Through the Window Bars of a Well-Fortified Idylwood Redo



Remains of a time-worn neighborhood entry marker (top) set off a fortified corner property on a double lot in Idylwood that was listed mid-January and has a $328,000 asking price. Light walls and dark-stained trim inside the updated 1940 home help highlight the fruit bowl of color pops when they appear, starting with the mango punch of the bar-gated entry door (above) . . .



Much of the flooring in the home is solid oak. Updates mentioned in the listing include double pane windows and new water lines.  There’s also a recently retro-sleeked kitchen with laminate flooring bordering the lime-packed dining room . . .




A hallway separates the sleeping and living areas within the 1,985-sq.-ft. floor plan.


The master bedroom comes with a pair of crisply framed closets and access to a sun room:


So does this secondary bedroom, its paneled walls juiced up a bit:


At some point, the sun room gained . . .


a windows-only extension. The enclosure overlooks the driveway and its gate, located near the garage (with utility room) at the back of the home:


And the third bedroom? It opens to the yard instead, though access isn’t shown in the listing photos:


In the 2 full bathrooms, tiles flow across (and down) the vanities and halfway up the walls, whether fleshy-toned:


or powdery blue:


The driveway and garage face Park Ln., but there’s also a fenced-off curb cut on busy S. Wayside Dr.; across that street are the grounds of the Villa de Matel Convent. A portion of the back yard has a stretch of pavement. Is it a patio or a piece of old driveway?


Unlike the back yard, much of the 11,500-sq.-ft. lot that faces the thoroughfare has no fence. Instead, windows have been secured . . .


and cobbled:


Spurlock Park is at the other end of the block, which has sidewalks and homes of similar age and proportions. The terrain slopes toward nearby Brays Bayou.


Old Ironsides

24 Comment

  • This is a beautiful home … simple, tasteful, functional, well-preserved, huge lot, great neighborhood. Am amazed it has not yet been snapped up!..

  • Idylwood is a great neighborhood, but those burglar bars are going to be a huge turn off to potential buyers. They need to go. I am skeptical they will get that price cornering on Wayside, with the truck traffic etc., even with a double lot. Otherwise a cute house, well, except for the bars.

  • Any buyer needs to check into the civic association. Talk to neighbors. There is some nasty infighting going on now. “Nice” neighborhood? It used to be. Attend a civic club meeting as an onlooker.

    I witnessed a horrible turn of events at a recent meeting and if things are not corrected, this neighborhood is toast.

    It will be ripe for developers to buy into, tear down and build up. Homeowners will cease to care.

  • Pyewacket2 please provide some more details! I once had a cute little house on Wildwood and I loved living in Idylwood and think it is a truly one of Houston’s hidden gems.

  • I just noticed the orange door the other day, don’t know how I’d missed it before. Love the sun room with airport benches. Had a church pew in my sunroom, but current house has an open porch…so the pew was relegated to the shed.

    Burglar bars and bordering Wayside are turn offs, but it does have 3 beds, 2 baths, and the larger lot.

    I too am curious about the meeting you attended Pyewacket2, I live close to Idylwood and it seems nice, overpriced, but nice.

  • Oh please, one little neighborhood disagreement (which has already blown over, if pyewacket actually had more information, they would know that) does not destroy a neighborhood.

    Someone always has to be stirring up drama, right? OMG Idylwood is going to burn to the ground because some neighbors disagreed with each other! (If that were the case, the Heights would be a barren wasteland now.)

  • What is the open space to the WNW? It’s not identified as a park, that I can find.

  • From where I sat, the neighborhood “disagreement” was pretty major. According to my sources, it has not blown over and Idylwood is nearly broken. Of course, I didn’t have the best seat in the house.

    Their executive panel made a decision on it’s own to write a controversial letter to city council, knowing there was opposition, then did not bother to inform the residents until a month later. That’s not exactly friendly now, is it? There was also something about not following their by-laws but the executives didn’t want to discuss that.

    Drone may be one of the executives though, and may have inside information. Not everyone in that neighborhood is in the executive circle of friends.

    There’s a lot of “new” homeowners living in Idylwood now and of course they know what’s best for everyone.

