Comment of the Day: Yep, This Is an $8.5 Million River Oaks Teardown

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YEP, THIS IS AN $8.5 MILLION RIVER OAKS TEARDOWN This house will (sadly) be demolished. It was designed by Harvin Moore in 1940 for Mr. and Mrs. Sydnor Oden. The Odens had returned to Houston from living in Italy, and they wanted a house that reflected Italian architecture. I am thinking that a tear-down trend is on the rise.” [no history remains, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Prologis Is Past Us] Photo of 3640 Willowick Rd.: HAR

27 Comment

  • Too sad, what fools would tear down this gem?

    Let the ridicule begin.

  • Oy vey. What is a 41 year MULTI millionaire to do with his current mansion? Tear it down and build something hideous.

  • miss_misry, feel free to send the owner a letter telling him he’s a fool. I would be interested in his response to you. I see all sorts of criticism here, but does anyone ever ask the owners why they are tearing down the old structure?

  • Wait one minute!!!!!!! I thought we all agreed to hate faux Tuscan/Italian designed houses? Did I miss something? Now we all love them? Or we just love the old ones?

  • If it is your money, please feel free to criticize, critique and otherwise un-contribute.

  • I bet his Daddy is proud.

  • love the existing house, but love MORE that we live in a town where, for the most part, only the person who is willing to pay the market price for what’s there says what house will and will NOT be there.

    ironically, i say this, living in the “historic” heights (where history is dictated by a 1920’s sears catalog build-a-house, and building an original heights style home is met with grief from neighbors and resistance from the hysteric society).

    i would love to see RO circle the wagons and establish a level of architectural review, but that is simply not my call.

    i’m also going to guess that when a 41 year old guy is able to buy a $8.5MM property, immeidately tear down at least 30% of that implied value, and then spend what i would guess is no less than ANOTHER $3MM or better to further capitalize it (save the assumed cost to alter the yard, gate, etc. — again he didn’t put this much cash out there to worry about saving a note or two), he is not going to build a short foundation triangulated-top Bob Perry home with vinyl windows and home depot grade fixtures.

    it goes without saying that i’m insanely jealous of this guy, and am writing this while taking an introspective look at where my life is going wrong, but give the guy a break. he found a way to crush it in life, and now wants to pound his chest a bit and make heads spin.

    God bless.

  • There is only one consistent theme coming from commenters here – They have no problem telling other people what to do with their own property while they scream about the HISTORY! Wont somebody please think about the children!?

    That house is tragically ugly…the grounds/yard are its only redeeming factors.

  • The past is simply the road to the future – and Houston is all about the future – forward looking.

    While we should respect our history we don’t need to look back on it like it was our glory days.

    The best days lie ahead. Tear this dump down, and simply reconsider going all Italian. Italy was charming for a reason – it’s Italy.

  • More evidence that the 1% are in desperate need of a tax cut.

  • For owners that desire preservation, they can voluntarily initiate designation of their historic home as a landmark. Almost 100 homes in River Oaks have that distinction. Nearly a third of these have/will take advantage of the City’s historic site tax credit available for qualified renovations of a designated home. Preservation River Oaks, a group of property owners in the neighborhood, assists owners with the paperwork.

    This home would qualify for landmark designation. Some owners desire preservation, and some do not. That’s ok. It is their choice.

    I do not believe that the “story” of Houston must always involve demolition in order to make the City move forward. There is room for preservation here.

  • ” . . . but give the guy a break. he found a way to crush it in life, and now wants to pound his chest a bit and make heads spin.”

    Hvae you considered the possibility that the guy’s success is, in large part, due to who he was born to?

  • Before everybody gets their knickers in a twist:
    I know the new owners of the home, who were devastated to learn that, when they were in contract on the property, the house is FULL of toxic mold. The kind of toxic mold you can’t build around, clear out, or even gut the house to get rid of. Because of the adverse affects of living with toxic mold, and the fact that they have small children, they were left with no choice but to tear it down.
    I get it – some people are gross about tearing down historic homes and building McMansions. But in this case, there’s more to the story.

  • @Jon – more evidence of true envy & class warfare. If you are not able to become one of those 1% folks its through your own shortcomings.

