Inside a Storied Montrose Timber Frame

Far away from the Amsterdam canal along which it was originally envisioned (though perhaps with slimmer proportions), this timber-frame structure has been a stand-out property on Dunlavy since the mid-aughts. It’s a mixed-use building; its barreled-with-a-flattish-top roof — with an outlined upper lip — adds higher stucco stylin’ to the neighborhood just north of Westheimer. The retail-residence has 3 levels — each with some distinctively hewn and preserved wooden ceilings.

The work of former owner (and gallerist) Albert Cherqui, in 2010 the venue became the focus of a lawsuit filed by Cherqui — by then its tenant — against the building’s current owners. (The suit was settled out of court last year.) It shares a mostly commercial street that’s lined by galleries, shops, warehouses, apartments, and repurposed postwar houses. Inside, the all-in-one main floor — described glowingly in the listing as “cavernous” — includes a wavy pair of Gaudi-inspired staircases (above). They lead to 2 upper floors of living quarters, each with its own kitchen and yet more timberland touches.


Out front, the paved-for-parking yard ends at a small-but-distinct entryway under a slightly arched eyebrow awning. Dark double doors open straight into the first level’s timber-topped wide-open spaces — and a sea of off-white tile flooring:

As currently furnished, and sparsely at that, there is a seating area overlooking the street:

One of the 5,089-sq.-ft. structure’s 4 and a half bathrooms is tucked behind the stairwell.

This landing overlooks the back patio and is open to the second-floor living area. Here the flooring changes to antique pecan.

The design upstairs also turns on the exposed timber ceiling structure and similarly stained columns.

Upper levels contain 3 or 4 bedrooms and the remaining bathrooms:

The listing cites 2 master suites; this appears to be one of them:

The top floor and its underpinnings appear stripped down to their structural underalls:

The third-floor kitchen:

The 5,000 sq.-ft. lot just north of Fairview features this outdoor space out back, on the home’s fenced west side:

For a 6-month period ending in June 2011, the property was on the market with an asking price just under $750K. Earlier this month, the building was listed again; it’s now asking $795,000. The neighborhood is officially named Hyde Park Heights, but it’s a couple of Montrose mini-neighborhoods west of Hyde Park — and not so close to the Heights either. Both the cafes of Lower Westheimer and the shops of the River Oaks Shopping Center are within walking distance.

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