- 303 Electra Dr. [HAR]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: A QUICKER END TO MEMORIAL BEND’S MOD ERA “The Memorial Bend neighborhood (which includes the featured Faust Lane home) was impacted hard by Harvey. It has/had some of the best collections of mid-century modern homes in Houston. Due to escalating land values, their numbers were already dwindling annually before the storm and I’m afraid this will only reduce their numbers faster. At least, we’ll have historic Google street view as a reference.” [Native Houstonian, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: The Faust and the Furious] Photo of 442 Faust Ln.: Griffin Vance
An excavator was spotted bowing its head yesterday afternoon in the freshly cleared spot at 12740 Memorial Dr., until recently populated by the likes of Baskin Robbins, Anne’s Salon, and A-1 Cleaners. Per an associated leasing flier for the property, the newly blanked space looks to be slated for drive-thru bank-dom, with a place next door for a retail friend. The land sits immediately next to a Bank of Texas branch (visible over the fence on the left), itself across W. Bough Ln. from a freestanding Chase. Heading south down Memorial Dr., a Prosperity Bank keeps watch over the next Memorial Bend bend with help from the strip-center BBVA Compass branch across the street.
Photo: Swamplot inbox
A few readers have written in regarding the fate of the Baskin Robbins and its retail strip neighbors at 12740 Memorial Dr., just south of Town and Country Mall. The building which housed the now-closed scoop shop along with Katy defector Anne’s Salon on Memorial and the local branch of More Hands Maid Service appears slated for a full tear-down and do-over (along with freestanding A-1 Cleaners next door), if plans from Streetwise Retail Advisor’s leasing flier are still on the mark:
In Memorial Bend, a neighborhood known for its operatic street names and steadily dwindling collection of midcentury modern inventory, one of the homes designed by architect William Norman Floyd has landed stylishly on the market, asking $798,900. A “California contemporary” in its day, the 1956 property features banks of clerestory windows and sloping, beamed ceilings throughout open, light-filled spaces.
From the caps-lock, asterisk-punctuated copy for 402 Mignon St., listed since mid-December for $550K: “LARGE DESIRABLE CORNER LOT IN MEMORIAL BEND*NEW LARGE HOMES THROUGHOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD*AN AMAZING LOCATION AND GREAT SPRING BRANCH SCHOOLS*PROPERTY SELLING FOR LOT VALUE ONLY*APPOINTMENT REQUIRED TO WALK THE PROPERTY*”
The 1956 flat-roofed building with redwood siding and terrazzo floors was designed by architect Harold Oberg and converted into an actual residence after sales in the neighborhood were completed.
When last we visited this home at the western edge of Memorial Bend, built in 1958 from a design by noted Houston architect Lars Bang, the trees were a smidge shorter and the open-plan interior perhaps a bit less tweaked. That was 5 years ago, for a listing that never found a buyer. Last fall, the midcentury-mod-gone-whatever property returned to the market at $565,000 — though within a couple of months the price had fallen to $499,000. (Price histories posted for the property indicate a couple contracts didn’t go through.) Earlier this month, however, the flat-topped specimen overlooking Rummel Creek and the Edith L. Moore Bird Sanctuary popped back up with a big bang of a price increase, to $679,000.
SELLING THAT MIDCENTURY MODERN TO THE BIG-HAIR CROWD A reader notes an agent’s efforts to sell the sleek 1956 mod at 434 Faust Ln. in Memorial Bend — the 2,233-sq.-ft. property was listed at the end of last week for $549,000 — on those little conveniences. Reads the listing caption to the image at left: “Large custom travertine shower niches are big enough to accommodate shampoo bottles purchased from Costco.” [HAR, via Swamplot inbox]
Got sellers who aren’t too keen on . . . say, clearing off a messy bed for you to take photos? Nothing a little Photoshop rubber stamp magic can’t fix. Add a few blocky pillows, spread that quilting, and presto! It’s clean!
Hey, that was easy! What else could we brush up in this Memorial Bend home?
Who won that membership in the Rice Design Alliance?
Someone who made one of these guesses in this week’s game: Meyerland (there were 2 of them), Oak Forest, Garden Oaks (2 as well), Spring Branch, “somewhere along Brays Bayou near the Loop,” “the south side of Braeswood between Stella Link and Kirby,” Highland Village, Linkwood, Westbury, Spring Oaks, Timbergrove Manor, Lazybrook, Glenbrook Valley (2), Conroe, on Lake Conroe, “out Westpark/Richmond in the Dairy Ashford area,” Bellaire, “somewhere within a quarter mile of Westview from Gessner to Antoine,” Willow Meadows (2), Afton Oaks, Memorial Plaza, Rustling Oaks, Braes Heights, Quail Valley, Westbury, “Old Kingwood/Porter area,” “somewhere south of Bellaire Blvd. very close to Pershing Middle School,” Southside Place, Memorial Bend (2), Pearland, Alvin, Lake Jackson, “Memorial Spring Branch side, right outside of Beltway 8,” Spring Valley, Westbury, “adjacent to Pirates Beach and Galveston Country Club, on Lake Como, on Christmas Point,” or Maplewood.
No one’s said Memorial Bend yet? Really? Gotta go with that because of the interior brick and the triangular bedroom clerestory. Also the big picture window and the high window in the dining area, and the open floor plan. They’re trying to fight the good fight against the McMansions.
Vincent and Em are the runners-up. And marmer wins a one-year individual membership in the RDA. Congratulations!
Now where are we?
From HAIF, a brief but classic conversation from earlier this week about the house for sale at 423 Electra in Memorial Bend:
Has anyone been inside this house lately? The realtor seems to be a little confused in the HAR listing. It reads that it is 2 bed from 3, has 6 bathrooms, a garage and a manned gate?? well I guess the fence and gate was put in by a man. And its a “absolutely gorgeous must see” and also sold for “lot value”. huh? My biggest question is what’s with that front yard nursery plantings?
Is the house re-muddled too far?
The response, after the jump — from someone who’s been there. Plus: all the remaining photos from the listing!
Houston architect Lars W. Bang passed away on Friday. He was 87. His firm, Lars Bang Associates, designed many now-classic Midcentury Modern homes in the Houston area, including several in Memorial Bend.
Bang also designed this home at 4815 Braesvalley Dr. in Meyerland. Bang’s poignant 2007 return visit to that address was featured in Swamplot earlier this year.
Memorial services are scheduled for 10 this morning at Forest Park Westheimer, 12800 Westheimer.
Photo of 4815 Braesvalley Dr.: Meg Zoller