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Glenbrook Valley Question


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Well, I'm not sure what GBV 1 and GBV 2 designate but the homes north of Bellfort an on either side of Broadway are of higher value and generally of larger size than those south of Bellfort. There's a fairly shabby apartment/condo complex with a large number of ramshod Vietnamese businesses mixed in but it's less dicey crime wise than the complexes south of Bellfort along Broadway.

If you pull out a map, find Santa Elena street and take it in either direction away from Broadway, and the homes in those areas are very nice, with nice landscaping (some homes sit along Sims Bayou).

There are some solid homes south of Rock Hill on either side of Broadway as well but they generally aren't as elaborate, as well maintained or as high in value as the homes north of Bellfort and on either side of Broadway.

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I keep reading about desireable and less desireable parts of Glenbrook Valley, but I'm not sure which is which. Also the HAR listings show Glenbrook Valey 1 and Glenbrook Valley 2. What do those designations mean?

there are multiple sections in glenbrook, there are over 10. Many larger neighborhoods are divided this way as homes were built at different times. RPS can give you specifics of which section is where.

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there are multiple sections in glenbrook, there are over 10. Many larger neighborhoods are divided this way as homes were built at different times. RPS can give you specifics of which section is where.

rps would know what the difference between 1 and 2 are. Also keep in mind that the realtor listing the property might not get the sections right either. But like already stated, north of Bellfort is considered more desirable and the homes and lots are much larger.

Of course the prices reflect that as well. There are some lovely homes & streets south of Bellfort but that is the general difference.

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Also keep in mind that the realtor listing the property might not get the sections right either.

Actually I think the listing system pulls this in for the fluffy bunnys automatically from HCAD data.

Overall, I wouldn't worry about the section number, so much as what the area looks like. The section number is part of the legal description of the lot and may or may not have any bearing on what sections are good, and what aren't.

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Like many older transitional neighborhoods, there is a variety of housing stock in Glenbrook and some sections are very different from others.

The sections between Sims Bayou and Bellfort typically have the collection of largest homes on the largest lots. The lots backing up to Sims Bayou can run over an acre. Both sides of Broadway are good. I have heard some people comment that they thought the section around Colgate and Deleon was the best maintained, others like the slightly older homes and small hills around Glen Dell, Stony Dell and Santa Elena on the other side of Broadway. Some streets look better than others, Colgate for example, has better curb appeal than Dover one street over, and Glencrest generally looks better than Glen Valley.

There is one section north of Bellfort over off of Glenloch. There are some nice homes but typically they are a little smaller and some of the lots aren't as large as the Colgate, Santa Elena, etc sections. The proximity of this section to the run-down complexes on Leonora affects the value some, but they are still nice homes and a lot of nice trees.

The worst section, IMO is section 4 and 6, which is south of Bellfort, east of Broadway, between the park and Bellfort. There are some nice well maintained homes in there, but just enough train wrecks to ruin the look of the area. Hopefully some programs we are working on to improve that will help.

There is a really nice section just north and west of Lewis elementary that is really nice, and Cayton has a lot of great modern, albeit more modest, ranch homes.

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The worst section, IMO is section 4 and 6, which is south of Bellfort, east of Broadway, between the park and Bellfort.

I wholeheartedly agree. There's a beige house on the left along Glencrest heading south at around Glen Vista (maybe) that's just absolutely ridiculous. And then two doors down, there's a house also on the left that's being used essentially as a trash pile. They stick out like two sore thumbs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just bought a house north of Lewis Elemetary. What programs are in place for the neighborhood? Is there a civic association? And, how do you become involved? It looks like they doing major road repairs on Telephone Rd., is that a sign of new businesses coming into the area?

Like many older transitional neighborhoods, there is a variety of housing stock in Glenbrook and some sections are very different from others.

