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Looking for help finding all of William Jenkins houses


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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 years later...

I've always admired the flat-roofed mod at 2530 Underwood. Sits at the corner of Underwood & 7000 blk of Kirby, very vulnerable. Do hope it stays, apts. are rising around it. I find the details are the most interesting. Louvered shutters along the low-profile front porch, 3 cylinder-shaped porch light fixtures, decorative iron gas light w/ matching entrance landscape lights. But was surprised to see it has "window" a/c units. Can just imagine how beautiful it could look w/ proper care & a little night lighting.

FYI - It's listed in the block books, in Devon Estates.

Edited by NenaE
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The owner does not want to talk to me. From what I can tell this was Jenkins's 1961 residential masterpiece, but the owner has no interest in discussing it with Houston Mod (I've left a note and sent a letter & the only thing left to do is to give her a book), and the Jenkins family doesn't have much documentation on it either.

:(

I've always admired the flat-roofed mod at 2530 Underwood. Sits at the corner of Underwood & 7000 blk of Kirby, very vulnerable. Do hope it stays, apts. are rising around it. I find the details are the most interesting. Louvered shutters along the low-profile front porch, 3 cylinder-shaped porch light fixtures, decorative iron gas light w/ matching entrance landscape lights. But was surprised to see it has "window" a/c units. Can just imagine how beautiful it could look w/ proper care & a little night lighting.

FYI - It's listed in the block books, in Devon Estates.

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The owner does not want to talk to me. From what I can tell this was Jenkins's 1961 residential masterpiece, but the owner has no interest in discussing it with Houston Mod (I've left a note and sent a letter & the only thing left to do is to give her a book), and the Jenkins family doesn't have much documentation on it either.

:(

That's a shame. It's on my list of houses to catch up on when I get back in to town, so I hope they don't mind me standing out front with a camera.

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The owner does not want to talk to me. From what I can tell this was Jenkins's 1961 residential masterpiece, but the owner has no interest in discussing it with Houston Mod (I've left a note and sent a letter & the only thing left to do is to give her a book), and the Jenkins family doesn't have much documentation on it either.

:(

Probably wants to sell it to a developer. :(

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Looks like the the Knight family was probably the original owner and also owned the lot next door. In 1992 one of Knight's heirs sold it (the lot now has a somewhat modest recent build - 1998).

The elder Knights passed away in 1991 and 1992, I believe, and that's when Jack W. Knight's estate was split amongst the family over the next few years (several properties in Lake Houston Estates, one in Farrington Place, Crane Street Woods, and the Underwood house).

The earliest real estate transaction I can find is from 1961:

File No: B347832

Grantor:KNIGHT JACK W ETAL

Grantee:MCDANIELS G H TR

Date:19610613

Type:D/T

Desc:DEVON ESTS L 8

Vol-Page:3805277

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Probably wants to sell it to a developer. :(

That would just kill me. Willowisp, can't say that your story about the owners surprises me, figured as much, from the visual clues. Amazes me how some owners just don't have any idea how significant their homes are, and/ or just don't care to know.

Edited by NenaE
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Yes, I know the house is still in the family. That's another thing that is disappointing for me. I also know they have a lot of documentation of the house, probably enough that it would have extended my book on Jenkins to nearly 80 pages. But it's theirs to share or not I guess. Maybe they'll have a change of heart when they see the book.

That would just kill me. Willowisp, can't say that your story about the owners surprises me, figured as much, from the visual clues. Amazes me how some owners just don't have any idea how significant their homes are, and/ or just don't care to know.
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^ Probably an over-active desire for privacy coupled with a lack of understanding of what architectural "publication" or "documentation" means. Possibly embarassment at the condition of the house, especially the interior. Possibly disabled or infirm family members who shouldn't be disturbed. Possibly, since it's still in the family, there may even be some hard feelings related to Jenkins or the architecture. Your guess is as good as mine, Jason probably has more of a sense of it.

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^ Probably an over-active desire for privacy coupled with a lack of understanding of what architectural "publication" or "documentation" means. Possibly embarassment at the condition of the house, especially the interior. Possibly disabled or infirm family members who shouldn't be disturbed. Possibly, since it's still in the family, there may even be some hard feelings related to Jenkins or the architecture. Your guess is as good as mine, Jason probably has more of a sense of it.

Good points, those didn't even cross my mind.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 3 years later...

