- 5231 Contour Pl. [HAR]
Noticed that striking Meyerland Mod headlining our demolition report this morning? The 1956 home at 4815 Braesvalley Dr. first came to Swamplot’s attention 9 years ago, as the site of a remarkable scene. The then-86-year-old architect Lars W. Bang, a prolific purveyor of Modern Houston homes, was driven to the property in hopes that the real estate agent listing the 4-bedroom property might confirm that he was indeed its designer. “My husband, Jim, helped him out of the car and invited him into the house,” Meg Zoller wrote, “but Mr. Bang’s knees aren’t what they used to be . . . and he just wanted to stand out front and look at the house. After some time he decided that he could not confidently say whether the home was one of his designs or not.”
Bang passed away the following year, but not before his authorship of 4815 Braesvalley was confirmed. (It turned out his name was on a set of plans kept by the Meyerland Homeowner’s Association.) Writing in the next edition of the Houston Architectural Guide, Stephen Fox labeled it a home that “rescues Meyerland from being boring.” The plan contains 3 courtyard spaces, one of them now topped by a screen roof:
CITY HOPES TO CHOP A DECADE OR 2 OFF THE BRAYS BAYOU FLOOD CONTROL TIMELINE At the current rate of federal funding trickling in for the completion of the Project Brays flood control project, the work could take another 20 years or so to complete, Mike Morris writes this week — noting that the Harris County Flood Control District originally expected about $50 million in federal reimbursement every year, but has been getting an average of $11 million annually in recent years. The city is now planning to speed the project up by asking to borrow $46 million from state-level funds to give to the county, potentially helping it meet or beat a 2021 completion deadline. And “yes,” says city flood czar Steve Costello, “the city is going to be taking [a] risk because we’re going to be waiting for the money, but we’re confident that this is the start of a long-term relationship and we think it’s going to work very well.” (If it does work well, the city may do the same thing for work on White Oak and Hunting bayous.) [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Tax Day flooding at Brays Bayou and 610: Chris Klesch
Hitting the market late last week in the neighborhoods of Meyerland and of $425,000: a groovy 1970s home a few doors down Lymbar Dr. from soon-to-be-renamed Johnston Middle School, northeast of the intersection of Willowbend Blvd. with Chimney Rock Dr. The living room of the 2,362-sq.-ft. house features a round concrete fireplace amid wood paneling and sealed brick floors; a shower-side planter setup makes appearances in the master suite’s bathroom.
Here’s the cantilevered porch and striped front door a the top of the home’s circular driveway:
A few folks at the Halstead apartments surveyed the scene along Brays Bayou late yesterday morning, catching sight of all kinds of action in the water. The video above captures the part of the lonely journey of an unmoored porta-potty floating away from the site of the under-construction Starbucks on the former gas station corner next door; the trip was also also tracked from further upstairs in the complex, where another photographer was documenting the flood:
A scattering of drones took to the air across Houston yesterday as the rain slowed to do some sight-seeing around the brand new 9-county disaster zone declared by governor Abbott in the afternoon. Filling up during floods is standard operating procedure for Buffalo Bayou Park, as demonstrated prior to the park’s first planned official opening last spring. That’s not part of the sanctioned protocol for all of Houston’s bayou corridors, but it’s hard to argue about it in the moment —above is the overhead view of Brays Bayou venturing out into broader Meyerland.
More footage comes from northwest Houston, circling around White Oak Bayou at N. Houston Rosslyn Rd. in Inwood Forest — west and downstream of some the areas that got the most rainfall:
Here’s this morning’s view north across S. Braeswood Dr. between Chimney Rock and Hillcroft in Meyerland, where Brays Bayou has once again been feeling out some alternate route options. That’s the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue and the closed-for-the-day Shlenker School across the water on the northern bank, looking higher but not that much drier; current reaadings for the nearest upstream county gauge show nearly 8 inches of rain over the last 12 hours, with higher totals further west. That hasn’t stopped some folks from checking things out from close-up:
A pile of dirt is heaped up at the northeast corner of N. Braeswood Blvd and the West Loop feeder road this afternoon, next to a sign announcing the upcoming arrival of a Starbucks to the site. The lot held a Citgo station before demolition in mid-2013; a reader notes that construction crews have been poking around at the site for at least the past 3 weeks.
The blocky facade of the Halstead apartment complex can been seen in the background of the above snapshot — down the street to the east, the Halstead and next-door Meritage complex are slowly being joined by a midrise residential development going up at the corner of N. Braeswood and Frankway. East of that is a Proguard Storage facility and the Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Raised 5 feet on piers, this 1-story, 4-bedroom single family home lifts potential home owners above the din, as well as the Brays Bayou floodplain. The listing proclaims that the 1959 building did not flood during Memorial Day weekend last year; the house went on the market a few days before Christmas for $975K. A lift is available on the side of the front patio (above) for those disinclined towards stairs:
Architect Lars Bang gets the credit for the curb-facing original section (above) of a 1959 Meyerland mod built for the Alan Finger family, which kept it for 40 years. It was architect David D. Foster, however, who handled the 1974 additions that gave the home its “U” shape, furthering the floor-to-ceiling windows encircling the pool and patio (top). The home is located 2 blocks south of S. Braeswood Dr. and east of Millbury Dr., 4 houses away from the S. Post Oak stem of the 610 Loop. Its listing last week quotesa $739,900 price tag.