The sections between Sims Bayou and Bellfort typically have the collection of largest homes on the largest lots. The lots backing up to Sims Bayou can run over an acre. Both sides of Broadway are good. I have heard some people comment that they thought the section around Colgate and Deleon was the best maintained, others like the slightly older homes and small hills around Glen Dell, Stony Dell and Santa Elena on the other side of Broadway. Some streets look better than others, Colgate for example, has better curb appeal than Dover one street over, and Glencrest generally looks better than Glen Valley.

There is one section north of Bellfort over off of Glenloch. There are some nice homes but typically they are a little smaller and some of the lots aren't as large as the Colgate, Santa Elena, etc sections. The proximity of this section to the run-down complexes on Leonora affects the value some, but they are still nice homes and a lot of nice trees.

The worst section, IMO is section 4 and 6, which is south of Bellfort, east of Broadway, between the park and Bellfort. There are some nice well maintained homes in there, but just enough train wrecks to ruin the look of the area. Hopefully some programs we are working on to improve that will help.

There is a really nice section just north and west of Lewis elementary that is really nice, and Cayton has a lot of great modern, albeit more modest, ranch homes.

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I just bought a house north of Lewis Elemetary. What programs are in place for the neighborhood? Is there a civic association? And, how do you become involved? It looks like they doing major road repairs on Telephone Rd., is that a sign of new businesses coming into the area?

What street did you buy on? There is a civic club and there are several programs they are working on to improve the area. There is a whole episode of drama going on regarding Broadway Blvd too.

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The street is Alanwood. I am interested in becoming involved as soon as move in. What's going on with Broadway? Is it the condo issue?

What street did you buy on? There is a civic club and there are several programs they are working on to improve the area. There is a whole episode of drama going on regarding Broadway Blvd too.
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The street is Alanwood. I am interested in becoming involved as soon as move in. What's going on with Broadway? Is it the condo issue?

There was a one story house over there that never had any pictures on MLS that recently went under contract. I think I know which one it is. I listed and sold the big mod on the corner recently.

That section is actually Barkerwood, which technically is not Glenbrook Valley. There are deed restrictions & at one time I had a copy but I think I pitched them. I know I gave Ann Collum the GVCC President a set though.

I would certainly encourage you to attend the next Glenbrook Valley Civic Club meeting on the 15th at the Methodist church on Wilmerdean and Glen Valley. I would like to see us include Barkerwood as much as possible since it is intertwined with Glenbrook proper.

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That is the house. I know the subdivision is Barkerwood, but assumed that because of its size that it probably had no civic group. I too would like to see it included in the Glenbrook Valley initiatives as it is so close in proximity. Unfortunately, the 15th is the day I close, so I doubt I will be able to attend the meeting. But, I want to get engaged as soon as I can. Do you know the date of the next meeting? Thanks for the reply.

There was a one story house over there that never had any pictures on MLS that recently went under contract. I think I know which one it is. I listed and sold the big mod on the corner recently.

That section is actually Barkerwood, which technically is not Glenbrook Valley. There are deed restrictions & at one time I had a copy but I think I pitched them. I know I gave Ann Collum the GVCC President a set though.

I would certainly encourage you to attend the next Glenbrook Valley Civic Club meeting on the 15th at the Methodist church on Wilmerdean and Glen Valley. I would like to see us include Barkerwood as much as possible since it is intertwined with Glenbrook proper.

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The meeting is not until 7 in the evening. Let me check with Stolitx to see when the next one is. Another HAIF'er lives behind you in that mod on the corner of Conlon and Broadview or Pecan Villas, I can't remember which street that is.

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The meeting is not until 7 in the evening. Let me check with Stolitx to see when the next one is. Another HAIF'er lives behind you in that mod on the corner of Conlon and Broadview or Pecan Villas, I can't remember which street that is.

ah i only knew of you and stoli. they a regular here?

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The meeting is not until 7 in the evening. Let me check with Stolitx to see when the next one is. Another HAIF'er lives behind you in that mod on the corner of Conlon and Broadview or Pecan Villas, I can't remember which street that is.

I don't know the date of the next General Meeting after the one this week on Thursday at 7:00. They aren't monthly (I think we do 6 per year). I'll see if I can find out something. You can certainly attend the General Meetings, you just couldn't vote on any matters the board brought to the meeting. But there are often guests from surrounding neighborhoods in the area.

Also you might want to consider joining the Hobby Area Chamber of Commerce. It's a joint business and residential Chamber. Many area reseidents from variety of subdivisions and civic clubs are members along with area businesses. Great way to hear what is going on, influence area decisions, etc.

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  • 1 year later...
I don't know the date of the next General Meeting after the one this week on Thursday at 7:00. They aren't monthly (I think we do 6 per year). I'll see if I can find out something. You can certainly attend the General Meetings, you just couldn't vote on any matters the board brought to the meeting. But there are often guests from surrounding neighborhoods in the area.

Also you might want to consider joining the Hobby Area Chamber of Commerce. It's a joint business and residential Chamber. Many area reseidents from variety of subdivisions and civic clubs are members along with area businesses. Great way to hear what is going on, influence area decisions, etc.

Does anyone know the date of the date of the next Glenbrook Valley Civic Meeting. Have lived here over a year and have not made it to one, but want to know what is going on over here so I want to make it a point to attend the next one. At times it looks like things are getting better over here and other times not so much. Does anyone have an opinion?

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Does anyone know the date of the date of the next Glenbrook Valley Civic Meeting. Have lived here over a year and have not made it to one, but want to know what is going on over here so I want to make it a point to attend the next one. At times it looks like things are getting better over here and other times not so much. Does anyone have an opinion?

Howeth:

The next general meeting is September 18. There will not be much business conducted at that one because it's the annual covered dish and Bingo. I'm not at all a fan of bingo but I had a great time last year and won a 50.00 gift card to 888. The ladies in the Civic Club put on quite a spread of great home cooking too. As far as Glenbrook getting better, in my section people are moving in that take great care of their yards and are restoring their houses to the original ranch and mod granduer. Since I moved in 04/07...I have become good friends with new owners of at least 10 houses north of Bellfort. I consider that pretty good for 1 year. There is a group of new residents that have formed the Glenbrook Valley Supper Club. We go to local restaurants monthly and usually have 20-25 people in attendance. For the next 2 months different Sections are planning Progressive Dinner Parties.

If you are south of Bellfort theres alot going on there to with the effort to get Historic Neighborhood status for the 1956 Parade of Homes street, Cayton.

If you don't get the Monthly Newsletter email me and I'll see that you are put on the list.

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There is an article that appeared in last Thursday's "this week" section or whatever you call it, but it hasn't made it on line yet. Some more positive press on the hood.

Things in Glenbrook over all still seem to be heading in a positive direction. IMO the subprime halt has had some mixed results for Glenbrook. On the bad news side it has definitely slowed sales in the southern sections that were more dependent upon sub-prime buyers, especially sections 4 & 6 between Bellfort and Rockhill east of Broadway. Foreclosures have put downward pressure on prices. There were two good mods on Cayton, the Mel O'Brien design and one by E. Kelly Gaffney, both for $65,000. A HUD foreclosure just popped up right behind Shan Hu for $55,000. I expect prices around you may take a bit of a hit as sellers compete with the foreclosures, houses that were often times sold to sub-prime buyers who, again IMO, probably never should have bought houses in the first place. But, eventually those will process out and things will stabilize.

On the positive side, it seemed to me that many of the people that were moving in during the height of the sub-prime mess were also people who did not have the means and/or the desire to really maintain their property. While the sales are down, the people who are buying now are more financially stable and seem to be more inclined to maintain their property. So I do see a silver lining in that situation.

A "community Standards" program has also been implemented in Glenbrook to try to address curb appeal issues and we did speak with the subdivision Attorney about whether or not some of the general provisions of the deed restrictions cover things like parking cars on the lawn, and he thinks they do. I expect we will be filing lawsuits over deed restriction violations regarding some of these issues.

I have a better handle on who is moving in north of Bellfort than south, and the demographics continue to improve year over year. Out of I think 9 sales, one was the guys from Coles Crossing that work at downtown Law Firms, one I bought, one is a couple from Pearland-Fresno area that are friends of Stolitx's, (a Physician's Assistant at MD Anderson and his wife, a social worker), at least 2 have a PhD in the household, both buying on Colgate, one a community college President, the other a computer programmer and his wife, who is a Doctor. The people in that big grey McMansion on Santa Elena & Broadway bought 2 more houses for their kids, cash deals. Another cash deal was a lady moving in from Silverlake. the one on Stony Dell is a Project Manager for Centerpoint I think, moving from over in the energy corridor. So things seem to be on the upswing.

P.S.

We also seem to be getting more and more HAIF'ers, so we get brownie points for that!

Edited by rps324
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  • 4 months later...

This is not a mod home, but within this last year I have driven by it, in Glenbrook, and appreciated it. It's more English tudor style. Those diamod shaped, stained glass windows always intrigued me. This home always seemed (to me) to belong on the other side of Glenbrook, North of Bellfort, by the bayou. Seems out of place where it sits.

http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cf...mp;backButton=Y

There are many of those diamond beveled windows in front picture windows (white, not stained glass) of homes in Glenbrook. Believe some can be seen even on Bellfort.

Edited by NenaE
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This is not a mod home, but within this last year I have driven by it, in Glenbrook, and appreciated it. It's more English tudor style. Those diamod shaped, stained glass windows always intrigued me. This home always seemed (to me) to belong on the other side of Glenbrook, North of Bellfort, by the bayou. Seems out of place where it sits.

http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cf...mp;backButton=Y

There are many of those diamond beveled windows in front picture windows (white, not stained glass) of homes in Glenbrook. Believe some can be seen even on Bellfort.

That's a pretty amazing house. So much space.

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This is not a mod home, but within this last year I have driven by it, in Glenbrook, and appreciated it. It's more English tudor style. Those diamod shaped, stained glass windows always intrigued me. This home always seemed (to me) to belong on the other side of Glenbrook, North of Bellfort, by the bayou. Seems out of place where it sits.

http://search.har.com/engine/dispSearch.cf...mp;backButton=Y

There are many of those diamond beveled windows in front picture windows (white, not stained glass) of homes in Glenbrook. Believe some can be seen even on Bellfort.

Garage conversion. Bad. Mercury vapor light. Says a lot about the neighborhood.

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What does it say, they like a game room?

3,168 square feet and you need to convert a garage into a game room? You have a "gymnasium sized" 26x24 bedroom, with 4 beds in it... and you need to convert a garage into a game room? Not enough lighting, so let's add a mercury vapor light, right at the gable on the front of house? There's only about 20 houses in Glenbrook section ONE that are worth saving; this is not one of them.

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3,168 square feet and you need to convert a garage into a game room? You have a "gymnasium sized" 26x24 bedroom, with 4 beds in it... and you need to convert a garage into a game room? Not enough lighting, so let's add a mercury vapor light, right at the gable on the front of house? There's only about 20 houses in Glenbrook section ONE that are worth saving; this is not one of them.

First, let me say I personally am not generally a fan of Mercury vapor lights or garage conversions. Mercury Vapor lights seem to fall in to a category with vinyl siding and "storm" doors. Things I personally don't care for aesthetically, but older people just seem to love. Those type of lights exist all over town and are often times installed by older homeowners who are more interested in functionality than anything. If a buyer finds it objectionable, they could certainly remove it easy enough. As for the garage conversion, the original garage doors remained in place so as not to affect the exterior appearance. Again, if a buyer found it objectionable it would be extremely easy to convert back to a garage with minimal effort.

Now that we have addressed that, as for "it saying a lot about the neighborhood." I am interpreting that negative comment to mean that you are implying the owner's choice of exterior lighting, combined with the garage conversion, is reflective of them being lower class or something. I'm sorry you feel so well qualified to make those kind of assumptions, as well as being qualified to pass judgement about whether or not the current (original) owners of this house needed the additional game room space, however, since they raised 5 children in that house I guess they felt they needed it. So sorry that doesn't meet your approval.

The owners, the Patronellas, are a well known and well respected family. The children raised in that house have gone on to become accomplished professionals (Attorneys, a plastic surgeon, a successful commercial Broker with something like 48 rental properties around Eastwood). I seriously doubt you are in a position that would even begin to qualify you to look down your nose at the Patronellas, or anyone else for that matter, over one exterior light.

The fact that you would even try speaks volumes about you.

Thank you for your opinion.

Edited by rps324
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ooouuuuu....sorry, didn't mean to start something here. Just wanted to share a picture of a nicely built house with you all. I truthfully didn't even catch the phrase about the gameroom. I was admiring the craftmanship that was put into the details of this house. Anyone who has an eye for architecture (you are usually born with it, IMO), can hopefully appreciate that.

Nice to see you again, rps324, keep up the good work promoting Glenbrook Valley.

Glenbrook is a very rare development, some of the homes are built on terrain that is not found much in this city, sloping, hilly land next to the bayou, with old trees (Idylwood only comes to mind). I admire it as much for this reason as for the high quality custom homes that sit on the land. IMO, every inch of it is worth saving.

Edited by NenaE
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My Glenbrook Valley house was built in 1955. In 1960, the original owner added a gameroom over the garage which is now called "The Kit Kat Lounge". It still contains the original furnishings. After the 2nd owner's (Mrs. Peggy Nelson) husband died in 1974, Mrs. Nelson added a vapor light to the front and back of the house. I guess with these tragic irreparable additions that have happened over the last 48 years, I need to get the house demolished. Oh...wait, it could be one of the 20 in Section 1 that the previous poster has deemed "worth saving".

Edited by Toulouse
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3,168 square feet and you need to convert a garage into a game room? You have a "gymnasium sized" 26x24 bedroom, with 4 beds in it... and you need to convert a garage into a game room? Not enough lighting, so let's add a mercury vapor light, right at the gable on the front of house? There's only about 20 houses in Glenbrook section ONE that are worth saving; this is not one of them.

Could you please list the 20 worth saving? I would like to know if my house (and its 9 mercury vapor lights) made the list. :lol:

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Could you please list the 20 worth saving? I would like to know if my house (and its 9 mercury vapor lights) made the list. :lol:

Mine might make the list since I took down the vapor lights. Although I think I'm in section 5 not sure if we're savable at all or not. Can't wait for more expert advice.

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First, let me say I personally am not generally a fan of Mercury vapor lights or garage conversions. Mercury Vapor lights seem to fall in to a category with vinyl siding and "storm" doors. Things I personally don't care for aesthetically, but older people just seem to love. Those type of lights exist all over town and are often times installed by older homeowners who are more interested in functionality than anything. If a buyer finds it objectionable, they could certainly remove it easy enough. As for the garage conversion, the original garage doors remained in place so as not to affect the exterior appearance. Again, if a buyer found it objectionable it would be extremely easy to convert back to a garage with minimal effort.

Now that we have addressed that, as for "it saying a lot about the neighborhood." I am interpreting that negative comment to mean that you are implying the owner's choice of exterior lighting, combined with the garage conversion, is reflective of them being lower class or something. I'm sorry you feel so well qualified to make those kind of assumptions, as well as being qualified to pass judgement about whether or not the current (original) owners of this house needed the additional game room space, however, since they raised 5 children in that house I guess they felt they needed it. So sorry that doesn't meet your approval.

The owners, the Patronellas, are a well known and well respected family. The children raised in that house have gone on to become accomplished professionals (Attorneys, a plastic surgeon, a successful commercial Broker with something like 48 rental properties around Eastwood). I seriously doubt you are in a position that would even begin to qualify you to look down your nose at the Patronellas, or anyone else for that matter, over one exterior light.

The fact that you would even try speaks volumes about you.

Thank you for your opinion.

Just because you are an attorney, a plastic surgeon, an accomplished rocket scientist (like myself), a slum lord (like the commercial banker you reference... or, now even me!)... and have an affinity for living in your garage or adorning your house with excessively high output lighting doesn't necessarily mean you're low class... but, perhaps no taste.