    Class warfare and taking from those who have things is not the way to make up for your own poor choices and failures.

  • Nice try, Jane.

  • More cash than sense.

    You do NOT have to destroy a home because of mold. That’s just a lame excuse. Truth is, he wants the trophy lot backing up to the River Oaks Country Club Golf Course and that pesky house is just in the way.

  • In this case, for me it’s more fear that whatever replaces the home will be some gaudy McMansion, rather than deep regret at the loss of the older home. This looks like a very nice old home, but its not a treasure. The gardens I think are terrific.

    More than anything, I wish the newer construction would respect the house-to-lawn ratio that the original developer in RO seemed to be operating on. Its more elegant to me to see a lot of air and garden around a home than a giant house that dwarves its lot (like a fat person in a tight clothes).

    So, that is the advice I would offer to the owners. Since I know they are on the edge of their seat to get my 2c.

  • If I’m under contract and find out the home I’m about to buy with my minion salary, let alone about to spend 8 million on is full of toxic mold I’m pretty sure there is a way out of that contract. How convient though for him the home is sitting on prime LAND!

    Come on now Jane.

  • Sometimes mold permeates the studs and the only “remediation” is to tear it down and start over. May or may not be what happened here. But it is the reality. Of course there is always the question of whether the previous owner knew. Many times they do. Many times they don’t. Most people in either case do not want to live in a house where toxic strains of mold are detected. As for the “historic designation” unless there is a covenant agreeing to “preserve and maintain” the home that a new buyer is required to sign, I doubt the designation really means much. Particularly if the house is filled with mold. I doubt a covenant would mean much either at that point. Been there, done that with the mold. More people should take it seriously. Wish I had.

  • Random: “Hvae you considered the possibility that the guy’s success is, in large part, due to who he was born to?”
    Have you considered he is self made? Seeing as statistically most 1%’ers didn’t inherit their wealth and the top list of wealthy individuals has a lot of turnover.
    God forbid we assume the person worked hard and provided a service to society.

  • Jane tried the same thing on the original thread about this house, ….”Prologis is Past Us” from Wednesday.

    It didn’t fly well then either. She must be their realtor.

    The new owners just want a new house on a big lot in River Oaks. Be damned who or what stands in their way! //stomps foot

  • i think many of you guys misunderstand. we’re not dissapointed that he can’t afford to tear down and rebuild whatever he wants. it’s the fact that he’s doing it while our country is racking up huge deficits, economic mobility between classes is declining, school continue to fail, roads are crumbling, half the country doesn’t have health care and we’re not building sufficient infrastructure to make lives easier. all this in an atmosphere of wealthy businessmen and grumpy geriatrics (of which the river oaks crowd fall into as a perfectly molded stereotype, yeah, i saw the full fledged 30-minute river oaks fireworks display during the republican convention) saying all we need to do is lower taxes despite it being a proven fact that lower taxes alone do absolutely nothing to improve economic growth, it’s all about the underlying macroeconomics in which america needs a complete tax code overhaul to fix.

    just because people complain doesn’t mean their jealous, in fact most of us feel extremely lucky and blessed, it’s just that we often like to look at the big picture and extrapolate sometimes. it’s not a sin to wish that more people had the same opportunities and motivating forces that we were lucky to be given.

    i for one could care less what he does with this house. most of the homes in river oaks are boring and trite, need to see some more modern beauties in this hood like they have down south in southampton/museum district where they have a bit of good taste.

  • oh, and i paid for this internet connection through my own blood, sweat and tears so i can type whatever i want, deal with it.

  • Cody- the internet is your friend. This guy is the son of the man that ran Exxon. Yes, he’s made his own money too, but the dude started on home plate… like most 2%ers.

  • What a shame. The house is stunning. If the kitchen was updated and matched the rest of the house, it’d darn near by my dream home. What’s with the lavender kitchen?

  • Man! Been in that house a few times – know the seller – she’s heartbroken about all of this.

  • doofus: I wasn’t referring to this person specifically (and had no need to google him). I’m referring to the impression people often have that anyone with $ was born with it.