Battle Over Swank Sugar Land Supermod Won By Komatsu Excavator

Courtesy of a Swamplot reader who spied the wreckage, we now have photo confirmation that the recently renovated former home of Astrodome builder H.A. Lott, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright devotee Karl Kamrath in 1975, is currently being smashed to pieces. That’s the steel frame of the north end of the house being mangled above. And we have a video, too! Not of the demolition — but of the sleek-looking home itself last year, when it was on the market for just over a million bucks. Treacly but ultimately ineffective soundtrack included:


The 4,426-sq.-ft. 4-bedroom sold for around $800,000 in April.

Photo: Swamplot inbox. Video: Greg Bennett

35 Comment

  • That picture is physically painful to look at. What a waste.

  • This is sickening & disheartening. What a waste. Why did they even buy it in the 1st place???

  • Disgusting.

  • I hope Mod of the Month isn’t a jinx, because we just had the Sam Maceo house in Galveston last weekend…

  • These homes are pieces of artwork. Ingeniously designed, meticulously crafted, a piece of our history. Sorry to be so emotional, but anyone who can stand by and watch this kind of destruction has no soul.Again, pardon my candor, but this is beyond me.Explain this to me someone. Anyone.

  • That hacks me off. What kind of McMansion are the owners gonna build in place of that masterpiece? Sigh.

  • #7 sally01

    If the Ft Bend CAD is correct, the new owners just bought this property in March of this year after the Lott family sold it in 2007 to the folks who sold it to these new owners. New owners also own a newer, more costly home there in SugarLand.

    Now, this is only speculation on my part but new owners probably are not even aware that these homes have such a following nor do they care. I don’t want to be callous but they likely do not have any sense of ‘history’ associated with this type home or it’s importance in US history. They may not know who Frank Lloyd Wright was either, let alone Karl Kamrath.

    Could be that their sense of ‘history’ is not in this hemisphere. So why shouldn’t they tear down something that means absolutely nothing to them? It’s their house.

    Get my drift??

    (I don’t agree with their decision either)

  • This is SOOO bizarre to me. I’m not upset as others are, but very confused. Why buy a property that has so much value/cost tied up in the actual house itself if your going to knock it down? Why not buy an empty lot? Or a not-so-nice house on the same size lot that should be much cheaper?
    If I were looking for a 5k SF lot in Montrose to build a home, I wouldn’t find a $1m home on a 5k lot and smash it. I’d find some $300k home that was being sold at close to land value and hack away.
    strange strange strange…

  • Disgusting. The second MacKie and Kamrath house in one year.

  • good riddance. this is too valuable a lot to have anything so old. and when the new owners sell in a few years, we will tear down their gem and replace it with something newer, bigger, better. maybe something more original, like stucco, with a nice fresco.

  • Sad Sad day in sugar land

  • I’m biased;
    I love and admire history;
    I believe good, true examples of any era’s architecture should be respected/maintained even by law, if necessary.
    Smashing significant architecture like this home
    is like cutting up a giant emerald crystal to make 75 little rings because a bunch of folks want an emerald ring but nobody’s asking to buy the whole, big rock.
    Surely ring-shoppers should be able to buy what they want, but, society also needs Preservationists to be historically-motivated, not commerce-motivated, and to preserve a big crystal – like an especially unique Houston-area home – now and again.

  • So is there a way I can get a hold of the blueprints for that house?

  • @Brandon They’re in the pile of rubble with the leaded glass windows.

  • this is why you don’t build anything nice in places like sugarland of all places.

    who cares, it had it coming.

  • I hope someone posts photos of what replaces this house.

  • This house means nothing to history…just like all the homes in the Heights, the Eastend, and every other “historic” area.

    Who cares who owned it, lived in it, built it, or designed it…The only thing that matters is what the owner of the property wants to do with it.

    I do not see the point in being sentimentally attached a structure because its different (and in my opinion not in a good way) than others houses around it. Its absurd.

