- 8122 Colgate St. [HAR]
The retro Glenbrook Valley neighborhood entry sign above is now standing on Broadway St. north of the intersection with Santa Elena St., Robert Searcy notes. The neighborhood civic club’s new Mod marker echoes one that stood in the area shortly after the subdivision’s early 1950s founding (shown here in a black and white excerpt from a brochure for the 1956 Parade of Homes tour) and replaces the much more rectilinear sign long planted in about the same spot. The new sign’s cursive also mimics the throwback style of the script on the nearby Glenbrook Valley Apartments on Bellfort St.:
That recovered 2-story mod at 8008 Colgate has been getting further retouching by the newest owners, Sandra Cook writes in this month’s Houston House & Home. The previously dilapidated house made HoustonMod’s Mod of the Month list back in 2014 after it was rehabilitated to a poop-and-mold-free 5,870 sq. ft. (scooping in a few upstairs patios behind new walls in the process). Above is a comparison of the main entryway — the top photo shows the space’s trendy new white outfit, while the same wall appears in blue below that following the 2014 redo. (The lower left side shows the space midway through those earlier reconstructive procedures.)
The house will be receiving visitors during the Glenbrook Valley Home Tour in October; here’s a few peeks at some of the new retro-ish finishes, if you can’t wait until then:
The Gulfgate-Mall-seeded TIRZ that absorbed many of the commercial corridors around Hobby Airport back in 2014 has been weighing plans for redeveloping the acquired zone, working with the Houston-Galveston Area Council through the organization’s agreeably-named Livable Centers program. A few public workshops were held last month; a reader tells Swamplot that the management district’s consultants have also been interviewing area real estate folks as they come up with ideas for new developments to suggest. The next workshop is planned for the evening of Wednesday, July 13th; the district is pushing an online survey in the meanwhile.
Presentation slides from the most recent workshop included the map below of sidewalks in the area being studied (roughly bounded by I-45, Almeda Genoa Rd., Mykawa Rd., and Dixie Dr., as shown above) — roads marked in green have new sidewalks, yellow lines highlight sidewalks rated by the district as good, red shows sidewalks rated as poor, and brown shows roads with sidewalks rated as missing:
The listing for this 3-bedroom mid-century mod a few blocks south of Sims Bayou says that the home was considered as a filming site for the Astronaut Wives Club teevee series — but didn’t get the part. The house did, however, get picked to be in several of the Houston Builder Association’s Parade of Homes showcase tours back in the 1950s, according to Glenbrook Valley’s historical district designation report. That document cites a 1954 Houston Chronicle writeup noting the home’s cutting edge electric features, including a precipitron (“a device that removes all odors“). It’s unclear whether the precipitron survived the 2008 remodel (following damage from a 2007 fire), but the listing says the current owners tried to keep era-appropriate stylings in mind during the repair work:
Bright and shiny renderings from the recently-released master plan for the Houston Botanic Garden show that design firm West 8 is aware of the challenges involved in straddling a world-class park across Sims Bayou, on the site of Glenbrook Park Golf Course just across I-45 north of Hobby Airport. The Dutch firm, known internationally for unusual bridges and unconventional landscape design, has planned for many of the Garden’s displays to flood at will; the shores of Sims Bayou on the Garden’s property will also be resculpted. And to combat Houston’s just-shy-of-year-round heat, shade trees would be preserved or planted throughout the park, including the towering cypresses depicted in the bayou-side wetland gardens shown above (parts of which will be explorable by kayak).
Meanwhile, the more formal garden spaces planned for the park are shown with their own built-in shade (complete with custom ceiling fans): Colonnade structures (like the ones picture below) will ring each of the major collection gardens, which are designed to be “entered, enjoyed, and contemplated from the comfort of the shaded perimeter”:
Now available: Dutch landscaping and design firm West 8’s master plan for the Houston Botanic Garden, complete with preliminary renderings of the future-former Glenbrook Park Golf Course (south of Park Place Blvd between I-45 and Galveston Rd.). The drawings include details of the so-called Botanical Mile walk-and-drive-way (shown above posing in Downward Dog over Sims Bayou): an arboreal bridge along the single-file parade of exotic trees is intended by the designers to serve as a new symbol for the city of Houston, better known currently for its general aversion to being outdoors.
According to the master plan document, the Botanical Mile will stretch along the western side of the garden and serve as the main entrance: visitors will enter the park from Park Place Blvd. and drive the length of the property to the parking lots, in the process crossing onto and back off of the large island created by a meandering limb of Sims Bayou:
Direct flights to Cuba from the US are back on the table (probably, eventually) per last week’s agreement between Havana and the State Department — and whenever that happens, Southwest Airlines is looking to get in on the action from its newly-minted international concourse at Hobby Airport. The concourse has been launching passengers to Central America and the Caribbean since its mid-October opening, which marked the airport’s return to the international game for the first time since IAH opened in 1969.
