10/25/17 3:45pm

Folks are always dying to get in and get a peek inside prominent homes fronting major Houston intersections. And here, adjacent to the roundabout at the southern end of Montrose Blvd. surrounding the Mecom Fountain just north of Rice University across from the main entrance to Hermann Park, a Halloween-season folly has been showing off a fantasy reenactment of just that scenario.

The tableau: Gotta-get-inside skeletons scale the security fences, crawl across the lawns, commandeer the topiary, and clamor for the entrance:


A Shadyside Halloween
03/01/16 1:45pm

2 Longfellow Ln, Houston, 77005

A piece of Americana comes standard with this 1921 collaboration between architects Harrie T. Lindeberg and John F. Staub, who would later go on to design Bayou Bend. This Georgian-style home north of Rice University contains a copy of the wallpaper mural Views of North America by Jean Zuber (which can also be found in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House).  The $18-million pricetag nets you 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, and 3 half baths.  The 12,808 sq. ft. home is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and comes surrounded by a pool, a carriage house with an additional apartment, and plenty of leafy greens to cover the view from across-the-street Hermann Park.


Take a Peek
03/05/14 12:00pm



As with the curving private lane it fronts, a 1939 home in understated, gated Shadyside splays slightly on a pie-shaped lot (top). The stately front screens the grounds on the back side, a deliberate design by Houston architect John Staub for original clients A.J. Wray and wife Margaret, daughter of J.S. Cullinan — founder of the company that became Texaco. Writing about the property in his monograph on the architect’s “country houses,” Rice architectural historian Stephen Fox notes how the home’s pivot-point entry bay is light on windows and flanked by 2 wings with far more iron grill and veranda flourishes out back — for a focused view of private grounds with reflecting pond (above). Is the home’s styling “Regency-inspired,” Louisiana-Creole-derived, or an example of Latin Colonial Regionalism? Feel free to mull it over as you survey the property on 1.3 acres across from Rice University’s Main St. main gate, just south of the Museum District. Home to oil heirs and a former Texas governor, the well-groomed and rather proper property made its market debut Monday, asking $6.9 million.


Find Your Way Around the Wray House
09/04/13 3:30pm

A megasized 1920 “cottage” in the gated community of Shadyside has knocked a couple mil off its asking price; it’s now at $8.9 million, compared with the $11.5 million in its March 2013 debut. All the home’s chimneys atop the steep-and-shingled faux-thatched roof signal a plethora of stately fireplaces inside. Most of the blaze is outside, however, when the extensive gardens surrounding the property are in bloom (at right).


02/15/13 4:30pm

Before this pedigreed property in Shadyside had air conditioning, the breeze sometimes carried the sound of lions roaring at Houston Zoo. And when some monkeys escaped from there decades ago, they apparently found temporary amusement in some of the trees on this 1926 estate. Or so goes some of the lore shared (and overheard) by those touring the home’s brief transformation into the Villa de Luxe designer showcase, a 17-day fundraising event benefiting Preservation Houston — and ending this weekend. For those who miss that rare opportunity to get behind the gates of the just-north-of-Rice gracious-living neighborhood, this mansion’s re-listing today extends its appearance in the limelight. Access to it, though, jumps from the tour’s $30 entry ticket, which includes lectures and presentations, to the far loftier asking price: $8,390,000.


10/11/12 1:11pm

THAT ONE CHANCE TO BUY YOUR NEIGHBOR’S MANSION IN SHADYSIDE “These houses turn over once in a lifetime and if you miss the opportunity, you’re screwed,” declares an unidentified Shadyside resident in Terrence McCoy’s Houston Press cover story — about that epic lawsuit that residents and watchers of the gated neighborhood just north of Rice University have been whispering about for the last several years. “That house will never come up again. If you want to control your destiny, you have to buy the house. You got to get it and if you don’t get it, you’re screwed.” [Houston Press; slideshow] Photo of Shadyside: Alex Stoll

04/04/11 4:39pm

The Museum of Fine Arts’ Caroline Weiss Law Building, with extensions designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, sits on the southeast corner of Montrose and Bissonnet. On the northeast corner of the same intersection, there’s the Cullen Sculpture Garden, designed by Isamu Noguchi; the Contemporary Arts Museum by Gunnar Birkerts looks in from the northwest. And on the southwest corner . . . there’s this pomo villa-model home from 1991, designed by Will Cannady, a longtime architecture professor at Rice. Cannady, better known in B-ball circles as the architect of Hakeem Olajuwon’s home in Sugar Land, built this place for himself and his family on a half-acre Shadyside lot in 1991 but only lived there for a few years. The home’s second owners kept those cute little longhorn and lone-star frieze plaques on the outside of the 5,720-sq.-ft. stucco mansion, but did add an extra column or two. That should justify putting it all on the market with a $5.25 million asking price, no?


03/19/08 4:14pm

3740 Willowick Dr. in River Oaks by Architect John Staub

This time, the folks selling the home at 3740 Willowick in River Oaks are really going all out.

Maybe last November they hoped that the release of Stephen Fox’s The Country Houses of John F. Staub would unleash a new era of interest in the Houston architect — and result in a recordbreaking price for the 1955 Staub-designed ranch-like mansion backing up to Buffalo Bayou, across from Memorial Park.

The book did fine, but Staubmania never really took off. Now, almost five months later, the sellers can’t harbor any illusions.

This time, the John Staub marketing machine kicks into full gear: