The 7-bedroom house at 5124 Palm Royale Blvd. isn’t the only one of the street’s “10,000-plus-square-foot Mediterranean extravaganzas” (as archi-historian Steven Fox put it to Lisa Gray on a Sugar Land driving tour a few years back) to cuddle up against a couple of the golf fairways winding through the neighborhood. (The 12,400-sq.-ft. house may well be one of the homes most directly in the line of incoming golf balls, however.) Inside, the 1995 house is fully coated with intricate calligraphy, carvings, and geometric patterns; the massive star-shaped chandelier above dangles through a star-shaped hole in the second floor, coming to rest above the indoor courtyard-style fountain.
To get to it, you’ll need to dodge the pride of lions ringing the other fountain out front:
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Par for Sugar Land
COMMENT OF THE DAY: PALE IN COMPARISON “Stephen Fox does a real disservice to drag queens, whose mummery and satire are rooted in fascinating questions about gender identity and the plights of powerless human beings. They have nothing to do with shoddily built, ostentatious and vulgar houses. Drag queens are necessary and even essential to a healthy civilization, they parody and mock for the forces of goodness, but shitty architecture benefits nobody.” [Scott Bodenheimer, commenting on Waving the Fronds on Palm Royale Blvd.]
WAVING THE FRONDS ON PALM ROYALE BLVD. As they cruise through Sugar Land, columnist Lisa Gray monitors Houston Architectural Guide author Stephen Fox’s vital signs: “We drove south. He drooped as we drove past red-brick privacy walls, red-brick houses, red-brick office buildings, red-brick churches. For me, everything began to blend together — until we turned on Palm Royale Boulevard, lined with humongous red-brick houses from the last couple of decades, most with turrets, all slight variations on the same nouveau-riche theme. I drove slowly, ogling the spectacle, one whacked-out showstopper after the next, interspersed with undeveloped lots. The red-brick reassurance of niceness clearly wasn’t an assurance of good taste. ‘These 10,000-plus-square-foot Mediterranean extravaganzas bear the same relation to architecture that drag show queens bear to women,’ Stephen had written tartly in The Guide. ‘Not the real thing, perhaps, but entertaining nonetheless in their bold and hilarious voluptuousness.’ Abruptly, the street dead-ended into a T-intersection facing a utility easement. Stephen laughed. ‘Such an ignominious end,’ he said wryly, ‘for such grand ambition.'” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo: HAR
Just what is it that gives this Sweetwater chateau that authentic French je ne sais quoi? Could it be the multipurpose wine room? The big-enough-for-giant-pancakes breakfast area? The Vince Young seal of approval? No telling if any actual chateaus were harmed in the making of this grand home, but that’s all likely ancient history anyway — this place dates from the last century!
Listed earlier this week for just under $3.5 million, this little cul-de-sac palace backs up to the grounds of the Sweetwater Country Club and packs in 4 full bedrooms and 3 full and 3 half baths — all in just 7,744 sq. ft. Many delights await you in this photo tour:
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