As with the curving private lane it fronts, a 1939 home in understated, gated Shadyside splays slightly on a pie-shaped lot (top). The stately front screens the grounds on the back side, a deliberate design by Houston architect John Staub for original clients A.J. Wray and wife Margaret, daughter of J.S. Cullinan — founder of the company that became Texaco. Writing about the property in his monograph on the architect’s “country houses,” Rice architectural historian Stephen Fox notes how the home’s pivot-point entry bay is light on windows and flanked by 2 wings with far more iron grill and veranda flourishes out back — for a focused view of private grounds with reflecting pond (above). Is the home’s styling “Regency-inspired,” Louisiana-Creole-derived, or an example of Latin Colonial Regionalism? Feel free to mull it over as you survey the property on 1.3 acres across from Rice University’s Main St. main gate, just south of the Museum District. Home to oil heirs and a former Texas governor, the well-groomed and rather proper property made its market debut Monday, asking $6.9 million.
Much of the home is one room deep — make that one really big room deep. The entry hall, however, opens into an adjacent library that still sports its original wooden paneling. A bay window ensures the back yard view gets center stage:
Exterior doors hidden in the draperies (above) lead to garden-view verandas of brick that extend past the formal living room . . .
and formal dining room, which also has a vine-covered arcade above the room’s front windows that face the street. Floor plans indicate there’s an adjacent butler’s pantry en route . . .
to the updated kitchen with skinny island, perky floor tiles, and a breakfast room, through the arch:
HCAD records refer to a 1987 renovation of the home and outline the property’s chain of ownership: The home appears to have stayed in the Wray family until 1988, when it was purchased by Mark White and his wife Linda, following the governor’s 1983-1987 term. The Shadyside property has changed hands twice since their 1998 departure from the neighborhood.
The floor plan downstairs includes a repurposed coat room off the entry hall that added some primp space to 1 of 2 half-baths in the 7,823-sq.-ft. home. Elsewhere, there are are an additional 7 full bathrooms, a game room, an “extra room,” and a guest house.
The second floor currently includes a sitting room and several bedrooms that seem to have have earned suite status. Here, for example, is the master suite . . .
the “Garden Room” guest suite . . .
and the garden variety guest suite (below). (The listing mentions a total of 5 or 6 bedrooms.)
Outside, trees left in a somewhat natural state dapple the groomed lawns and manicured landscaping found closer to the home, where the fountains within a brick-ringed reflection pool further ripple any watery imagery.
Quarterly maintenance fees in the enclave community run $855. Home tours have featured the 75-yr.-old property; it’s been listed on the National Register of Historic Properties since 1993.
- 3 Remington Ln. [HAR]