Once an orphanage, a gated 1913 Italianate property near downtown and north of Montrose found new life in 2003 as a 15-unit condo re-dubbed Villa Serena. Its historic pedigree encompasses city, state, and national recognition. A corner unit on the ground level quietly made its market debut on Monday, with a $299,000 price tag. The 1-bedroom home last sold in 2010 for $210,000 — down from an asking price of $245,000 at that time.
This week’s governmental shutdown means there’s no access to the National Register of Historic Places database for a full lowdown on the property. Fortunately, the Texas Historical Commission has plenty on file about the neighborhood landmark, designed a century ago by Mauran & Russell of St. Louis. The Houston Architectural Guide, meanwhile, makes note of the 3-story property’s arcade-topped loggia beneath 2 stories of now-converted sleeping porches and bracketed eaves. The 21st century repurposing of the former DePelchin Faith Home was done by HHN Homes, with Kaldis Interests as historical consultants and Spencer Partnership as project architect.
Now, about the listing: It’s a 1,349-sq.-ft unit featuring high ceilings, exposed brick, hardwood floors, and a combo living-dining-kitchen floor plan:
Floor-t0-ceiling shelving and light-diffusing shades remain with the unit, identified in the listing as “1E.”
Warm-toned cabinetry makes the most of the limited wall space in the opened-up kitchen, which has electric appliances and enough of a countertop overhang to form an informal dining spot:
Beneath and behind all the landscaping lies the unit’s private, narrow patio area. It’s just off the kitchen:
Most of the unit’s doors land in a shared entry hall, with no 2 of them looking the same. From left are access to the laundry room, the building’s interior hallway, the unit’s mechanical room, and the bedroom:
Pulling the camera back from there, a short commute up the gallery-style hallway toward the main room, there’s a storage closet:
There’s only that 1 bedroom, but it’s big, and it appears to have some of the plaster peeled back to reveal the building’s structural underpinnings:
Natural light is indirect — it passes through a set of interior windows after bouncing around the adjacent 5-ft.-deep sun room:
There’s also only one bathroom, but it comes with 2 separate sink cabinets.
In the the shared, public portions of the historic property, meanwhile, there’s a mashup of adapted but original architectural flourishes and conduits for modern conveniences (like air conditioning). The set of glass doors in the background of the photo below leads to the gated parking area at the back of the half-block property:
Roof overhangs and tree canopies shade the grounds, located east of Montrose Blvd. where the original street grid shifted its orientation from true north to catch the prevailing breeze from the southeast. The listing calls the area “where Montrose meets Midtown.”
The palm trees, live oaks, and heavy landscaping hide the gated grounds from the street. On the property, however, the later additions to the building emerge — such as the single-story side wing in the photo below:
Parking, also located behind gates, includes 2 covered spaces designated for the unit:
The unit comes with a $580 monthly fee.
- 2700 Albany St. [HAR]