Former LBJ Stomping Ground Knocks Off $50K

The white house at the corner of Hawthorne and Garrott in the Westmoreland Historic District where Lyndon Johnson lived for a couple of years in the early 1930s got a $50,000 price cut at the beginning of this month: It’s now for sale for $375,000. Johnson came to town to teach public speaking and business arithmetic at the old Sam Houston High School downtown; he shared a room in the house with his Uncle George. By the end of 1931, the future president had moved to Washington to become a secretary to newly elected congressman (and King Ranch heir) Richard Kleberg.

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The home first went on the market — for the first time in more than 90 years — at the end of March. Inside: 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, window units, and some well-worn carpet. Plus a not-so-bright garage apartment facing Garrott:

34 Comment

  • I think this is a tear down…ugh!

  • Someone should buy this and then rent it to nerdy graduates who need somewhere to live. Please.

  • I love it…it needs care and love to bring it back to it’s beauty.

  • Teardown??? are we looking at the same pictures? Looks like some solid bones to me. I noticed a lot of stress fractures/cracks above windows/doorframes (not even that bad) which lead me to believe this house recently had some foundation work done. This could be made in to something really nice.

  • I really hope someone buys this house and rehabs it, but the current owners must be delusional to think someone will pay $375k for it! The house looks in even worse shape in person. It fits in well with the neighborhood, and would fit in better with $100,000 in updates… if someone is willing to spend that much.

  • Animal House anyone?

  • Needs a lot of work and love.

  • No mentioning of the LBJ connection in the listing? Wouldn’t that give the property a little extra value? Maybe he doesn’t want to scare away teardown buyers

  • I spoke to a police officer last night who stopped by to grab the flyer (in his patrol car). When I told him there was no central AC or heat, he seemed a little deflated. He made mention that since the house is 50 years old…that’s when I corrected him and told him it is more than 100 years old. That’s when the cop “hollered” at his buddy that it was ONLY $375K! While it would be nice to have an officer in the neighborhood…. I agree that the house needs many repairs. I know of a certain person in the neighborhood who “may” have helped others get historic restoration grant(?) money. Just sayin’

  • This is quite special, for both historical and architectural reasons.
    Cool split stair.

  • I think $275k or $300k is about what the tear down value is, so it’s got a good way to fall in price still before that happens.

  • The house I live in is about 50 feet from this house, and the house I moved from (but still own, and rent out) is about 50 feet the other direction from this house. And one of my largest apt buildings is near this house. I walk by it every day on the way to starbucks or Tuti Fruti (DYI FroYo place :)
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    If I were still in the ‘flipping game’ I’d buy this thing up for sure. Add central air (not very expensive) and do some needed upgrades, and this is a great house in the best subdivision (IMO) of Houston. It’s also about 100 feet from the mayors house. Or if I were looking for a SFH to buy, this would be it (just budget ~$20k for upgrades). It really needs to be in the mid/low 300′s though

  • When I was protesting my appraisal a couple of years ago one of the “judges” said he owned this house. He said he hoped it would not end up in a historic district, as he was thinking about tearing it down.

    He was just waiting for his mother to pass to the other side to sell it.

  • All this house needs is a brick and stone elevation added to the front, a hydraulic lift elevator, a 3,500 bottle wine room, and a corner fireplace thrown in somewhere for good measure. Oh, and maybe stucco the garage and add a turret. Voila, you’ve got yourself a masterpiece!

  • would loooooooooove to buy, but there’s is no way in HELL i would by in a historic district…these people on the HAHC are INSANE!!! no wonder the it can’t sell. i would wait, the price will drop even further. can’t beleive the mayor is letting this happen!! you can’t get people to buy and want to restore homes with all these restrictions put on!>!>>! what are these people on?!?!?

  • This place needs central air, a complete new kitchen, new bathrooms, foundation work, insulation, windows, modernizing the electrical and plumbing to make it competative with a newer home. You’d be dreaming to get that done for $20,ooo. Try $100k + And that’s what we can see from the pictures. Want to have landscaping? Decent lighting? How’s that roof?

  • The character and history of a home this old cannot be reproduced at all. Imagine all the different energies swirling around in theree! If I could afford to I would buy it in a second. I hope it doesn’t get torn down.

  • Clearly a fix-upper with a ton of work, but other than that, it looks like a really cool house, with that cute 2nd floor balcony and the gorgeous split stairs. As another commenter said, it has great architectural detail.

  • “Imagine all the different energies swirling around in theree!”

    I try not to base my purchases on New Age nonsense, personally.

    “I noticed a lot of stress fractures/cracks above windows/doorframes (not even that bad) which lead me to believe this house recently had some foundation work done. ”

    I would assume that fractures indicate that foundation work needs to be done, not the opposite.

