The bright red paint job that began creeping up the front face of the closed-down LaDet Motel at 2612 Riverside Dr. a few weeks ago has now reached its eaves, leaving the street-facing portion of the building completely recolored. It’s pictured at top in its current state, behind a trio of off-hue red tags stuck on the gate that closes it off from the street.
The original house — built between 1928 and 1929 — is wrapped on 3 sides by apartments put up decades later. Portions of them — the 2 side walls fronting the entrance driveway and the gables along the street — have gone red as well:
Architect Katharine Mott designed the house inside the compound along with several others in Riverside Terrace just 1 or 2 years after arriving in Houston from Indiana in 1927. Accompanying her was her husband and sometimes-collaborator Harry, as well as their 3 daughters. (According to historian Stephen Fox, one of the daughters suffered from bad colds and the idea was to get her into a warmer climate. After the 1926 hurricane drove the family out of Miami, they landed in Houston.) Mott’s later projects included homes in River Oaks, Boulevard Oaks, and what’s now the Memorial area.
Another Mott house next door to the LaDet Motel — at 2620 Riverside Dr. — was torn down in 2015. Between its former site and the motel’s outer wall, a vacant field is now giving rise to some new townhomes:
Yet another was torn down at the corner of Riverside and N. McGregor to make way for the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church’s Center for Hope building in the early 2000s. But near the opposite end of the street, one Mott house is still standing between the America’s Best Value Inn and the Astro City Motel off 288’s southbound feeder.
- Modern Homecraft: The Houses of Katharine B. and Harry L. Mott [Cite]
- Previously on Swamplot: Shuttered LaDet Motel Now Going Red in the Face on Riverside Dr.