A Decade Later, Another Arnold-Owned Staub Mansion Smashed in River Oaks

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:


Photos: Swamplot inbox (top 2); HAR (bottom)

Bye Bye by Bayou Bend

8 Comment

  • Looks like John and Matthew Arnold are billionaire hedge fund brothers who made lots of dough at Enron. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Arnold

  • I am sure John Arnold probably should have gone to jail like many other of the enron people. The whole deal was a scam. John Arnold should divy up the billions he has made from those ill-gotten enron gains, and give it to the thousands of lowerdown employees (like those that came from Internorth), that watched their meager pensions disappear.

  • Outrageous. Cannot stand people like this. They clearly have more money than taste or common sense. Assholes.

  • Well said, @Nic. But this city is filled with dicks.

  • Unbelievable
    It’s beautiful
    Pls don’t tear it down

  • I, for one, intend to publically snub John and Matthew Arnold at every social event where we may encounter one another.
    They will just have to learn to live with the shame.

  • What a loss for Houston. As a frequent guest in this home, I can say that there was no reason it should ever have been destroyed—other than vanity. This John Staub masterpiece had expanded with the ages into a timeless, elegant, sturdy, and architecturally significant mansion. The meticulously detailed interior had both grand spaces for entertaining and intimate rooms of charm and grace; the grounds had coordinating outbuildings, mature orchards, floral and vegetable gardens, natural spaces, and expansive lawns. Texas has lost one of the south’s great estates.