John Zemanek’s Next Home Will Be Just Down the Street

A reader IDs this construction site at the corner of Van Buren and Bomar in Montrose as the latest project of longtime UH architecture professor and serial homebuilder John Zemanek. The 1,400-sq.-ft., single-story home is just steps away from the architect’s current home on Peden St. (pictured below), which was featured on Swamplot last year. We’re told Zemanek considers that house too big for him now, and plans to move into this one when it’s complete. Writes our tipster: “We’re eager to see how this concrete bungalow(?) turns out… and hey, we’re wondering if he’ll put the old place up for sale or not. We get first dibs if he does . . .”


Photos: Swamplot inbox

19 Comment

  • We live around the corner from there. Good to see it’s not a townhome. I like his current house a lot. Looking forward to seeing what this one looks like.

  • We also live near, this new construction on Welch. It doesn’t make any sense though to build something that is only 1,400 square feet. No one wants to be cramped up in a small house anymore. Be on the look out for a fabulous listing on Welch coming up next week.

  • SCW, are you brainwashed?

    1400sqft is space enough for one old man.

  • SCW’s comment sums up the Houston real estate market in a nutshell. We all need 3 car garages.

  • I’d bet that one YOUNG man could make do with less than 1400 square feet.

  • i’ve never commented on any of the swamplot post, but do i read everyday and have notice a theme in 90% of the comments…snarkiness is required, right?

  • I built the house he now lives in and I must say it is sound in structure, but is anything but Green for the envioromnet. No insulation anywhere and the design to prevent water intrusion was totally ignored, both in the flashing elements and the cmu. This is a monument to his very grandiose ego and nothing else.

  • alnhouston:

    The answer to your question is “yes”. (The snarks may not answer you directly.)

  • snarkiness has been part of the internet for at least 14yrs now, nothing new. same with baiting, being provocative, etc. it’s how we keep it fun. otherwise we’d all just be watching judge judy.

  • Well, you all might know what some of us in the building trades think about architects…(insert snark)

  • Architects are upstanding for the most part. Builders are just awful sad excuses for human beings – most of them anyway.

    There is one guy who is a builder, pretends to be an architect and has training in neither. He poses as an architect to other builders but the guy uses plans other people designed. How he hasn’t crossed the wrong sort of person is beyond me. Just keeps renaming the company and cheating people. He pays construction crews when he feels like it if ever and these are the kind of people who building your homes.

    Off topic – sorry. Most real architects good, creative folks. Most builders hang on other people’s coat tails.

    This man is quite talented so if he wants to design himself a new place so be it!

  • Well, considering me and my family of (4) including the 2 and 5 yr old have been living in 400 sq ft since August 2nd waiting for our rebuilt home on Tulane to be finished, 1400 sq feet sounds palatial.

  • No one wants to be cramped up in a small house anymore.


    When people make ill-informed tendentious generalisations like this, snarkiness is a wholly appropriate rejoinder.

  • Judy, every kind of profession has its numbskulls, dimwits, malcontents, scatterbrains, and losers. It’s as true of contractors as it is of architecture…or accounting.

    Case in point: Las Vegas’ hotel death ray.

  • SPRINC, why did you ignore his design to prevent water intrusion?

  • I did not ignore it he over ruled it and all other parts of my blog i listed.

  • It’s a humble architecture for a anti-bourgeoisie neighborhood, a very sensible approach aesthetically.

    SPRINC, does he ever run A/C or heat? Is it a masochistic test of endurance? Or just excessive pride to honestly express constructability?

  • The new house on Bomar @ Van Buren is finished. I love the solar panels,though they’re on the EAST side of the house ! I guess John wanted to keep the trees along the west side of the house. Personally I’d utilize maximum sun exposure and put the solar panels on the SOUTH facing roof areas of my house…. Johns new house looks cool. Don’t know how green it is though. Love his old house,especially the Asian inspired entry gate.

  • I’ve driven by Mr. John Zemanek’s current house. I love the house, but, I’m also fascinated by the grass planted in his yard. Does anyone know what kind of grass makes up his lawn?