Just because you are educated, doesn't mean you have taste. And, coming from a family of up to 5 myself... and using the occasional tacky roll-away ping pong table in the garage... we never resorted to living in that space, even with less square footage. I might cut some slack to the residents of Oak Forrest and Garden Oaks... because those homes are small with one car garages... My favorite garage conversion in those parts is the one where the garage door was replaced with block glass. And they kept the car port. We should put that home on the historic register... but when you have over 3K+ square feet?

Beyond the taste issue, which is subjective... vapor lights and burglar bars typically indicate a criminal element is pervasive in the neighborhood, and as such, stay clear.

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Again we see that age-old aesthetic question: who defines "good" taste? Clearly, we who live in GBV MUST recognize that good taste is determined by accomplished rocket scientists, not by people who are living respectfully in a thriving community.

I echo rps324.

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i sure feel a lot better that the person trying to make money off the sale is clarifying the issue.

Really? You felt the need to go there? There are others on this board attempting to "clarify the issue" who would not be financially compensated when this house is sold.

While everyone is entitled to their opinions, I just dont understand why some people need to thread crap. Perhaps I take issue with people who play the piano, live in Clearlake, or are rocket scientists. What good would it do to poke those bears in a public forum?

Nena: Thanks for resurrecting the thread. I wouldnt have noticed this house if you hadnt posted about it. The stained glass rocks!

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Really? You felt the need to go there? There are others on this board attempting to "clarify the issue" who would not be financially compensated when this house is sold.

While everyone is entitled to their opinions, I just dont understand why some people need to thread crap. Perhaps I take issue with people who play the piano, live in Clearlake, or are rocket scientists. What good would it do to poke those bears in a public forum?

Nena: Thanks for resurrecting the thread. I wouldnt have noticed this house if you hadnt posted about it. The stained glass rocks!

Thank you, BigMo...Jees...I just wanted you all to see what those stained glass, diamond windows look like from within the house...didn't mean to start a war. :o The early posts in this thread are very interesting.

I always wondered what you would do if one of those small panels broke, especially in the colored pane ones. That would be disastrous.

Edited by NenaE
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Beyond the taste issue, which is subjective... vapor lights ... typically indicate a criminal element is pervasive in the neighborhood, and as such, stay clear.

Personally, I try to avoid the Memorial Villages due to the prevalence of mercury vapor lights in many of the yards. It's very shifty there. :rolleyes:

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Beyond the taste issue, which is subjective... vapor lights and burglar bars typically indicate a criminal element is pervasive in the neighborhood, and as such, stay clear.

Can't argue with that.

If I see too many burglar bars in a neighborhood I will not buy a house there. You've got to have a pretty bad crime problem to resort to burglar bars. It's like living in a prison.

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Can't argue with that.

If I see too many burglar bars in a neighborhood I will not buy a house there. You've got to have a pretty bad crime problem to resort to burglar bars. It's like living in a prison.

Um... where is this thread going? Unless someone has a bead on MCM burglar bars & mercury vapor light fixtures (which I hope no one does) can we maintain some sort of focus on post war modern homes.

Next thing you know there will be a discussion on school districts, yard work solicitation and real estate agent head shot evaluations.

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I have to admire you BryanS for your self confidence (and flip commentary) given so little information you must have about the house being discussed and about Glenbrook Valley in general. Maybe you know the neighborhood better than I think you do, but it doesn't seem like it since you also made your "20 houses" comment. Its too easy to say that vapor lights and burglar bars are all one needs to know about a neighborhood to warrant staying clear of it. If you know GV and Houston, you should know that compared to other "nicer" post WW2 Houston neighborhoods, GV is still largely intact. The real estate values mostly remained high in 1950's neighborhoods on the west side of town. And yes, the schools are better over there and there are nicer cars in driveways and there are fewer burglar bars and vapor lights. All those things usually indicate a "higher quality of life" neighborhood. But, the people with money (and taste maybe) who live there have always been able to afford more additions, conversions and updates. And since additions frequently aren't enough for those people, they will simply bulldoze whats there and build their lotliner fantasy houses.

