herself in the heart with a 38 pistol..  She lived, and I heard she pulled herself out of all of that lifestyle and went back to playing bridge with friends in the last years of her life...she died around the age of 72-73?  She and I would go back and forth because she was so ill - she tormented her son and I - she had no other interests......and it eventually destroyed us...her domineering motherhood and mental problems...oh my God!!

 

Anyway, I will check to see if Olivia is still alive and I know Achie is!  I am not sure who Minyard3 is...I have tried to think who you are but not sure since you visited at Cortlandt Place - that was a long long time ago.  So you are welcome to reach me at jgolden8@comcast.net or write me back or text or call me at 281-900-1002 as they have never adjusted to being cut out of the family by Dee Harrell.  I have 6 little granddaughters who are your relatives too.  Each of my children have 2 daughters - no sons...and they are very successful people...I am thrilled for them and myself as I devoted myself to raising my children and then seeing that the granddaughters were all taken good care of...

 

Are you one of Kenneth's children?  Anyway, it was great to read this thread and I would love to connect you with your family because you have some neat individuals that would like to meet their family too.  The mother, Dee, was so unsociable, an only child and an alcoholic too. all so sad..

 

Hope to be able to help you connect~~I know it has been several years since you posted this and I can only keep my fingers crossed...

All of my best, Jan Harrell Golden

 

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