Other major additions to Hobby include a 3,000-spot parking garage (shown above) still partially under construction on one of the former EcoPark lots, just west of the original garage (now labeled the Red Garage). The new structure (known as the Blue Garage) is rising in phases: Phase I opened just in time for Thanksgiving, and the rest of the structure should be ready to receive rather less anxious travelers some time next year. The pedestrian bridge shown in the photo above connects Level 3 of the new garage to the newly-expanded Terminal area:
In contrast to the precision of its rather limited exterior landscaping (above), bold motifs of twisting vines (top) and wind-waving palm fronds (middle) add some garden to a garden variety 1963 rancher in Glenbrook Valley, even if it’s just on the wallpaper and draperies. Tended and tidy, the property popped up on the market two weeks ago; it has a $198,500 price tag. It’s located 2 blocks south of Sims Bayou and 2 blocks north of Bellfort St. on a central street in the neighborhood, Houston’s only outside-the-Loop historic district.
Real estate agent Robert Searcy sends in make-’em-look-pretty pics of a few of the small Modern office buildings to be found along Bellfort St. between Telephone Rd. and Broadway in Glenbrook Valley. The buildings were built in the 1960s, many of them to serve doctors connected to the former Southeast Memorial Hospital on the northwest corner of Bellfort St. and Glenloch. (Later operated by Riverside General Hospital as its Edith Irby Jones Campus, the structure was torn down a few years ago after suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Ike.)
Pictured above: The Bellfort Women’s Care Clinic at 7620 Bellfort, formerly the office of Dr. Hans Altinger, who also lived in Glenbrook Valley. Next on the tour:
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES BOTANICAL GARDEN ON GLENBROOK PARK GOLF COURSE, GUS WORTHAM COURSE RENOVATIONS City council voted unanimously this morning to give the go-ahead to plans to renovate the Gus Wortham Golf Course north of Idylwood, and allow the group that had previously attempted to turn that location into a botanical garden to develop a facility instead on the current site of the 18-hole Glenbrook Park Golf Course, along Sims Bayou on the north side of the Gulf Fwy. south of Loop 610. The long-term lease agreements are victories for the operating organizations behind both efforts, but the garden group clearly got its second choice; an Inner Loop garden on site of the oldest golf course in Texas would have had better access to public transportation including the new light-rail line, and would have been surrounded by less freeway noise. If the Houston Golf Association fails to raise $5 million for the Gus Wortham redo before the end of this year, it’s possible the split could be rejiggered; the Houston Botanic Garden Board is being given until the end of 2017 to raise $20 million for its efforts. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo of Glenbrook Park Golf Course: Houston Golf Nut
Since its purchase in August for $86,100, a 1956 Glenbrook Valley property located on one of the mid-century neighborhood’s interior streets has been zhushed for a flip. It’s now back on the market and asking $144,900. Changes are most apparent in the kitchen (above middle, with the original below it) and bathrooms. Tweaks before its listing last week included a new roof, new flooring, repairs to underground plumbing, leveling of the foundation — and home staging with careful attention to corners . . .
It isn’t listed on MLS, but this 2-story mod from 1963 is now for sale. You can see it this weekend: The house at 8008 Colgate St. in Glenbrook Valley is one of 3 featured properties in this weekend’s “Mod of the Month” open house hosted by Houston Mod (along with 2 Meadowcreek Village homes that were featured on Swamplot recently). This one is the product of a to-the-studs renovation and expansion completed last year.
What a journey it’s been: “A long term owner had let the house go,” reports agent Robert Searcy, who’s representing the seller. “The flat roof had leaked, water and mold damage plus animals that had been allowed to defecate in the house, I think maybe even some that died in the house and were never removed. The owner’s cars had been sitting in the garage for decades, on flats, fake Christmas trees and junk piled on them, (a Rolls Royce and a Jaguar sedan, both had been bought new originally).”
Here are a few before-and-after views to give a picture:
When showcased in the 1956 Parade of Homes, this Glenbrook Valley mod with desert-theme plantings (still in place) earned accolades for its forward-thinking children’s wing and U-shaped kitchen layout (intended as step-saving convenience for the chore-laden lady of the house). Those design details are among the features called out in the vintage promotional flyers included in the listing materials for the home, which popped up on the market earlier this month. The asking price today is $139,000, a few steps up from the $20,000 of its midcentury origins and the $52,250 it went for when it last sold, in 2008.
Since then, the compact-but-comfy home has had its internals updated; there’s new wiring, (underslab) plumbing, roofing, and appliances. Meanwhile, the carport (above right) has been wrapped in a snazzy new wooden-screen skin.