If, when the place was up for sale last year, you only liked what you saw of the legendary ornate sorta-replica French palace in Sherwood Forest that Houston strip-mall king and car collector Jerry J. Moore pieced together for himself from actual French parts, you’ll absolutely love the home in its latest incarnation: The 12,734-sq.-ft. interior has now been gutted completely. And, the home’s current owners hope, you’ll be willing to pay about $5.15 million more for it in its current condition than they were when they bought it about this time last year for just $3.75 million — you know, when the interior had things in it like floors and walls and ceilings, not to mention functioning electricity and plumbing. Also swept away by demolition crews for today’s more sophisticated, imaginative, and demanding buyer — Moore’s famous 26-car garage at the back of the property, with the “treehouse” quarters above it, as well as the poolhouse. Listing agent Diane Kingshill of Martha Turner Properties tells Swamplot both of those structures were in poor condition and had mold.
But if any mold was also hiding in the marble flooring, chandeliers, or extensive wood paneling of the main house, it’s clearly gone now. All that sweat equity put in by the current owners has many more benefits — certainly enough to justify the $8.9 million asking price with which the home has returned to this year’s much stronger market. Just see what interior vistas have been opened up, in a home once full of visual obstacles:
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Where once there was this:
there now is this:
What used to look like this:
now looks something like this:
What used to be this:
is now this:
What happened here? Just the completion of the demolition phase of what was intended to be an extensive interior remodeling project.
The home’s current owners “spent considerable time (and money) working with an architect to create a plan that would transform the house into more of a family home,” reports Kingshill. “They desired something open and less ornate than the way the house existed when they purchased it.” But after all that hard work, there was a change of heart: “Ultimately, the family decided that it was in the best interest of their young children to purchase a home that they could move into immediately rather going through the time of restoring the Friar Tuck home. . . . It was a very difficult decision for them.”
The homeowners are opting instead for a home in Tanglewood. What comes next is up to you! This former miniature Palace of Fountainebleu lookalike can now be your own little Chateau Table Rase. The skeletal remains of Jerry J. Moore’s obsessive Houston Francification project covers 2.7 acres backing up to Spring Branch Creek. Still intact: the home’s French limestone exterior and slate-tile roof, and that 10-ft.-tall wall around the property. As well as the legend that the whole thing was transported piece by piece from France in the 1960s, to be reassembled here — and then taken apart again, almost 50 years later.