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2011 E. Montrose Home Tour & Art Walk


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The East Montrose biennial Home Tour and Art Walk will take place on Saturday, April 16, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Situated in the shadow of downtown Houston, and bordered by Montrose Boulevard, West Gray, Genesee, and Fairview, East Montrose was platted in the early 1900's - back in the days when Houston's population numbered fewer than 300,000, and when a streetcar ran down what is now Fairview.

Many original homes and cottages - some dating to the 1890’s, and modern glass and steel residences built in the last decade, combine in the eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary style, which is the hallmark of East Montrose.

During the mid-20th Century, artists and other free thinking individuals flocked to East Montrose. In the 1970’s, “health food” was an attractive new concept, and the Houston Food Co-op opened a storefront here where members stocked up on granola and bean sprouts. The co-op boasted the first Birkenstock franchise in Houston. Across the street and a decade earlier, a corner house was home to the First Pagan Church of Houston.

In recent years, East Montrose has become home to empty nesters, urban professionals, and young families, all drawn to the neighborhood's living mosaic of diversity, its proximity to downtown, restaurants, theaters, and galleries, and its century-old trees, walkability and friendly neighbors.

A diverse mix of old and new homes are showcased on the tour, including:

  • 310 Stratford
Originally a two story stucco Craftsman with an inviting foyer and staircase, this 1927 home grew when a third story attic was finished out, which now accommodates a writer's study and library. The kitchen and bathrooms were expanded in 2009. Contemporary features were removed by the new owners and replaced with choices more in keeping with the grand Craftsman style of the home. For instance, a light fixture from a 1928 home in Old Braeswood replaced the ill-conceived “mod” lighting in the dining room. Outdoor features include the gracious front porch spanning the width of the house, and, perfect for the gourmet homeowners who love to entertain, a rear outdoor "dining room" retreat. During the 80’s and 90’s, this home was known for hosting huge parties of 300 or more, squeezing 30 people into the Jacuzzi. Entertaining at the home now tends to be less raucous.
  • 1012 Peden

The exterior of this blue stucco home features a unique curved roof over an arched entry. The house was built in 1930 and shows off that era’s Art Deco fashion. In 1989 it was gutted and reconfigured with even more showy Art Deco flair. A photograph of a previous owner, bedecked in all her 1940’s glamour, hangs over the fireplace. Although two renovations resulted in more efficient storage and closet space, an updated kitchen, and a roomy bathroom, the home retains its original romance and charm.

  • 2304 Mason
Dating to 1906, this lovely Victorian home was reputedly built by Ross Sterling, former Texas Governor and Founder of Humble Oil for his mother. The house next door originally occupied the corner of Mason and Fargo Streets, but was moved to its current location to make room for the new house. Commonly known as “The Purple House”, this modest Victorian has stately architectural features including high ceilings, original pine floors, large stain glass window, and transom windows above the doorways. Exquisite antique furnishings enhance the Victorian style, and the front garden overflows with colorful flowers.
  • 512 Fargo

This stunning custom contemporary stucco and glass townhome was built in 1999. Local architect Truong Le designed a space that is light-loving yet private. The second-floor living area provides a gallery-like setting to showcase art. Architecture inspired by feng shui principles and Frank Lloyd Wright’s penchant for the continuity of interior and exterior spaces, visitors are treated to beautiful slate and oak flooring; custom maple shelving and cabinetry, and dramatic high ceilings. Interior rooms lead seamlessly to exterior balconies and a peaceful, shaded first-level rear garden which features a calming rock fountain. This home is an excellent example of enduring modern architectural design that is dramatic yet warm and welcoming.

  • 2106 Crocker
Designed by architect Marshall Reid and developed by Alquimia, this sensational contemporary home exemplifies urban living at its finest. The spacious interior boasts 10 foot ceilings, walnut floors, and European-style cabinets. Spa-like bathrooms promote a sense of tranquility amidst luxurious modern fittings and fixtures. Spectacular floor to ceiling windows offer views of the secluded pool, and the fourth floor rooftop deck provides a stunning view of downtown. The exterior, lush with plantings offers a soothing respite from the busy city.
  • 1901 Crocker

As unique as the designer himself, 1901 Crocker is no ordinary home. International interior designer and award-winning furniture designer, Kelly Gale Amen of KGA, Inc. has created a living piece of artistic design. Solar assisted energy and custom designed neon lights help with energy efficiency. Added design interest includes reclaimed mosaic stone, restored oak wood floors, and polished natural limestone adorning surfaces in the kitchen, bathrooms and throughout the house. And let’s not forget the staircase. Moving from flat land embrace to vertical cubic space, the original compound was a living, breathing environment that took three times the land and, now climbs into the city with the vertical cubic/staircase. The staircase is a vertical breath of free, open visuals, flooded with light and cubic space from 1st floor to the 4th floor, all looking into the views of Houston. Views and space/what could be better.