    The Park Ln house is nicely updated and I would expect it to sell quickly in spite of the bars and Wayside. That’s a nice size piece of land, suitable for a McMansion. Single family only.

  • Pyewacket, I am not a member of the civic club, but I am a resident, and I was at the meeting you alluded to. What you’re saying is completely one-sided, and does NOT represent the views of all members of the community, nor does it accurately describe the issue or its handling. I would bet dollars to donuts that your “source,” is one of a handful of people who blew the issue beyond proportions, and now you’ve put yourself in the middle of it. Congratulations.

  • Uh, no, not on Wayside. Too much traffic. All the time.

  • Pyewacket2, can you explain why the possible redevelopment of a portion of Gus into a botanical garden will make Idylwood a place where homeowners will “cease to care?” The board decided to support a proposal and some folks in the neighborhood, who want to cling to a rapidly deteriorating asset because of its “historic value”, suddenly want to burn it all to the ground?

  • @ Gisco,

    If you are referring to the large wooded area with some buildings across S. Wayside from the property, that is Villa de Matel, the Motherhouse for the Sisters of Charity of The Incarnate Word.

    If you can’t disclose whatever the hell the issue is/was, which you still haven’t, then why even mention it?

    Why talk about something by talking around it? You look foolish and completely passive-aggressive.

  • The use of airport seating in the living room and sun room adds visual lightness and a modern look, kinda like Hermann Miller on the cheap, but they are not exactly comfortable to sit on for long periods of time.

    Also, even though I don’t live here, now I’m dying to know what the neighborhood drama is.

  • It’s like two teenage girls are having a conversation about “can you believe what Mary said! OMG!” and you never find out what it was, because the whole conversation is “OMG!” and “Nuh-uh.”

  • Eastender: If your main beef is the burglar bars, those come off with a grinder in about 5 minutes. I can’t imagine that they would turn off any buyer unless having them turns them off of the area (though I’d imagine the person looking at that house is looking at it because they want that area).

    Heck, burgler bars are easier to fix than not liking the paint color in a bedroom.

  • It’s not just auto traffic, there is a ton of foot traffic through there with two metro stops on either side of the neighborhood and Walmart on one end and Fiesta on the other. I think a decent number of those houses right on wayside are rental properties.

  • The issue, since Pyewacket brought it up, is the Gus S. Wortham golf course, the whole of which amounts to a tempest in a tea cup. A private foundation has gone about pitching a plan to raise private funds, and if the city approves, to turn the 18 hole golf course into a 9-hole golf course + botanical garden. The opposing side, is a group of individuals that wants the city to invest tax dollars to turn the Gus S. Wortham into a course on-par with the Memorial Park golf course. The civic club did, what was later to be determined, a poor effort at “taking the pulse” of the community, and sent a letter to the city saying the neighborhood rather liked the idea of the botanical garden, as long as some plan changes were made (this is where the 8-hole course came from). Some months after, some people apparently missed the notice of the letter, and got quite upset, because they want the upgraded 18-hole course. There was a civic club meeting, there were certainly some attempts to raise the idea that the letter represented a “political issue,” even though it was not related to any political candidate nor any party, or other political activity outside of writing the city council (even though the same people supported the civic club lobbying the parks department about the parking lot), when they felt they would not win on the merits of their arguments. There were some claims, by supporters of the golf course improvements, that the “new residents” were trying to take away “their golf course,” which mostly impressed no one, and the vote won to let the letter stand as-is. Since then, a few people, whom I can count on my hands, have been running around in any and every place they can screaming about how bad it is, and getting anyone they can to talk about it as if the neighborhood is falling apart so they can try to replace the board and rescind the letter.

    There, you have it: no one is killing their neighbors in the streets, beheaded golf clubs are not being left on beds, golf balls are not flying at neighbors as they walk down the streets, armies are not amassing – and annoying neighbors are still simply as annoying as they were before for all the reasons they were before the civic club meeting. Pyewacket has brought the issue over here, given to them with the intent of publicizing the drama to further support the point of the vocally aggressive few, so they can point to how the whole city is talking about it. It’s like highschool, all over again. (Spoonman has largely accurately captured the feel.)

