Carlos Jimenez’s O’Neil Ford Redo in Tall Timbers Now Up for $5 Million

Before this property in the secluded Tall Timbers section of River Oaks was a colorful contemporary by Carlos Jiménez, it was a much smaller home by San Antonio architect O’Neil Ford. Its acre of pie-shaped lot off a winding lane has wide-side frontage along Buffalo Bayou. The property atop rugged terrain listed a week ago with an initial asking price of $4,995,000.


The original structure was built in 1959; HCAD dates the reconstruction to 1988. Upon entering a set of glass panel doors off the motor court at the front of the home, there’s a 2-story foyer, which has an 18-ft. ceiling with transom window. The hallway of floor-to-ceiling windows winnows between the patio and the slightly curved glass-brick wall of the study (not pictured in the listing):

Here’s the same space from the opposite direction:

Here’s the opened-up living area, extending 40 ft. toward bayou-view windows. Discreet built-in storage lies flush with one of the side walls.

Stairs in the north-facing 2-story window bay lead to an exterior walkway along the precipice, all providing a nice view for rear-wall-mounted Philip Glass.

In the dining room, a barrel-vaulted ceiling incorporates a window not graded for the curve. Other features include a wood-burning fireplace and peek-a-boo server’s window in the swinging door to the kitchen:

The kitchen’s eat-in area warms up the otherwise staid design with wooden bookshelves built into the wall framing the window, which looks onto a patio:

The vividly painted den (below) has the home’s second wood-burning fireplace. There’s a bathroom nearby and screen porch access as well. The wall of windows looks into the same space as the kitchen:

The 4,310-sq.-ft. home has 3 bedrooms (4 if you’re willing to give up the den); the master suite — and its polished marble floors — are on the main level:

There’s a private walkway off the room as well:

A secondary bedroom with built-ins gets a cathedral ceiling:

Outdoor spaces include this zen garden off the front entry . . .

this patio outside the study and kitchen windows

. . . and a tiled patio with dining pavilion:

Looking back toward the dining room, the over-the-top window is more pronounced:

At the back of the house, but still above the bayou, there’s also a ravine-side walkway:

14 Comment

  • Not trying to be just snarky, but what’s so special about this house, it looks like very hotel room in Mexico. Perhaps it’s land value only.

  • Complete the following. It’s so overpriced because
    1. It’s such high-concept architecture.
    2. It’s so removed from the “Kapooyah” crowd.
    3. “You gotta try.”
    4. Price conveys Illuminati membership.

  • That property is all elbows and knees.

  • I loath Jimenez, his work looks like REALLY bad Richard Meier deseminated thru some hideous portal in Monterrey, Mexico. It’s an especial horror because they ruined an O’Neil Ford. I’ve been by this abomination numerous times had I vote it my top candidate for demolition. To think that it sits in proximity to Staub designs is revoting. 5 million is absurd. I pay for the lot at fair market price just to rejoice as I tear it down.

  • Oh my you ruined an O’neal Ford house – I worked for him for 4 yrs and his heart and soul went into the houses he designed along with his special crafts people who built them. Such a shame to change this house – we should honor our bright architects and their works instead of destroying them. Neal would be sad about this. Keeping our wonderful architecture in Houston will define this city as a cut above other cities, but we must not destroy it.

  • If this is the one that was just on the RDA tour (I think it is; how many Jimenez re-do’s of O’Neil Ford can there be on Pine Hill Lane?) then there was a before and after elevation drawing showing the original Ford house in the kitchen. Looked better before. Nice site, though.

  • I went on the RDA tour and saw this. I asked “Where’s the O’Neil Ford part?” and it looks like all that was left were exterior brick wall along the bayou and entry court. It’s a nice house though, maybe the artwork is included in the price.

  • It is very nice to see Swamplot folks in complete agreement.

  • why the photoshop sky?
    does it help the design?

  • What?! The “artwork” is atrocious, it looks like Eurotrash by way of a back alley in Chelsea. It goes with the taste of the philistines who ruined this house in the first place. Jimenez should be arrested for what he’s purputrated on Houston. In the a annals of pathetic and revolting architecture thrust upon Houston, he ranks as the WORST, a homegrown abomination, a no talent whose been allowed to ruin beautiful buildings and to design complete rubbish. Who on Earth would pay this man to design anything???

  • If you want great austere modern, look to the great Richard Meier!! You assume these people are not without means, so why hire an Architect so lacking in talent, you have to assume the money was from a trust fund and the clients sadly lacking even the slightest taste. I mean the front looks like a stack of cargo containers!—hmmm many the clients were realated to a Greek shipping magnate, really it’s the only thing that makes sense!

  • The more I look at these images, the more shocked at how cheap this house looks. It’s RIVER OAKS and it looks like a prefab house you’d buy on some corner in the sticks. As horrid as it is from the motor court it’s even more revolting from the Bayou. Who??? would pay 5 million for this cheap mess. I’d be shocked if the windows and roof didn’t leak. This is such a prime lot, I’m praying the God’s of taste that someone buys this and immediately bulldozes it into the bayou. (then remove it of course)..

  • Such snobbery! A relative once owned this O’Neil Ford, and while we are sad it doesn’t exist in it’s previous condition – it’s not ours anymore – or yours for that matter! I’m not a Jimenez fan, but as a designer myself, I hesitate to be so critical – especially in a public forum. But then, I was raised with manners. And if the client was happy, then who is to say anything? Don’t like it – don’t buy it. I hope for the owner’s sake potential buyers aren’t coming across this blog post as I did. And hell, if they can get 5M – good for them, and good for the neighbors too.