07/18/17 10:45am

Does tearing down historic Houston architecture run in the family? The 1930’s house built for Harry C. Hanszen at 2945 Lazy Lane Blvd. (which showed up on Wednesday’s Daily Demolition Report last week) did in fact get the full knockdown treatment over the weekend, a couple of stunned readers tell Swamplot. The River Oaks home, designed by architect John F. Staub, was owned for a few decades by John Mecom Jr.; more recently, it was sold in 2014 to Matthew B. Arnold, per county records. The 5-acre-ish lot sits right across the road from Bayou Bend, and from the Lazy Lane spot where the historic home known as Dogwoods used to stand — before former Enron trader and experimental drone surveillance funder John D. Arnold knocked it down to make room for a boxy replacement. (Staub also designed Bayou Bend, and collaborated with Birdsall Briscoe on the Dogwoods design.)

It’s worth noting that the Hanszen house was majorly added-onto between 1979 and 1981, back when it was owned by the Mecoms — and it was largely stripped of its original interiors during that time, archi-historian Stephen Fox tells Swamplot. It’s now been stripped of its exteriors as well — which previously looked like this:


Bye Bye by Bayou Bend
12/15/15 2:00pm

311 Hunters Trail St., Hunterwood, Hunters Creek, TX 77024

Hidden in the woods behind the Houston Racquet Club, this C-floorplan mod leaning out toward Buffalo Bayou is currently on the market for just under $2.4 million — down from $3.8 million at the end of September, and $2.9 million at the start of November. The 7,449-sq.-ft. home is now being sold for what the listing claims is lot value, though a $900/monthyear maintenance fee is included. The curvaceous structure contains 3 bedrooms, 3 and a half bathrooms, a pool, and a small mixed-species grove.

Sadly, no photos of the interior are included in the listing, but aerial views are:


Home Invasion in Hunterwood
01/23/14 11:30am

402 Mignon Ln., Memorial Bend, Houston


The 1956 flat-roofed building with redwood siding and terrazzo floors was designed by architect Harold Oberg and converted into an actual residence after sales in the neighborhood were completed.

Filet Mignon, Please
01/16/14 11:15am

WHY IS THE AGENT TELLING ME THIS HOUSE IS ONLY WORTH ‘LOT VALUE’? 1905 Shearn St., First Ward, HoustonA reader named Gary writes: “My husband and I have been looking for houses (which has been daunting in this seller’s market) and I’ve been a little jaded by agents listing houses that that are being sold for lot value and are “drive by only.” These houses look to be in okay shape and just need the right buyer to fix it up but the listing agents are marketing them to developers to tear down. For instance, the house [at 1905 Shearn St., pictured at left] could be so cute! It even has those gingerbread architectural details! . . . Houston is bleeding cute houses because of listings like these and I feel helpless to do anything about it because I don’t have the cash to buy a place like this and fix it up.” [Swamplot inbox] Photo: HAR

06/14/12 11:55pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE TEARDOWN CHASE “Nice house. I remember back in the mid 80′s when places like that were available in West U for about the same price. My wife and I would see an ad for one in the paper, go rushing down to West U to look at it and find a bare patch of brown earth where the house stood a few days prior. We never could get to a house before the builders.” [Bubba, commenting on Bus or Bike Now, Ride Rail Later from Eastwood-Area Bungalow]

06/06/12 11:10pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: CAREFREE HOMESTEADING IN HOUSTON “Living in a teardown is the best way to own a residence homestead. Cracked slab? Let it widen. Brickwork splits open and doors stick? Apply caulk, sand the doors. Roof needs replacement? Paint over the water stains on the ceiling and stick some buckets in the attic to catch the drip. Black mold? Spray a solution of bleach and water on it. Buy some air freshener. Don’t like the off-white color of the walls? Paint it neon pink with glitter, if that’s what suits you. Nobody cares. You live in a teardown!” [TheNiche, commenting on Crazy for the Inner Loop]

08/09/10 4:54pm

Here’s a 1920 bungalow taking up valuable space on a 7,000-sq.-ft. lot on Merrill St. near Watson. The lot size and the Woodland Heights address make the “perfect combination for building your new home in the Heights,” declares the new listing. The structure, “in need of extensive repairs,” features 3 apparently unphotographable bedrooms and 1 bath. List price: $245,000.

08/12/09 4:50pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT HAPPENS TO THOSE SMALL, STYLIN’ INNER-LOOP HOMES? “Gotta wonder how many of these homes will be standing a year from now. The danger in many in-loop neighborhoods is that one day you must face the fact that your home is a tear-down. I have a friend near Pershing Middle School in that situation. Plans on selling when the kids are grown, which is soon, but it makes every dollar for repairs and upkeep especially painful.” [finness, commenting on Small, Stylish, and Already Sold: Design-y Inner Loop Home Bargains You Missed]

07/27/09 11:39am

The Swamplot Price Adjuster needs your nominations! Found a property you think is poorly priced? Send an email to Swamplot, and be sure to include a link to the listing or photos. Tell us about the property, and explain why you think it deserves a price adjustment. Then tell us what you think a better price would be. Unless requested otherwise, all submissions to the Swamplot Price Adjuster will be kept anonymous.

Location: 4901 Evergreen St., Bellaire
Details: 6,890 sq. ft. lot, marred by only by existing house. “BEING SOLD AS LOT VALUE ONLY***DRIVE BY ONLY***Great Corner Lot***Lots of Trees**”
Price: $700,000
History: Listed at the current price since late May.

Note: Story updated below.

The reader who’s nominating this Bellaire lot wonders why it’s priced like a Bellaire house:

This is probably priced more than double what it should be. While Bellaire is not a cheap neighborhood, there are plenty of nice 3700-4000 square foot homes selling in Bellaire for this same price or lower. It isn’t even a big lot. The appraisal district appraises it at $254,069 for a price difference of $445,931 . . .

It is also a corner lot, and there is a stop sign in front of the house. I know there is an older house on the lot, but the agent is selling it “As-is” without scheduling appointments . . .

There is a beautiful 4400 sq foot house also on Evergreen a block or two away (5113 Evergreen) on a similar size lot that is selling for 825 [was recently reduced to $799K].

What would be a better price for this little piece of Bellaire?


07/30/08 11:51am

2213 Wichita St., Third Ward, Houston

You are, no doubt, entirely accustomed to finding perfectly pleasant homes listed for sale on HAR . . . as teardowns. Usually, a listing broker won’t even pretend to show off the virtues of a targeted house, limiting photos to exterior shots and including such enticing wording as “sold for lot value only,” “as is,” and the always alluring “do not disturb tenants.”

Which is why John Whiteside, who writes the By the Bayou blog, is especially appreciative of the “chirpy optimism” expressed in the listing for 2213 Wichita St., a home dating from 1930 and perched by the side of 288 in Riverside Terrace, on the market since the end of March. Next to this quaint photo of what looks like a well-roasted garage apartment are these encouraging words:

Owner started renovations on the large house with garage apartment off the freeway. Lot almost 10,000 sq. ft. Pick up this gem, dust it off, add polish and it will shine.

Sadly, you’re a little late to see this house shining its absolute brightest.

Below: More photos from the listing — including interior shots . . . and outdoor furniture!


12/04/07 12:51pm

2335 Underwood St., Braeswood, Houston

This house in Braeswood looks like a million bucks! And it sold back in August for just over that — $1.1 million — after lingering on the market for just over half a year with an asking price $400K higher.

And it’s featured in today’s Daily Demolition Report!

Below the fold, photos of demolition-ready interiors, plus some quick math.