  • Now back to the house….
    Good job on the updates. Very tasteful and unlike the many remuddles happening out there. The period tile baths are awesome.

  • Well, drone doesn’t have it exactly right. The larger issue is that the executive panel, which is supposed to represent the entire neighborhood, in fact doesn’t. And there was only a 6 vote difference between the two sides so I wouldn’t call that a “handful” of people. One vote per property owned is what the instructions said. Two executives own multiple properties so that tipped the votes too.

    The executives made no attempt to get opinions from everyone, they wanted no dissention, no discussion and instead rushed their letter to the mayor claiming to speak for the whole neighborhood.

    The deal with the garden is that the private group wanting it does not have a master plan, has not raised enough funds and simply wants this course because they feel they can take it at will from the low income east end. Parks department has shown them about a dozen other places and they have flatly rejected all. The private group of deep pockets, unless something has changed, did not absolutely commit to a 9 hole course (where did you come up with an 8 hole course?) They gave it a “maybe” in their first proposal, but something may have changed by now to where the HBG may have their back up against the wall and they’ll be obligated for a golf course instead of “maybe”.

    And bringing up the parking lot? Each issue should stand on it’s own. Shame on you. Folks are entitled to different opinions on different subjects. The executives did not write a letter about the trail parking lot, instead residents were asked to send their own.

    “Some months after”? Don’t know where you got that. This issue began last August and has kept momentum since then. Maybe you missed something in that time but no one missed the notice about the letter, which the executives only admitted to when questioned about it at the next meeting. You see, one of the executives let the cat out of the bag, about the letter that is, and it grew from there. Blown over? Don’t think so.

    And people are screaming? That is dramatic. Now, I’m laughing.

    So I’m done here.

  • Idylwood is still a great place to live and residents want to preserve this gem on the eastside. There seems to be drama with the civic association board because of a letter sent to the mayor and officials supporting the botanical garden pitch which was made during Labor Day weekend walk about. According to civic club leadership, 150 homes of the 300 residences were asked if they would support the repurposing or building of a botanical garden at Gus Wortham gold course. 94% of the 150 signed in favor and 10 residences didn’t agree. Later it was shared this new tourist attraction would draw 600k-900k visitors a year. Yikes, did we really just vote for a tourist attraction to be built on our north border. The board voted to send an endorsement to elected officials since 94% said yes. Later the board was questioned how they decided to send the letter and a vocal group wanted the letter rescinded. A vote was required by residents and two thirds majority vote to rescind was necessary. 128 residents showed up and 61 voted to rescind and 67 voted to keep letter. That was a 48-52 % split which is no where near the original 94% originally supporting. The board made no apologies and moved on with business. The Gus Wortham supporters had red yard signs made in 2012 to support The golf course. After the rescind vote, a new group it appears to be board member have now made green signs supporting botanical garden and golf thus keeping the drama going. I think most residents want to protect the three borders of our gem neighborhood with the golf course to the north, the Villa de Matel to the west and the bayou/Forest park cemetery to the east. Any changes to these borders will undoubtly subject Idylwood residents to new obstacles such as lost property values, mobility issues and crime as we are seeing with the new Walmart built on our southern border. Maybe the Idylwood civic board should not involve themselves in any endorsements/letter writing unless a full vote of the residents is taken and a super majority is met.

  • Pyewacket, you give yourself away. No one cares.

  • “Later it was shared this new tourist attraction would draw 600k-900k visitors a year.”

    WTH ? Averaged at 750K/year, that’d be well over 2,000 a day, every day, 365 of them a year. That’s probably more than the combined folks who view the Japanese Garden at Hermann Park plus those visting the Arboretum on a daily basis.

    Much ado about nothing.

  • These are quotes from a previous post on swamplot under Botanical Garden as someone provided visitor totals for similar gardens opened in other cities…see below
    -@LSM: Admission to the Dallas Arboretum is $15. Almost 1 million visitors last year.
    -Denver Botanic Gardens:$12.50 and 640k visitors
    -Missouri Botanic Gardens:$8.00 and 900k visitors