Jump to content

The U-Boat In Tanglewood


BenH

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, I'm new here, so if this is a well-known house and I just missed it. Has anyone seen the house on Brown Saddle Rd. in Tanglewood that looks like a submarine coming out of the ground? It's a long, thin mod from the 60's or 70's and was probably done by one of the better known architects in town. The owners have or have had in the past a classic Ford Thunderbird. That's all the info I've got.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know, I'll see what I can cook up later this afternoon. It's such a strange house that I would think someone would have pictures up on some forum by now.

Ok Ben, it's been an hour and a half already, WHERE ARE THE PICS ! ! ! :lol::lol::lol: j/k . Maybe someone else here may have a couple of pics to show, but take your time Ben, no rush. Welcome to the forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

n37510102_31519664_560.jpg

n37510102_31519665_842.jpg

Notice that the house spans the entire block.

n37510102_31519666_1123.jpg

Alright, any guesses? The other side has the driveway. I could see past the gate and there seems to be some remodeling or restoration going on. The whole neighborhood is that way too, so I didn't look too conspicuous snapping pictures from a filthy black truck.

Edited by BenH
Link to comment
Share on other sites

n37510102_31519664_560.jpg

n37510102_31519665_842.jpg

Notice that the house spans the entire block.

n37510102_31519666_1123.jpg

Alright, any guesses? The other side has the driveway. I could see past the gate and there seems to be some remodeling or restoration going on. The whole neighborhood is that way too, so I didn't look too conspicuous snapping pictures from a filthy black truck.

The owner is listed as a William L. Cook or Cook, Linton. Can't really find any other information aside from that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen it driving through the neighborhood and wondered why it wasn't in "the guide".

It just goes to show that someone could write a pretty extensive book about the interesting mods in Houston...

Interesting that you bring that up. There are tons of houses out there that aren't in the guide at all. I've heard that the AIA (not just the Houston Chapter but every chapter) is quite the political animal. If you aren't someone, you don't usually get much attention. Again, just what I've heard.

I'm working on a project through next semester that will hopefully document some of the lesser-known mods throughout town, with a little more information about the architects who designed them. Maybe, if I'm lucky and can find someone to publish, it'll turn into a book.

Edited by BenH
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I didn't want to write it out...

Actually, Ben Koush wrote a pretty extensive guide for his thesis. I don't know how many copies of it are out there and I don't have one, but I saw it at his house and it was thick like the Stephen Fox Houston Architectural Guide.

What I would love to see compiled would have as many as feasable chapters/bios on the most important architects with lots of pictures of their houses, inside and out, along with short blurbs on as many houses as possible. I'd see it as a compilation with many writers taking on their favorite architect. I could do the Jenkins article for example and ask Michael B to do the one for Floyd and Memorial Bend, Ben K to contribute chapters on Donald Barthelme and Harwood Taylor, which of course might repeat a lot from his catalogues, Stephen Fox on Barnstone which is in the book, Ephemeral City, RPS on Glenbrook Valley, Spaceage on Houston's Landscape Architects, etc... Basically, everyone could contribute a little bit of their favorite passion. I would really love to be able to reprint old articles on some houses from the chronicle and Better Homes and Gardens and things like that, but I have no idea on how realistic that would be...

I'd love to see a coffee table book along with an online version of the book. Houston Mod is working on documenting houses online right now.

This is a quite feasable project for 2008, so if you are interested just brainstorm on it for now and think about what you might like to contribute.

That would be the Houston Architectural Guide.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I didn't want to write it out...

Actually, Ben Koush wrote a pretty extensive guide for his thesis. I don't know how many copies of it are out there and I don't have one, but I saw it at his house and it was thick like the Stephen Fox Houston Architectural Guide.

What I would love to see compiled would have as many as feasable chapters/bios on the most important architects with lots of pictures of their houses, inside and out, along with short blurbs on as many houses as possible. I'd see it as a compilation with many writers taking on their favorite architect. I could do the Jenkins article for example and ask Michael B to do the one for Floyd and Memorial Bend, Ben K to contribute chapters on Donald Barthelme and Harwood Taylor, which of course might repeat a lot from his catalogues, Stephen Fox on Barnstone which is in the book, Ephemeral City, RPS on Glenbrook Valley, Spaceage on Houston's Landscape Architects, etc... Basically, everyone could contribute a little bit of their favorite passion. I would really love to be able to reprint old articles on some houses from the chronicle and Better Homes and Gardens and things like that, but I have no idea on how realistic that would be...

