Getting Houston Right: The Toll Brothers Come to Town

Houston, the Toll Brothers have been looking for just the right home for you:

“We have been studying the Houston market for a long time and have been looking for the right opportunity to enter it,” Robert Toll, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “In 2008, Houston was the second-largest home building market in the nation.”

Actually, the “nation’s leading builder of luxury homes” is headed to The Woodlands. The Pennsylvania-based company, which already operates in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio, promises its first houses in the Village of Creekside Park will be complete early next year. Sales will begin this August.

Toll Brothers at Creekside Park will offer homes on 80′ wide home sites and will showcase five floorplans with multiple exterior designs.

A Swamplot reader comments on the photo accompanying the announcement that appeared in the Houston Business Journal:

The story includes a photo of one of the exterior choices: A French provincial pastiche. What in the name of pete does anything like this have to do with the climate and traditional architectural style of the Gulf Coast? Do the Toll Brothers even pay attention?

Well, that may not have been the company’s intent. On its own website, Toll Brothers illustrates its press release with this separately tuned sample:


Photos: Toll Brothers

21 Comment

  • Those are hideous.

  • i knew it was going to be a spanish tile roof. i just knew it!

  • Turrets! Must. Have. More. Turrets!

  • Dear Toll Brothers: Please employ architects who have actually spent some time on the Gulf Coast. More cookie-cutter “luxury” homes we do not need.

  • Cheesy-ness. Sells good in Houston.

    At least these guys will keep it in The Woodlands.

  • All that pseudo glamour and still, front-facing garage doors. and no trees of course.

  • Sorry, itty bitty trees and maybe a palm or 2 — on the prairie. right

  • If I had money to burn, I’d order the first one in dark grey just so I could dress up as Snape for Halloween.

  • It looks like North Dallas threw up in the Woodlands.

  • At least the second example is comparatively restrained and tasteful.

  • This is why I voted for turrets in last year’s worst-of-the-worst contest. Maybe they think people will be in their turret looking for pirates. Argh matey!

  • I want to live in a house that is one big turrent, with a four-car garage facing the street on the ground floor (basically two two-car garages on either side of the entryway) with a two(or more)-storey entryway projecting from the front of the house with an arched top. With glamorous Tuscan stylings, natch. Think Toll Brothers can do that for me?

  • Question: What should Houston vernacular be? By that I mean, what type of residential architecture design is most logical with respect to our climate, region and lifestyle? The home designs as represented by the Toll Brothers are typical of the amalgam homes that proliferate throughout Houston. The two designs represented in this piece are pure kitsch – regardless of how well made they may be or the “amenities” lavished upon the interiors.

    The Hill Country and Austin both possess vernacular employing indigenous materials – split face limestone – and a mixture of elements capturing key elements from Spanish Missions, turn-of-the-century farm houses and modernism. While this in itself is an amalgam the end results are more pleasing and “honest” than the stucco containers for humans that dot Houston’s landscape.

  • Oh good. Turrets and faux Tuscan. I was worried for a minute and thought that interesting design had come to suburbia. :(

  • I’m a little concerned that it looks as if the window in the turret immediately above the door in each example does not open. How on earth am I supposed to pour boiling oil on unwanted visitors if those windows are not useable?

  • “How on earth am I supposed to pour boiling oil on unwanted visitors if those windows are not useable?”

    Typical 10th century mindset. In your modern turreted villas, high-quality shatter-proof glass windows can repel objects hurled at them (even crossbow bolts!) while leaving you free to fire your lasers at on-rushing invaders.

  • @RWB:
    I can’t WAIT to see your giant SILO of a home!

  • From movocelot:

    I can’t WAIT to see your giant SILO of a home!
    Just remember, if you come visit my castle unannounced, I am fully within my rights to fry you with my laser.

  • Surely within your rights!
    I’ll be wearing stealth paint, however.

  • I think the Houston vernacular should be a cinder block house on stilts with a low pitched roof and shingles that are painted white. If only we could just love and embrace the “old school Pensacola Beach” pre-Hurricane Ivan look. Instead, builders throw up junk that looks like a hybrid Hagia Sophia/ Neuschwanstein Castle. Unless, of course, they just cover some wood-like product in stucco and call it “Mediterranean”.

  • Do NOT buy Toll Brothers homes.