- 2809 Palm St. [HAR]
Is it any wonder that this custom studio-home of a fine arts photography gallery owner is camera ready? From curbside, it comes with a limelight finish. Rice architecture prof Carlos Jiménez, who’s designed art museums, homes, and warehouses alike, incorporated ingredients of each in this 2011 project. A week ago, the Riverside Terrace property went up for sale with a $650,000 asking price.
The sloping roof accommodates a partial second story, as well as lofty living and a large, column-free exhibition space at ground level:
More than a month after purchasing the duplex-turned-31-year DIY renovation-and-expansion-project that became the life’s work of its owner, former VA nurse Charles Fondow, buyer Nick Ugarov tells the Chronicle‘s Craig Hlavaty that he’s “still mulling over plans” for the 5-bedroom, 4-and-a-half-bath, 2-turret still-not-quite-finished home at 2309 Wichita St. near Dowling. Ugarov picked up the foreclosed deck-bedecked structure for $251,000, from a bank sale that closed on April 11th, according to MLS records. That’s $101K over the ridiculously low asking price the sales agent had placed on the property, a well-known and much-gawked-at oddity in Riverside Terrace that’s been described as a poor man’s version of the Winchester Mystery House.
A couple of Swamplot readers are agog over the spare-no-tile bathroom renovations revealed in the listing posted last week of a 4-bedroom 1940 home in Riverside Terrace. Each of the home’s 3 modestly sized full bathrooms appear to have been wrapped and floored in a distinct pattern of glass or ceramic tiles. Behold:
Stainless fittings in the kitchen and steely paint can’t entirely conceal the hand of prolific Houston society architect John Staub, who designed this 1935 Regency-style home in Riverside Terrace. When the property popped up in the listings at the end of February, it did so with a $895,000 asking price — considerably lower than what a Staub home might fetch elsewhere in the city. During renovations back in 2006, which replaced the HVAC, electric system, plumbing, and gas lines, and made a few alterations to the structure and finishes, the attic proved to be a real treasure trove:
This graceful estate is a bit coy about revealing its Riverside Terrace address. The street name and number are hidden on HAR, though other sites using the same MLS info show it. You’d be able to figure it out anyway: Aerial maps and old architectural guides show the circular driveway, massive lot, and balanced opposing wings of a homestead across from Parkwood Park, located just south of S. MacGregor (and Brays Bayou) and east of Del Rio. That would make it the Kurth House, a 1938 southern colonial whose design is attributed to Henry A. Stubee. It was the first home built in the Parkwood section of the vintage neighborhood. Grand (and grand-scale), the tended property is reported to have changed ownership only 4 times in its 75 years. If you could afford the $2.65 million asking price, would you sign on to be number 5?
A CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN TO KEEP THE WICHITA ST. MYSTERY HOUSE UNDER RENOVATION FOR ANOTHER 30 YEARS OR SO A former city librarian is channeling the don’t-stop-the-renovating spirit of Charles Fondow in her bid to raise enough funds to purchase the seminal Houston DIY-contractor-hobbyist-visionary’s remarkable former home in Riverside Terrace. “Help us raise the funds to buy it outright so we can complete the additions in our own time,” writes Virginia Verner in the promotional copy for her crowdfunding effort on website GoFundMe. Keeping the whir of power tools going appears to be one of the goals: “Current plans are to repair necessities first, inhabit the front house, and over time work to complete the unfinished bits. Events for repair and recreation will become a fixture in this abode.” The homeowner Verner hopes to replace in the 4,861-sq.-ft. expansion and renovation project at 2309 Wichita St., just 5 houses east of the Hwy. 288 feeder, worked consistently at his creation for 31 years before passing away in 2011. Perhaps paralleling the sincere, hardworking, but perenially underfunded Fondow, Verner has set the fundraising goal for her effort at $150,000 — the exact asking price for the property, which appeared on the market last Friday for the first time since its foreclosure in 2011. No mention is made how renovations might be funded after the acquisition. As of this morning, the website indicates she’s received pledges for 0.1 percent of her goal. [GoFundMe; previously on Swamplot] Photo: HAR
Fans and confounded passers-by of the unique castle-like construction at 2309 Wichita St. that former VA nurse Charles Fondow left after his death in 2011 will be interested to note that the 31-year Riverside Terrace renovation and expansion project he never completed is now for sale again — as of yesterday afternoon. And the price is significantly lower than the $325,000 it was listed at 3 years ago. The new owner of the 4,861-sq.-ft., 5-bedroom property — who according to county tax records is a division of Deutsche Bank — is asking just $150,000 for the property.
Fresh interior paint gives a 1930 Riverside Terrace cottage the look of buffed up, unscuffed saddle shoes all tied up and tidy for the first day of school. The up-a-knoll property, located around the corner from Riverside Park, was relisted by 2 days ago after an 18-month hiatus from the market. The initial asking price back in November 2011 was $216,500, but it had dropped to $197,500 by March 2012. The current price tag for the spiffed-up house and its less-polished garage apartment is $207,500.
A midcentury non-mod, this rambling Riverside Terrace property has added on a few times over the years, expanding its footprint on a street of mostly brick, mostly two-story homes dating back five or six decades. Its lawn-eating circular driveway serves an attached front-loader garage and sits behind a sculpted berm off the sidewalk. Brays Bayou is a block north and Parkwood Park is down the slightly curving street. Inside, the time-altered floor plan’s formal spaces have informal counterparts. There’s a media room, miscellaneous “extra” rooms, and a bar (at right above) big enough to entertain the neighbors — possibly all of them at once. Listed mid-month, the 1950 home (remodeled in 1998) is asking $555,000.
A bit like icing, the stucco smoothed over the exterior of this renovated-to-the-studs 1930 brick home in Riverside Terrace was a finishing touch. Interior work reconfigured some of the space and added “engineered wood” flooring, fresh paint, and carpet, plus new wiring, plumbing, and HVAC. In mid-April 2012, the property changed hands at $67,000 after 3 months on the market — it was initially priced at $110,500, with $10K-or-so reductions coming every few weeks. The completed project appeared a week and a half ago as a new listing — for $249,900, though for an extra $20K prior to closing, the seller will add a 2-car garage to go with that new driveway: