Whatever the renovation vision might have been appears to have been suspended for the Farnham Park property previously owned by fashion designer Tina Knowles, also known as Solange and Beyoncé’s mom. Among the work interrupted: peeled back ceilings and notches in the colonnade encircling the vast main room, left empty but for a lingering set of plans near an abandoned work table.
Pastor and developer Kirbyjon Caldwell and his wife Suzette Caldwell bought the property from the Knowleses in 2012 for $2.9 million, when the ask was $3.4 million. In its listing earlier this month, the house appears to be half gutted and in a state of disarray. Its price tag starts a bit lower too, at $2.85 million.
Fashion designer Tina Knowles put her Houston estate on the market this week — just days after the London Fashion Week launch of her and daughter Beyonce’s House of Deréon International Collection at Selfridges. Coincidence? Yeah, more than likely. The fashion line of women’s clothing and bedding is named after Knowles’s mother and Beyonce’s grandmother, Galveston seamstress Agnèz Deréon (later Agnèz Beyincé). Knowles founded the House of Dereon line with her daughter in 2004 — the same year she bought this property in the gated Memorial-area neighborhood of Farnham Park off San Felipe, west of Voss.
Boasting 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths, and the sort of charming, quasi-institutional exterior that could only have sprung from the 1970s, the home is listed at a dollar under $3.5 million. Inside, it’s been done up this way:
Intrepid bicycle blogger Robert Boyd ventures into two more tony westside residential neighborhoods: Farnham Park and Charnwood — only to be hassled by security guards:
Now apparently some residents were alarmed to see me riding in their neighborhood taking photos. So the guards gave me a lot of shit when I left, and they strongly implied that this was private property and that I was not allowed to take photos. It was a humiliating dress-down, which I would have gladly avoided. I was afraid they’d try to hold me or call the cops, but they took my personal information (which if I had any guts, I would have denied them*) and let me go.
No pics of the security gates guarding a public street in his report, but plenty of languorous estates nestled behind twiggy foliage. A sympathetic commenter offers Boyd these words of encouragement:
I understand that these people are wealthy and value their privacy, but if you don’t want people taking pictures, don’t build such a great house.
A great number of Houstonians in other neighborhoods are already taking this advice.
After the jump: Boyd provides photographic evidence that Briarbend Park has Buffalo Bayou’s best front-row seats.