Why isn’t there an address given in the auction listing for the “1872 Bungalow Cottage” near the former police headquarters at 61 Riesner the city is trying to get rid of? Because the streets it used to be on have all faded away. The home is tucked almost under the Gulf Freeway at the eastern edge of the surrounding city parking lot. Museum of Houston director (and GHPA staffer) Jim Parsons tells Swamplot the home is all that’s left of an old residential area at what used to be the eastern tip of the Sixth Ward. According to Parsons, the original address was 34 South, and later 22 Artesian Place. Now it isn’t visible from any street.
The final deadline for bids is 8 pm tonight.
A Swamplot reader found the listing in an auction of city-owned property, but so far there have been no takers. Bidding — if it ever begins, will start at $1,000. It’s the former home of a carpenter and contractor named Gottlieb Eisele, and it does look like it has some history to it, including various additions, a now-enclosed porch with a still-slanted floor, and a bungalow-style remodel — from back when that new bungalow look was all the rage. And more recently, service to the HPD.
The city wants even more changes: The winning bidder will be required to move the house, and either put it in a historic district or designate it as a protected landmark.
Oh, and there’s a little work that’ll be needed:
There is a concrete block and mortar addition with a concrete slab foundation conjoined to the main house and the roof reconstructed to appear as one building. As advised by a reputable building mover, the buildings will need to be separated and the addition will need to be demolished. It can not be successfully transported as part of the house. The front porch attached to the main house can be left in tact [sic] and relocated with building. What was a back porch originally was at some point converted to an enclosed addition to the house and remains part of the main structure. However, as a porch, it slopes down from the level of the main house and may require additional support during transfer. As shown in the photos, there is a large area in the kitchen where the floor has rotted through. That will need some level of repair prior to moving the building. The relocation specialist suggested that it would be best to schedule that work to be done at the time of the actual move when the house is jacked up enough to get under it. There are also several trees that will need to be taken down that rest against the building.
Here’s a 1907 Sanborn insurance map of the area, showing the house at what used to be 22 Artesian Place:
And an ad for Eisele’s business, from the 1890 city directory:
Late Update: Going, going, . . . nope. Still there. Auction is over with no bids.
- Auction #504063 – 1872 Bungalow Cottage (Historic Gottleib Eisele House) HPD-111710 [Public Surplus]
Photos: City of Houston. Map and Ad: Jim Parsons, GHPA