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
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