A Slice of Gingerbread From a Sunset Heights Period Kitchen

Even without the flag waving as punctuation, this 1890 Victorian serves as a pint-sized Americana residential souvenir, complete with gingerbread trim and turned posts on the porch. The fence, however, is of more modern scale — and function, given its automated gate across the driveway. Flashbacks continue inside the cottage, listed earlier this month at $369,5000. It’s located in the Bartholomew Place tendril of Sunset Heights, a long block west of Metro’s Heights Transit Center.


At the heart of the 2-bedroom home, there’s a time-travel kitchen fitted with a little more gingerbread at the window, a vintage sink with drainboard, and an antique gas range with ventilation hood and fridge. The checkerboard flooring extends into a back room, visible from a (probably not original) cut-through above the sink. It’s also in the home’s sole bathroom, where there’s an overhead water tank and a claw foot tub:

Elsewhere in the home, which has 9-1/2-ft. ceilings and dark-stained trim, carpet covers the original wide-plank floors.

The glass-paneled door shown here leads to the kitchen:

A room across the back of the 1,056-sq.-ft. home has paneled walls and a painted beadboard ceiling. It opens to a porch overlooking the back yard of the fully fenced 9,322-sq.-ft. lot. There’s a carport and a detached workshop, but no garage. Utilities include space heaters and window units for air conditioning.

17 Comment

  • Double lot = teardown

  • Agreed, it’s a goner.

  • I like the Google Street View of this place with the street full of the City of Houston trash cans. That is one of the more “Classy” characteristics of our fair city. At least the garbagemen do not need to get out of the truck to pick up the trash. We would not want then straining anything.

  • I dig the Victrola. Front fence doesn’t really go with the period though – people weren’t so exclusive back then.

  • If this house had cheeks, I would squeeze them. What a cutie!

  • I saw this on HAR and fell in love with it. But I’m afraid it’s a tear down. A real shame since it’s from 1890’s. More Houston history gone.

  • Only one way to fix something that ugly and outdated on a prime piece of real estate…Calling Cherry Demolition…please hold while we dispatch the next available excavator and dump truck.

    I would however save the appliances and fixtures, there are a bunch of crazies who pay big money for that junk.

  • Given the quality of the home, if the buyer purchases for the lot only, hopefully it can be moved to the up and coming east side of N. Main and kept intact. It is worth moving instead of tearing down. Individual lot values in the area are going for well over 200K these days so chances are at 370k a builder would still find it desirable and a move would be necessary.

  • So let’s project positive energy to PRESERVE it!!!

  • I think it’s probably safe from being torn down unless the price drops well below $300k. $40/s.f. is pretty rich for land that close to Main.

  • I guess that means that Bartholomew Place is not in a “Historic District”?

    That workshop out back looks huge.

    It sure looks like a good amount of money has been spent making the home look period correct. I have to wonder though, why not put in central AC and heat? And how practical is the small (if correct) refrigerator?

    Still, it is nicely kept and it would be a shame to destroy it. I’d hope that if a buyer wanted to build new, they’d at least offer it for sale to be moved.

  • For all of you that are for tearing it down, move into a different neighborhood and leave these gems to those that can appreciate them! There are a lot of properties that don’t have this charm and history, pick them for new construction. Too much of the Heights has fallen to greedy contractors already!

  • I agree that this is an awesome place.

    Yes, I am hopeful that a buyer will purchase it and live in it. It would be hard to watch this one go under to the dozers.

    But please, Maureen. “Leave these gems to those that appreciate them….fallen to greedy contractors”??? Really? Those that appreciate them must first buy them.

    Pull your own check book out or stop telling others what they should be doing with THEIR money to make YOU happy. Good grief.

  • Lots of love in all the frou frou. How about replatting the lot, moving the house to the side of the lot, and using it for a rental or guest house? Then, richies would have plenty of room to build the faux victorian of their dreams.

  • To JP, I have put my money where my mouth is! I own two historic houses on large lots in the Heights, wish I could buy them all! It’s disheartening when I hear stories of bungalows that were on the home tour, in the past, torn down for future McMansions….I get offers almost every day to buy my properties, “in any condition”, thanks but no thanks. I value the ancient oaks and pecans that would be lost, as well as the old houses, more than the profit I would make. The original houses make up less than one half of one percent of all available housing in this city, surely that meager amount can be spared from the wrecking ball?

  • @ MH

    That’s great and I’m glad you have done so. I agree that some older houses are architecturally significant and are preservation worthy. I like old houses (some of them, at least).

    Still doesn’t change the fact that this house will need a buyer that wants to live in the house as it stands now.

    As far as the 1/2 of 1% off all available original houses in Houston, where did that number come from? Houston has grown quite a bit since inception. Are we going back to log cabin and sod home times? Are you talking about Heights area only? At what point does it become crazy to “save” an original structure? Who gets to draw the line on what can be torn down and what has to be saved?

  • Maureen Hall: For all of you that are for tearing it down, move into a different neighborhood
    I don’t *think* most of the commentors are FOR tearing it down. I think some of the commentors believe it might be bought to be torn down (big difference)
    The person selling it just wants to sell it. It’s up to the public to decide if it’s best use is as-is or as-could-be. PERSONALLY, I really like these older places. But if others don’t (or don’t enough to purchase them) then the wrecking ball is the only option. You can’t force someone to only sell to someone wanting to live in it. It’s not fair as it limits their own personal freedom.
    As a side topic, lending taking a 180 degree turn from “lend to anyone” to “lend to no one” makes it harder to save stuff like this. At the price it’s at, it wouldn’t cost much more in payments than most people pay for an okay 2bd apt. Yet try to get a loan on this guy. Good luck! That’s the problem (IMO of course)