GV is different...or at least it has the potential to be different depending on what happens in the next few years. An interesting thing is happening there with or without your approval. A small but steady stream of innercity refugees and others are moving in who are mostly young and like minded about preservation. Although diverse in careers and backgrounds, many share common interest in the arts and politics and the neighborhood. The civic club and a historic designation committee is active. Speaking of which...as far as a historic designation goes, the large number of original homes in GV will be exactly what will help GV qualify (if it does). So the houses that you may deem as not worthy of preserving, are still very important to the original spirit of the neighborhood and the continuity to form a district.

I am not trying to convince you or anyone that GV is the absolute, very best neighborhood in town. I just want to express my opinion, which is that I think Glenbrook Valley is a neighborhood with substance, relevance and much potential.

I am a second generation native Houstonian, but I didn't know Glenbrook Valley existed. It took me one day to determine that GV is an exceptional neighborhood in Houston. As time passes, I become more sure of it. I have been slowly and painstakingly restoring the modernist home I bought there three years ago. I have been able to enjoy the experience (even though it has been truly difficult at times) because the house itself is amazing. In addition, I firmly believe in the significance of the neighborhood and I have many, many kind and supportive neighbors nearby.

Just because you are an attorney, a plastic surgeon, an accomplished rocket scientist (like myself), a slum lord (like the commercial banker you reference... or, now even me!)... and have an affinity for living in your garage or adorning your house with excessively high output lighting doesn't necessarily mean you're low class... but, perhaps no taste.

Just because you are educated, doesn't mean you have taste. And, coming from a family of up to 5 myself... and using the occasional tacky roll-away ping pong table in the garage... we never resorted to living in that space, even with less square footage. I might cut some slack to the residents of Oak Forrest and Garden Oaks... because those homes are small with one car garages... My favorite garage conversion in those parts is the one where the garage door was replaced with block glass. And they kept the car port. We should put that home on the historic register... but when you have over 3K+ square feet?

Beyond the taste issue, which is subjective... vapor lights and burglar bars typically indicate a criminal element is pervasive in the neighborhood, and as such, stay clear.

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Might anyone be aware of the reasons why Mercury Vapor lights showed up, really? In the big history of lighting everyone in the U.S. assumes the fable of Tom Edison struggling to invent the electric light in the first place in 1879. If you dug into it you would find the first electric light was really invented by Humphrey Davy in Britain in 1809. Mercury vapor was developed in 1901 that would lead to the fluorescent in 1938.

And what do these trivia have to do with anything? Simple - Mid Century Modern design was a departure that embraced new ideas and materials. Lighting was (and still is) ranging from very dramatic to subtle - but innovative. Recessed fixtures, reflective cove, spacey pendants, landscaping, and florescent fixtures were all sprinkled in as lighting was used to create moods instead of just an illuminating utility.

And as for most of the surviving mercury vapor lights in Glenbrook? During the late 1960s and 1970s all power was supplied by that renowned public utility Houston Lighting and Power (H.L.&P.) that many referred to as Houston Looting and Plunder. The Harris County Sheriff's office along with the Houston Police Department endorsed program to increase area illumination as a safety issue. H.L. & P. would supply and maintain these on your property for a monthly fee. Everyone was told it was their civic responsibilty.

Keep in mind that during this period children were not the Pod people of today, and played outdoors - especially in the evenings. I was one of those "night stalkers" in this neighborhood and recall that the main thing I got into trouble for was staying out too late.

Like all the street lighting in Houston (mainly sodium vapor), those private vapor lights were mainly for illuminating for safety and later evolved into more security. Neighborhoods with a greater number generally had more children playing outdoors. MCM embraced outdoor entertaining as well which required patio, terrace, pool, and the eventual driveway basketball goal illumination.

Contemporary paranoia tends to hinder one's perception of the broader reality, doesn't it?

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