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April Mod of the Month

Houston Mod invites you to join us Sunday, April 2, 2023
for a Mod of the Month open house event from 2 - 4 PM.

Please join us for a rare opportunity to tour this delightful vintage modern house located in Garden Oaks, about 8 miles northwest of downtown Houston.  Parking is available in the driveway and close-by on Alba Road and Lamonte Lane.

Thanks to Houston MODern Market for sponsoring this FREE event. 


851 W. 43rd Street, Houston, TX 77018
 HAR Link   |   Google Map

Architect Allen Williams' design for this distinctive house was completely modern in appearance and approach.  His Century-Built Homes, proving themselves to likely be suitable to last for centuries, employed modernistic design and an unusual all masonry construction.  Three of the houses are known to exist. This was likely the first to be constructed. A similar house, also by Allen Williams, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a recorded Texas Historic Landmark and is a designated City of Houston Protected Landmark. 

The Garden Oaks setting is picturesque with large, wooded lots and rambling curved streets without curbs and gutters. Edward L. Crain developed the neighborhood beginning in 1937.  Architects Wilson and Morris designed some of the early houses and the elementary school. Edward Crain's nephew, architect B. W. Crain, joined the Wilson and Morris firm in 1953.  

Allen R. Williams (1916-1978) was from Abilene, Texas. He was a B-26 Marauder bomber pilot in World War II. His architectural education was both in the Beaux Arts style and modern, graduating in 1946 from the University of Texas School of Architecture. His greatest career inspiration came from architect Harold Calhoun. The architecture he studied while in France, Germany and particularly Maastricht, Holland was influential in establishing his style. In Houston, he briefly worked with Staub, Rather & Howze and partnered with Mack G. Reed before establishing his own firm, working alone and with his wife for the rest of his career. He designed hundreds of projects, both residential and commercial, a number of them for developers Roy Harris and W. E. Keep. A concentration of his work is located in the areas of Ripple Creek, Tynewood, Lamar Weslayan and Meyerland. Thesalone Williams (1919-2020) was his wife and an interior designer. She served until recently as a Master Mod, on Houston Mod's advisory board.  Visit HoustonMod.org to learn about other designs by Allen R. Williams. 

If you have information about this house or other modern designs, please share it with Houston Mod so it can be included in the Modern in Houston archive. 

News & Upcoming Events

Book Presentation, co-sponsored by Houston Mod and Rice Architecture, scheduled for Thursday May 4, (tentatively – 5:30pm Reception, 6:00pm Lecture). Presentation by Michelangelo Sabatino and Serge Ambrose  ‘Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929 - 1975’ (New York: The Monacelli Press, 2020) Susan Benjamin and Michelangelo Sabatino

Farish Gallery in MD Anderson Hall, Rice University.  Free and open to the public

Michelangelo will focus on the overview of domesticity and modernity in Chicago, and Serge will cover the preservation of their house, the Benda House.  Former Houstonians and Houston Mod board members Michelangelo and Serge, returning for the first time since their relocation to Chicago 8 years ago, will be here for participation in PaperCity’s annual Texas Design Week Houston, May 1 – 5, 2023.  Here’s a peek at the events:

Tuesday, May 2 – Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston. Presentation of ‘Avant-Garde in the Cornfields: Architecture, Landscape, and Preservation in New Harmony’ (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019) Ben Nicholson and Michelangelo Sabatino

Wednesday, May 3 - PaperCity Venue, TBA. Presentation of 'Carlo Mollino: Architect and Storyteller' (Zurich: Park Books, 2021) Napoleone Ferrari and Michelangelo Sabatino.

Thursday, May 4 – Farish Gallery in MD Anderson Hall, Rice University (Presentation as noted above)

Preservation On-Site with the AIA Historic Resources Committee - Knapp Chevrolet Historic Building Tour, now an art gallery, April 20, 4 PM, 1230 Houston Avenue.  Register HERE


Thanks to everyone who attended and supported the William F. Cody Book Signing and Lecture. A recording of the event is being edited and will soon be available.

Houston Mod has reactivated and now hosts the valuable Memorial Bend Architecture website on our website. Visit to learn more about Houston's most mod neighborhood. 

What's next for Astrodome? Please visit our friends at the Astrodome Conservancy to learn more about preserving and redeveloping the eighth wonder of the world. Their shop has many fun new items to support the cause.  Race for the Dome is April 15 to support a bright future for the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Mission, Membership and Publications:
Houston Mod is dedicated to promoting knowledge and appreciation of modern architecture and design in Houston and Texas and advocates the preservation of this cultural legacy, seeking support from its members and the general public in achieving this goal.  Houston Mod celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2023.

Houston Mod is a friend organization of 
Docomomo US, a national non-profit organization dedicated to the Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement. Docomomo US has been dedicated to this mission for nearly 25 years as a chapter of Docomomo International. A single US domestic membership may be added to any Houston Mod membership for the 50% discounted Friend Organization rate of $50.00. 

Houston Mod 
memberships and publications are available at most events.

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