I'd love to see a coffee table book along with an online version of the book. Houston Mod is working on documenting houses online right now.

This is a quite feasable project for 2008, so if you are interested just brainstorm on it for now and think about what you might like to contribute.

That sounds like something that needs to be happening. My project is for a photography class but I'm normally a writer. Ideally, it would begin with Wright's Thaxton House, the houses in Riverbend and Memorial Bend, and McKie and Kamrath's work. I live in the same house as one of my chief sources. My father worked for Kamrath, Wilson, Morris, Crain & Anderson, Barnstone while he was rennovating some the Staub houses in River Oaks, moonlighted for Clovis Heimsath (sp?) in college, amongst others. He also delineated a bit for Skidmore and his mentor was Ralph Anderson, Jr. Basically, he was right in the middle of everything this board finds cool about Houston, so I've got good places to start.

I wasn't being critical with that comment about the guide. Every organization has politics. But there is likely another factor we're over- looking about inclusion: the current owners won't allow it. This house in Tanglewood couldn't have been simply overlooked, it's too weird for that. A friend of mine (he was a home builder for 25 years) apparently knows the owner and says they were "characters", or at least the man of the house was. How many more people like that are there? I would venture quite a few wealthy people don't want architecture buffs walking by, parking in front of, or taking pictures of their homes. A man I met over at Kamrath's Memorial Drive Church who was from Chicago who said that the folks in Oak Park have a terrible time with people knocking on their doors or trespassing because they don't know that many of the Wright houses there are privately owned.

There may be (as we have found since this post began) a major lack of documentation. Does anyone know what architects were actively building homes in Tanglewood from 1950 to 1965? Apparently Cook acquired the house in the eighties and the current owner acquired it in 2003.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I grew up in around that area and my mom built a house in Riverbend when I was in high school. It is surrounded by some great looking mods. She's since moved closer into town since she works at DePelchin and attends church downtown.

Two friends of mine rent the big mod at the end of River Glyn (the one on the left, as you drive into the circle) and I've stayed in the house during a college retreat. Very cool, elegant place with dark brown wood everywhere, shelves built into the walls and in the garage, etc. Everything upscale mod. That's another house, along with the one across the street, that doesn't appear in the guide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aren't there a bunch of houses listed in the Fox guide on River Bend? I believe they are mentioned but without pictures.

You may be right about owners not consenting to a picture. However, I asked Stephen Fox why he chose our house and he said he really liked it and thought it was special. He actually never went inside. I found it odd, because 10911 down the street obviously got a lot more attention in the 50s and would be more likely deemed the more important house. It is mentioned in the guide with no picture, possibly because back in the late 90's the house went through some hard times.

For the mod enthusiasts, of course the guide is not complete. It's not able to have every cool or even important house in it, that would be impossible. But it would be great to continue the work that was done and if you are a photographer as well, all the more! What we will need is someone persuasive who will be able to get that permission.

Another line of interest of mine would be the Parade of Homes in Meyerland with the Burdette Keeland, Harwood Taylor, and William Jenkins houses.

Jason

Two friends of mine rent the big mod at the end of River Glyn (the one on the left, as you drive into the circle) and I've stayed in the house during a college retreat. Very cool, elegant place with dark brown wood everywhere, shelves built into the walls and in the garage, etc. Everything upscale mod. That's another house, along with the one across the street, that doesn't appear in the guide.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the mod enthusiasts, of course the guide is not complete. It's not able to have every cool or even important house in it, that would be impossible. But it would be great to continue the work that was done and if you are a photographer as well, all the more! What we will need is someone persuasive who will be able to get that permission.

Jason

Many of the photos in the Guide do not look like they were taken with permission. I say this because a lot of the houses are photographed from non-favorable locations and angles, usually from the street or sidewalk. Frequently the text describes exterior details which are completely obscured. I imagine it would be a difficult task to get permission for all the single-family houses in the book, let alone all the other structures. I could be wrong, but did they even try?

