Spun around 180 degrees on its site yesterday: the 1,304 sq.-ft. Ranch house at 6513 Sharpview, before a small crowd gathered at Bayland Park next door and an online audience following the live-streaming cameras mounted to the long-vacant 1960 structure. Conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll‘s big house-twisting exercise was 10 years in the making. A reader sends in this report from the muddy field:
I missed the talks . . . but was there from about 11:30 ’till when they finished for the day at 2:30. What happened was they backed the house off the site, turned it perpendicular onto Sharpcrest, and then there was this great moment when the house was moving laterally along the street, and then they backed it in towards us (we were at the back of the lot, on the lot line that faces Bayland Park).
. . . The group seemed about evenly divided between architecture folks, including at one point Rice Architecture dean Sarah Whiting, art crowd types (Molly Gochman, Arturo Palacios), and the many friends MEC has made during her time in Houston due to her being such a nice person. A healthy handful of neighbors milled about, including this woman who stood on her roof with a cup of coffee, who at one point went inside and got an umbrella when it started raining.
Our correspondent also apparently missed some very hot Mexican food: Hometta blogger Jenny Staff Johnson reports a taco truck hired to cater the event caught on fire.
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The house rotation was originally scheduled for October, but had to be postponed: The original slab cracked when workers from Cherry House Moving lifted it onto the flatbed. But Carroll isn’t just flipping the house; she’s flipping around the entire lot: The new landscape plan will be the reverse of what was there before.
The house now faces Bayland Park, which used to be beyond the backyard fence. Up next: retrofitting and rehabbing the house with several newfangled building materials in its new site. Carroll wants the fixed-up structure to become a laboratory for “innovative building and communication technologies and cultural programming.” She hopes the turnaround will also reorient the way people think about the neighborhood.
- Prototype 180 [Hometta Blog]
- Rice lecturer’s architectural art resets agenda for Sharpstown home [Rice News]
- Mary Ellen Carroll’s Ground Shifting Work of Conceptual Art That Will Make Architecture Perform [Prototype 180]
- Previously on Swamplot: Houston House and Lot Flipping: Conceptual Art Meets Sharpstown Deed Restrictions