  • My friend’s family owns the place currently. It has been in their family since the days of LBJ. It is kind of strange to see this place on the market since I have many vivid memories of hanging out in this home. One thing I know for sure is that due to its historical classification, his family was extremely limited in the amount and types of repairs that could be performed on the house. It became such an issue that at times they could not attend to the essential matters such as repairing walls, etc. His grandmother, the last true owner, passed away about a year or two ago and her heirs have decided to sell it as a result. Coincidentally, Mayor Parker lives about two blocks away.

  • Love the house, love the location and I really LOVE the history.

  • Such a neat old place…is that an old school pencil sharpener on the wall in the kitchen? Hope the character & history (of which we have very little still remaining in Houston) of this house inspires someone to refurbish it. Love all those wide baseboards, thick doorframes & built-ins, would be a shame to see this one get knocked down.

  • Very cool place and it would be a great property to upgrade. Sadly it’s just way too on the radar for the white prius patrol. The person who buys this is in for a rough ride.
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    The second you close, before the ink is dry, you’re going to get tagged to death. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made you rip out all electrical and upgrade, replace the roof, get a structural engineer before replacing anything. New windows, new insulation, asbestos reports, new plumbing to code, etc.
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    Before being accused of being overly dramatic, I JUST bought an older place like this (not far away) to clean it up and make it nice. The city has sent almost a dozen people over to kick me in the guts. Just recently, they’ve made me add 2×4′s in-between EVERY existing 2×4 in the wall since the place was built with studs 24″ apart (rather than 18″). In the attic, it was all 2x4s, I had to replace with 2x6s. I thought I was finally finished and found out I have to add a firewall in the attic. This is a super small list that leaves out all the stuff I wanted to do anyway.
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    In summary: It never ends. I’ll NEVER buy an old place that needs work again (inside the loop, where the city if fierce). Not because the work is too hard, but the city has unlimited power to ruin your life.

  • Cody, this is Houston. We don’t need no stinkin’ permits.

  • Why no pictures of the bathroom(s)?

    And clearly, someone, sometime, did an add on. That back room with all the windows and no interior walls (with a window A/C) just has to be an energy sucker.

    When was this area made into an historic district?

  • @ Cody, sorry for your stress in trying to preserve history through the city’s well intended process….and that’s not just in the Heights, now, that’s going to happen everywhere if you happen to live in 50+ yr old house apparently. Have you not heard what’s going on in Glenbrook Valley (45 S outside the 6-10 loos). These people are INSANE!! from what I have heard and read on news outletts. What’s next, only be able to drive period cars, and change all the street lights and all those cool green street signs…geeesh!! Watch out for the HAHC mafia, cause they’re out to getcha!!!

  • Meg, using scare tactics against the other side’s scare tactics? Nice touch.

  • It is full of history and I enjoyed living there for the past 10 years with my Grandmother, Margaret Dorothea Askew. There is a plaque beside the door on the back porch. Consider walking by if interested in seeing LBJ’s home.

  • No scare needed Mel, i just see is as CONTROL!! what country are we living in. I’m a Dem and am APAULED at what is going on with this administration int he city…WTH!?!?!? since when did other people’s properties become the city’s to tell others what to do with it. that is crazy and for anyone else to think it’s ok, is beyond me.

  • 1 2 3 4, Annise Parker out the door!

  • If it’s listed as non-contributing, it can be torn down without HAHC permission. I had to attend a hearing to get permission to change my front door last fall, and one of the commissioners commented to the others that I could tear down the house without their permission because it’s non-contributing. If it’s contributing, good luck to whoever buys it.

  • Its hard to tell what the foundation is doing from photos – in an unconditioned house expansion and contraction of the plaster would be enough to cause the level of cracking seen in the photos.
    Int’l Building Code 2006 allows repairs to be made to existing structures without bringing “everything” up to code – its near the back and you may do well to make a copy of it and show it to the inspector – that’s what I had to do on the 1950s gut reno we just completed.
    The price is still high, but don’t be deterred thinking you’ll have to do $100K in remodeling/upgrades. You can spend that much, but you don’t have to.

  • my god.
    only in houston would anybody i their right mind consider this a teardown.

    and anyway, $450-500k (considering renovation $$) for this house in this neighborhood seems downright reasonable to me.

  • Cody,

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing extensive remodeling. I saw that one go on the market last year and had eagerly awaited an open house so I could check it out anonymously, but was crushed when I saw the remuddling that had been done — gaps in boards, cheap pine used, Ikea kitchen. It was a serious letdown. Glad you’re taking it on. I had put in a bid on the totally restored one across the street from you but someone else got it first. :(