This $1.8 Million Queen Anne Mansion on the Edge of Westmoreland and the Downtown Spur Comes with Its Own Pool and Billboard



Rising stately on its corner in the Westmoreland Historic District, a well-appointed and well-maintained hundred-year-plus-old mansion fitted with terraces, balconies, and porches features all the craftsmanship of its day — and one very large indicator of the present: this freeway-side billboard in the back yard, by the pool:



Yes, a portion of the quarter-of-an-acre lot, which faces the retaining wall of Spur 527, supports a 3-post billboard. It rises well above the home’s 3 stories — and helps shade the pool from morning sun. The property, which was listed today, carries an asking price just shy of $1.8 million and pitches the property as a home, office, or bed-and-breakfast. The home dates from 1897 (according to the listing and county tax records) or 1903 (as cited in a historic-district walking tour guide), or 1908, (as the city’s inventory of the neighborhood finds).

The Queen Anne home is attributed to prolific builder Russell Brown; it was his own home. Of note are the home’s arched eyebrow features on windows and dormers, the Craftsman-style exposed rafter tails decorating the inset porch and eave brackets, and the stained glass windows in the stairwell’s tower.



Two-toned original flooring on the first floor comes with inlaid borders — in the hardwoods of the ample entry hall (above) and in the Terrazzo-like tile of the window-lined living room sited on the southeast corner of the floor plan. A double-sided fireplace serves both rooms:


Jewel-toned formal rooms dominate downstairs, with the dining room adding some diamond-pattern dazzle through leaded-glass windows peering through a porte-cochère:



County tax records indicate renovations to the property took place in 1980. At the back of the 5,880-sq-ft. home, what appears to be the former butler’s pantry (above) and the now-islanded kitchen have been combined. Both spaces have access to the dining room and to a back porch:



This room with half-height paneling and ornate flooring occupies the other corner at the front of the home:


Heading up the staircase’s tower takes a turn at a landing illuminated . . .


on 3 sides:



Some of level 2 rises through level 3 at the front of the home. Sets of double doors open to a semi-circular balcony situated above the home’s portico entry:


Here’s the master suite:




There are 4 secondary bedrooms, 3 more full bathrooms, and a powder room.







An open area at the top of all the stairs also has a bird’s nest balcony:


So does this bedroom:



Does this bathroom as well?


Meanwhile, at ground level, the sign-shaded pool area abuts an apartment building to its north:




The Westmoreland Historic District occupies 8 of the subdivision’s original 12 blocks on 44 acres bordered by Spur 527, W. Alabama, Garrott, and Hawthorne streets. Homes east of Burlington, the street which gives this property its address, were razed for the freeway. The home’s carport handles parking tandem-style from Marshall St., which bends around a corner to meet the remains of the original roadway.

In the Shade

23 Comment

  • Beautiful old house. Is there any way to hide the listing (and this Swamplot article) from the Cramalot Townhome developers?
    Just thinking ahead. I hope the new owners love and respect the house as much as the old ones obviously did.

  • Overpriced with a big 40ft tall sign in the backyard and being right next to the freeway and some of the inside needs updating like the kitchen.

  • It’s a beautiful house. The previous owner was incredibly generous in opening it up for events for various organizations – some GLBT groups, a pet rescue group – and I have a lot of fond memories of attending those events. He also put up amazing Christmas decorations. It wasn’t just a great home, it was part of the community and I hope the new owner appreciates what a gem it is.

  • $1.8 mln for a pile of rubble next to a freeway? Cut the price in half and move it several blocks west, then maybe, and it’s a big maybe.

  • This is just a pitching wedge outside the First Montrose Commons Historic District. This property can be demoed and stuffed with townhomes. It is priced too high for that. But if the seller has to drop the price enough, it could happen. It is a stunningly beautiful home. It will be hard to find someone willing to put up good money as it is right next to the spur.

  • I’m curious about the billboard. Would the sign lease transfer to the new owner? If it did, I would think that the listing would mention the revenue stream, much like a listing with a rented garage apartment.

  • Sorry to ruin anyone’s redevelopment dreams, but this house is in the Westmoreland Historic District. It’s not going anywhere.

  • Does ownership of the billboard convey with the land/house? Income from the sign may help justify the high price.

  • Is that a historic billboard?

  • @Jim: Whew. I forgot about Westmoreland.

  • I drove by this a while back. For one thing, you have absolutely no idea there is a freeway nearby. It is almost perfectly hidden and disguised, and all you see is a retaining wall covered by vegetation. Looks more like a jungle cliff than anything else. If I have the money, I would buy it. With the exception of the ceilings, this is one case in which interior ‘modernisation’ didn’t rip out all of the lovely period features.

  • I’ve been to a couple parties in this house. It’s beautiful, and you can’t hear the traffic at all. IIRC the billboard does provide income but the owner didn’t need it. The only downside of this house to me is the field of craptastic town homes that are going in immediately to the south across Marshall.

  • What’s a cost to rent a billboard these days? I’d imagine pretty close to 2,000 / month, no? That’s a pretty good extra source of income right there…

  • I hope Jim is right.

  • Haha HA, ZAW,
    “In all the world’s there’s not
    A more disappointing spot
    For happy-ever-aftering …
    than here in Cram-A-Lot!”

  • but, seriously, this is a superb house!
    Super fine,
    If mine, I’d undo some of the updates (do a little “Re-dating”)
    It would be a great B&B, given the busy location,
    Buddy, can you spare a million?

  • and then, after I buy this place, I’d ask my pal Rufus Wainwright to do a concert, maybe write a song, something about going to a town…

  • I love this place. I’ve walked by it 100000 times on my way to tacos a go go, lite rail, our Fannin building, etc. It’s always done up for holidays.
    The only downside are the upcoming Townhomes in the previously empty lot between Marshall and W Alabama. $1.8m is a good price given the crazy price of other homes selling near by. Heck, the townhomes being built across the street are going to be $

  • This is a wonderful house, though I am sad to see it on the market. I have been to many events there sponsored by the previous owner. He was indeed a wonderful man who contributed much to the community. I hope someone buys it that enjoys the place as much as he did. The pool is fairly new, having been completed recently. If I could afford it, I would buy it in a minute!

  • It has great bones, but it needs a LOT of updating. The bathrooms are ghastly, there are no appliances in the kitchen, and the landscaping leaves a lot to be desired. For 1.8 million … I don’t know.

  • It’s obvious that the city of Houston does not care much for Historical preservation just look around ex. 4th ward freedmon’s town i hope someone buys it like the weingarten mansion. The land alone is worth $100 per sq ft that’s 1.1 right there. The sign generates 3k a month or could be taken down.

  • Doesn’t the billboard violate the neighborhood’s deed restrictions? Wouldn’t a bed-and-breakfast also violate the deed restrictions?

  • Update on this beautiful home:
    The billboard has been removed, kitchen has been remodeled, and the home has sold to a family who will preserve and care for it as befitting a lovely historic jewel.