FIrst time poster, here =)

I stopped by the 2530 Underwood home this afternoon and snapped a few pics. Sadly, it's in pretty rough shape.....very neglected yard/landscape, ratty curtains and vehicles that look like they're abandoned. One of the Kirby-facing windows revealed what appears to be stacked newspapers and random junk (a hoarder, perhaps?). Even compared to the period homes of the area, the property sticks out like an ugly, un-maintained, sore thumb.

 

I knocked on the door to speak with owner. A 30-something year old woman answered....but hardly interested in answering questions. I asked if she was the current owner and she said it was her grandparents house originally. I asked for more details on the build date, history, etc... to which she replied, "Um.....I dunno." As we spoke I tried to peer past her into the house, but couldn't see much other than mirrored walls in the foyer and more junk littering the floor.

 

Such a GREAT house. Makes me so sad to see it in such a dilapidated state. Wonder how long it'll last. Figured someone should post pics.

post-11980-0-99773700-1365842679_thumb.j

 

post-11980-0-78173400-1365842703_thumb.j

 

post-11980-0-66149200-1365842728_thumb.j

Edited by Flat Four
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I don't know if you've read my posts about this house.  It is certainly one of the most important of Bill Jenkins's houses and also the one in the saddest state (but still standing).  Ben Hill and I have a deal that if either of us wins the lottery we will show up at this house with an offer they can't refuse...  I have knocked on the door several times. Interesting that you got an answer.  I knew the house was still in the original owner's family and that it's just kind of falling down slowly.  I have only talked to neighbors and a gardener or a worker there.  The worker or a neighbor told me that someone had vintage photos, which made it all the more intriguing to me.  I don't check this forum often.  Oddly enough I just checked it today because I was looking for info on another Jenkins house that someone asked Houston Mod about.  If you want to get ahold of me and talk Jenkins feel free any time, but more likely you can get ahold of me through info@houstonmod.org or Facebook.

 

https://www.facebook.com/jasonsmith94

 

Jason

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  • 4 weeks later...

Jason and I also found out that the Bush House, part of the 1955 Parade of Homes Tour, appears to be under renovation, or is at least being cleaned up. Turns out its kind of a nice house. 

Edited by BenH
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  • 11 months later...

Whoa... Just saw the Underwood House pics. I love that design so much. The details are still intact...low profile, long stairs, light fixtures (some recessed), landscape ornamental lights, possibly original landscape design plants ( ex. Sago palms). At least with neglect, there is hope of rejuvenation, unlike extensive, inappropriate remodeling or selling for lot value. Thanks for sharing photos Flat Four.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just discovered from GoogleEarth maps that the Underwood St. house (post #15-17) has an atrium in the middle of it.

Edited by NenaE
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  • 1 month later...
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  • 2 weeks later...

I LIKE it, a LOT.. The front has some very nice details not seen in these recent photos. In it's heyday, I bet it was amazing. I wish I could have seen it when it was first built. The landscape plants and lighting are still there. The enormous amount of neglect is undeniable. I find it vey intriguing, like time has stood still. 

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Yeah, I like it too. Jason and I have a standing agreement that whomever wins the lottery first, knocks on the door everyday until someone answers. We simply ask "How much will it take for you to sell this place to me and have all of your stuff out within a month?". Then hire Stern & Bucek or someone like that to completely restore and update it. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, I like it too. Jason and I have a standing agreement that whomever wins the lottery first, knocks on the door everyday until someone answers. We simply ask "How much will it take for you to sell this place to me and have all of your stuff out within a month?". Then hire Stern & Bucek or someone like that to completely restore and update it. 

 

I would not be in a hurry to toss out the interior. As deplorable as the interior furnishings seem to be, they are more than likely original to the home. Custom draperies, period chairs, etc. I'd be taking notes, photos, samples if I could. It's not every day that you get to see what looks like an original interior, untouched by a re-muddler. Their stuff might include blueprints. 

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  • 1 month later...

Jason and Ben already know this, but I was recently contacted by a brother and sister in Lake Jackson whose parents had a Jenkins house from 1959.  It's still in the family, still in good shape, and mostly original inside.  It's not strongly modern and might not be noticed as a Jenkins-style house at first look, but we can another one to the list.  Interestingly enough, the plans say something like "Residence No. 817."   Wonder if he actually did eight hundred houses?  Or even eight hundred projects?

Edited by marmer
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  • 4 weeks later...

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