For Montrose area history buffs, Obedience Smith, Pioneer of Three American Frontiers, a lively read by local author Audrey Cook, will be available for sale at each tour home. The book tells the fascinating life story of Obedience Smith, an undauntable widower who moved her 11 children to the Mexican province of Texas in 1836 and became the original land holder of most of what is now Montrose, Midtown, Rice University, and River Oaks. Tales of her battles over land rights, of Indian wars, and of settling new frontiers in many states and territories of our young country are recounted in great detail. This biography includes depictions of other interesting characters, such as Ms. Smith’s grandson who rode with the Jesse James Gang; Margaret Foster, the first librarian in Houston; and second president of the Republic of Texas, Mirabeau Lamar, who lived near Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. The book also contains historical maps, charts, and photographs.

In addition to the homes on the tour, visitors may visit the working studios of local artists, all within a comfortable strolling distance, peeking into the spaces where inspiration meets realization, and craft comes to life.

1 • Betz Art Gallery

1208 W. Gray / Oil, Acrylic,

Watercolor, Sculpture, Jewelry •

Gallery owner and artist Lori Betz’s art gallery

and studio will feature her current sculptures of

dancers from the Dominic Walsh Dance Studio.

www.betzgallery.com 713 576-6954

2 • Constance Braden & Mike Reed

920 Damon Court / Charcoal drawings,

Furniture • Large charcoal drawings by

Constance taken from dreams, fairy tales and

religious imagery.... like having a vision only

slower. New sculpture from Mike.

3 • Anderson Fair

2007 Grant at Welch / Music,

Refreshment / Cookie Wells Art

• This historic Houston music landmark is one

of the oldest folk/original music venues in continuous operation in the United States. Open today with an exhibit of art by Cookie Wells...a master of the aqua media. Inside and outside seating for those who need a rest. Take a break and enjoy the heart of our neighborhood. 713 528-8576 www.andersonfair.com

4 • Welch Street Studio

915 Welch / Sculpture / Paintings /

Stuff • Gerida Brown opens up her historic

Montrose corner studio to exhibit her paintings

and sculpture. • Dr. Bruce joins Gerida with

torsos and monkeys!

5 • Joan Son

904 Welch / Paper Art, Origami,

Jewelry, Gifts • With her first exhibit in

the windows of Tiffany & Co. and a current

exhibition at the Houston Center for

Contemporary Craft, Joan opens her

Montrose studio with her artist friends:

Lee Benner, metal art / Nanci Engle, quotable

cards / Marguerite Belkin, origami jewelry /

Kay Nguyen, ceramics / Jan VanLiere, body

butter. www.joanson.com 713 522-5377

6 • Gloria and Richard Stamper

1904 Whitney / Art Photography •

The artist's personal art gallery, featuring portraits, wedding mages and landscapes will be on display in her charming 1920's home/studio. Richard will have cacti and succulents for sale. His extensive collection of plants will also be available for viewing. 713 523-2705

7 • Penny Cerling

419 Willard / Drawings, Printmaking

• Penny is known for her pen and ink drawings,

as well as her collaborative work in printmaking

with many Texas artists. Work she has

done, her own or in collaboration with other

artists, is in many museum collections.


8 • Will Brooks

512 Fargo / Acrylic, Ink

• Bright radiant colors create a striking

balance between pop and minimalist

sensibilities. Will’s works have been

displayed in numerous solo and group

exhibitions in Houston and New Orleans.

His art has been featured in Outsmart and

002 magazines. www.willbrooksart.com

East Montrose is in the 77006 Zip Code zone, and lies within the boundaries of Montrose, West Gray, Genesee, and Fairview. Home Tour signs will be easy to spot throughout the neighborhood and will designate the featured homes and studios. Tickets cost $15 (cash or check) and are available for purchase at each home on the day of the tour. EMCA members can purchase Tour tickets at a reduced price of $10. The Art Walk is free to all.

More information at www.eastmontrose.org

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bmaxey, welcome to HAIF, and thanks for notification of this event.

The Montrose remains a special part of Houston, and I'm glad that people have put forth the effort to encourage an appreciation of our unique neighborhood. Hope your event has a good turnout.

I hope you'll continue to contribute to HAIF. You'll find a ready audience.

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  • The title was changed to 2011 E. Montrose Home Tour & Art Walk

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