Marty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many of the photos in the Guide do not look like they were taken with permission. I say this because a lot of the houses are photographed from non-favorable locations and angles, usually from the street or sidewalk. Frequently the text describes exterior details which are completely obscured. I imagine it would be a difficult task to get permission for all the single-family houses in the book, let alone all the other structures. I could be wrong, but did they even try?

Marty

Marty is very right on this one. Case in point is the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Memorial. It doesn't look a thing like the guide photo, and by that time the house had probably been restored.

Another, really annoying thing that will hold up documentation is the infamous "Private Street" sign. These are popping up more and more throughout the city, (although I can't see how it's possible without a guardhouse and gate). If we're going to do this kind of a project, we need to work with homeowner's and neighborhood associatations and basically be patient. There are tons of mods in gated neighborhoods (see the one on memorial across the bayou from the Mayo Hill school of modeling, also not in the guide), and we need to get into those places, if possible.

Anyone you know, any connections you have, start asking questions, especially older folks who've lived in Houston a good long while. They may have alot of information, or they may know someone who does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Marty is very right on this one. Case in point is the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Memorial. It doesn't look a thing like the guide photo, and by that time the house had probably been restored.

Thanks! My favorite example in the 1999 edition of the Guide is the R.C. Duff House on Milam, which is taken from way down the block, probably because of the apartment construction across the street.

Marty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
  • 1 year later...

LAWRENCE DAVID STARNES (Larry) of Katy, Texas, passed away August 21, 2008, at the age of 83. He was born October 2, 1924, in Corsicana, Texas, and was one of seven children. His family moved to the Heights in Houston Texas in 1938 when Larry was 14, and he attended Reagan High School, graduating in 1942. After entering the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943, he attended Aviation Cadet Pilot Training, graduated as a pilot officer and served as a pilot until the end of World War II when he received an honorable discharge. Larry attended the University of Houston to study architecture and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. Larry became a registered architect, practicing architecture in Houston for 58 years. During this time he became a registered architect in other states including Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Kansas and Mississippi. He also held an NCARB certificate - a national certificate that "recommends him to all Registered Authorities for registration and license as an Architect." Larry was a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) more than 45 years. Larry is preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Ethel Lee Leverton STARNES. In November 2007 Larry wed Cora Smith Webb of Katy, Texas. Larry is survived by: his wife, Cora Smith Webb Starnes; his sister Martha Jo Clark of San Marcos, Texas; his son David Lawrence STARNES and his wife Laura Manville STARNES of San Antonio, Texas; his daughter Shelley STARNES Garner and her husband Christopher Hamilton Garner of Houston, Texas; and by four sweet and loving grandchildren, David Matthew STARNES and his wife Emily Schabert STARNES, Samantha Suzanne STARNES and Katie Lynn STARNES, all of San Antonio, Texas, and by many nieces, nephews and cousins. Larry is also survived by Cora's children: Linda Craft of Katy, Texas; Cathy Levandowski and her husband Edward Levandowski of Deer Park, Texas; Norma Fridley and her husband Craig Fridley of Austin, Texas; along with four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 26, 2008, at First Baptist Church of Katy, 600 Pin Oak Road, Katy, Texas 77494. The family requests in lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, or First Baptist Church of Katy, Texas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

Nice article about the "house of the century", never heard of that one, it's a shame it sits in overgrown brush, deteriorating. Would have thought the locals would have been more familiar with it. Sometimes they can be as valuable as the old maps, as far a house clues go. I would have been asking the antique shop owners about it.

Does anyone know the address for the long house on Brown Saddle. I think I have it listed in my notes, from a drive-by.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you remember any other details about the interior?

I was never inside. My sister was friends with the young lady whose father owned the house. It was quite the neighborhood gossip that he loved the color purple to the point of insanity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Thanks marmer for the link to the pics. Have to say, not what I expected to see on the interior, overkill on the slate, kitchen not what I would have expected. There is a way to modernize, or add conveniences, while remaining true to the architect's original design, most don't understand that, or care. One Swamplot comment said that the terrazzo was covered by tile, I'm not surprised, so sad. As for the bomb shelter, after watching Mad Men, I now have a better understanding of how scared everyone was at that time ( I was born in 1962). I would guess the pipes have to do with the bomb shelter, as stated somewhere, not a pipeline. The property itself is very valuable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...