    It does seem to be a waste though if they did not at least salvage all of the nice appliances, counters, floors, wood, etc.

  • I do not see the point in being sentimentally attached to the “nice appliances, counters, floors, wood, etc.” in order to salvage them. “Who cares”? Right? “The only thing that matters is what the owner of the property wants to do with it.” Why salvage? That crap “means nothing to history.”

  • Whether or not the structure means anything to history is very subjective. In order to make a blanket statement that this house has no value to history you have to therefore believe that no structure has any value to history which I’m pretty sure isn’t the case. To my mind the most important lesson from this is that instead of trying to flip the property the interim owners should have concentrated on putting in paperwork to protect it, unless of course all they were interested in was the flip.

  • I am not attached to the nice appliances, wood floors, etc…but they have a very large and easily accessible resale market…its not being sentimental it is just not wasting money on something that can easily be resold. A mod house like this has a very small market. Only a select few like this style of house, and even fewer are willing to pay for them.

  • I live in the loop, office at Sugar Creek Blvd. at 59. I visited this lovely home on the mod tour last year. I am very sad to know that that beautiful building is no longer down the street.

  • Correct, and in this case, the new owners did not care one iota about the history of mod houses in 20th Century United States Architecture.

  • I think it’s a shame whenever any house that is well designed and well built is torn down, irrespective of the architectual style. This home looked lovely from the pictures – what a waste of energy and resources.

  • The house may or may not have historic value, I agree it’s subjective, but it certainly has no value in the current market as the evidence of it’s demise shows. At the end of the day in the real estate… market always wins.

  • Another beautiful home succombs to the greedy.


  • Ehh, the value of this home isn’t in who built it or designed it or owned it.

    I mean, the builder of the astrodome could have lived in a tract house, at the end of the day it’s still a tract house.

    Naw, the value of this home is THE ARCHITECTURE. And the fact that we don’t build shit like this anymore.

  • There is nothing we can do about this but gripe. Its Sugarland. Money wins.

  • It’s sad and unfortunate in my opinion that the new owners chose to do this. IMO it’s a terrible waste – not only of a piece of architecture that has few rivals today, but also of materials. What a huge sad dumpster full of house pieces.

    All we can do is record them before it’s too late – at least we can look at pictures and say “aww, wasn’t that place kinda neat…”

  • Why blame the buyer? The seller could have added a covenant to the contract stipulating that the buyer agreed to “maintain” the house as a historic property. The Lott family in fact could have done the same.

    Obviously the buyer bought the house for the lot which is one of the prime lots overlooking the golf course. Some would say it is the prime lot. It is a shame but then none of the “preservationists” were interested enough to buy it themselves. Just interested in telling a buyer they could not tear it down. Not their place. But it was the place of the seller. Who chose not to.

  • Matt Mystery, got it. No posting on a topic unless you own the subject property. How are you enjoying your Kamrath?

  • I am the sad owner who recently sold this house to the new owners. Had I known, I would have never sold to them. Here is the story. Six brothers grew up in Sugar Creek. They moved to another SL neighborhood for a different school. Now that they are empty nesters, they are all buying the biggest and best lots in the neighborhood. They told us they were going to add on a 2nd story, which they started to do. They suddenly stopped and tore it down without even donating the insides to Habitat or another charity. Money isn’t an issue for them. Sadly, we don’t have the blueprints, but we are going to work on getting them if someone would like them. We plan on rebuilding something similar in our new Houston area.

  • as one person mentioned, once the demlition was realized, why didn’t an organization actively attempt to salvage some of the materials from the house? or did they..I think this was the same architect that designed my grandparents house which was off Holcombe on Staffordshire and also torn down after years of neglect by the owners THE MED CENTER for student living …Another great house. My grandmother sold it for $45,000 maybe in ’69? I actually used to have dreams about it. It was a 3 bedroom 3 bath gem.