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Popular Mechanics Home Section - 1956


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I was looking for information on architect Ursula Oberdieck (of the 1956 Parade of Homes "Suburban Styline" on Cayton St. - http://www.arch-ive.org/cayton7550.php) and found her in the Popular Mechanics 1956 issue. Her house is on the cover as well as at the top of pages 186/187(interior and exterior pictures):




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An H. Oberdieck designed this house in Meyerland on Braeswood.

An H. Oberdieck designed this house in Meyerland on Braeswood.


Wow. I think I have been in that house. (Many, many years ago). Is it on N Braeswood between Endicott and S, Rice?

Edited by Fringe
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  • 7 years later...

Ursula Oberdieck seems to have died in California in 1975 at the age of 51.  She disappears from county records around 1969 but is very active in real estate sales and construction before that.  I suspect that she went out on her own in the 1960s as a design-builder.  During the 1950s she was a staff designer for Suburban Homes.  She also collaborated with Ray Chutsz.  I found a mention of a Rodolfo Oberdieck, possibly father or brother, who bought a house from her in Shepherd Park Plaza.  She appears never to have married.  She had her architectural training in Berlin and then lived in Guatemala.

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  • 6 months later...

Ursula Oberdieck was my mother’s best friend.  She was quite a character.  She was born to a prominent family in Germany, and lived there through WWII (she told us how her family lost everything, and very nearly starved if not for food packages from her brother, Rudy).  She then later came to America.  Her older brother, Rudy, had actually met Hitler in Germany, and wisely decided to leave the country, moving to Guatemala and purchasing a coffee plantation before the war broke out. As far as I know, Ursula never acquired a driver’s license despite the fact that she drove everywhere here in Texas for decades, lol.  My mother and I lived with her for a time after my parents divorced in the home she designed.  I thought it was in Oak Forest, but it could have been Shepherd Park Plaza.  It’s entirely possible that her brother Rudy owned her home if in fact he did purchase a home in Shepherd Park Plaza.  I know he never lived here in Houston.  She taught me to love hot tea with milk, but was not so successful in her attempts to get me to try blood sausage.  She never married. I was in my very early teens when we knew her, so I’m afraid I wasn’t paying much attention to her career, although I clearly remember her drafting table.  My mother was in real estate, and that is how they met. When Ursula began having headaches and double vision, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.  At that time, she went to Guatemala to be with her brother Rudy. My mother was able to travel down there to see her before her death in 1975.  I believe that she died in Guatemala, not California. My mother has since passed, or I could have asked her more details.  Ursula was a very kind, funny, and talented woman. When my mother died, I came across some photos of Ursula, Rudy, and my mother when she and my mother went to visit him in Guatemala. My mother also would have married Rudy had I not still been in school here in Texas.

Edited by VPack
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