One more reason to get excited about the possibility of another Depression: It could save the Jim West Mansion in Clear Lake!
Two years ago, a real-estate company controlled by former Houston Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon bought the mansion with plans to subdivide its 41 acres for sale to developers. At one point, the mansion seemed about to be razed. At another, it seemed likely to become the centerpiece of a luxury complex for retirees.
But as of yet, no deal has solidified. And that’s where [Clear Lake schoolteacher Linda] Sansing finds a strange upside to talk of a new Depression: With credit tight, it seems unlikely that a for-profit developer will swoop in.
Great! But . . . will that make raising money for preservationists to buy the property any easier?
Linda Sansing’s nonprofit group, Preserved in Time, aims to raise $100,000 in earnest money, so it can make an offer on the mansion and some of its grounds. She figures that, ultimately, the group will need $11 million to buy the mansion and some of its land. Some of that money could come from opening the mansion to the pubic for rentals and tours. Some could come from grants. But she knows she has a long way to go.
- Preservationists hope to rescue West mansion [Houston Chronicle]
- How the West won [Houston Chronicle]
- Saving the Jim West Mansion [Houston Public Radio]
- Jim West Mansion Photo Story [Preserved in Time]
Video: Preserved in Time
You know, I can’t imagine this place couldn’t make a mint as a wedding venue.
I BELIEVE IN PRESEVING THIS PROPERTY. I SPENT ONE SUMMER ON THIS PROPERTY AFTER I LOST MY FATHER AND I HAD A LOT OF TIME TO MEDITATE. IT IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL AND HISTORIC LAND.
oh wow, I’m blown away by the re-emergence of this story!
It is a lovely property.
Anyone know how the place fared in/after hurricane Ike?
Given the current discourse on “historic preservation” it will be interesting to see how all the “historic preservationists” will respond to the eventual demolition of a truly historic structure.
Hakeem Olajuwon didn’t buy the property because he liked the house.
I would love to dedicate my time and services to the preservation of this house. . . i dream a little every day when i drive past it on my way to work. . . its simply a work of art.