Forgotten by Its Architect and Flooded by a Backed-Up Bayou, a Lars Bang Meyerland Mod Heads for the Trash Heap

Noticed that striking Meyerland Mod headlining our demolition report this morning? The 1956 home at 4815 Braesvalley Dr. first came to Swamplot’s attention 9 years ago, as the site of a remarkable scene. The then-86-year-old architect Lars W. Bang, a prolific purveyor of Modern Houston homes, was driven to the property in hopes that the real estate agent listing the 4-bedroom property might confirm that he was indeed its designer. “My husband, Jim, helped him out of the car and invited him into the house,” Meg Zoller wrote, “but Mr. Bang’s knees aren’t what they used to be . . . and he just wanted to stand out front and look at the house. After some time he decided that he could not confidently say whether the home was one of his designs or not.”

Bang passed away the following year, but not before his authorship of 4815 Braesvalley was confirmed. (It turned out his name was on a set of plans kept by the Meyerland Homeowner’s Association.) Writing in the next edition of the Houston Architectural Guide, Stephen Fox labeled it a home that “rescues Meyerland from being boring.” The plan contains 3 courtyard spaces, one of them now topped by a screen roof:


The property sold for $250,000 in 1997. A decade later, when it went on the market again, it was featured as a Houston Mod Mod of the Month; it sold the following year for $410,000. Here are a few photos from that listing:

In 2015 it went on the market for the last time, and sold this past March for $375,000. What caused the property to lose $35,000 in value in 9 years? Sitting 1 block north of the intersection of Brays Bayou and the South Loop, it was one of more than 1,100 homes along that bayou that flooded on Memorial Day 2015 — and part of a large group of Meyerland Mods to be damaged as a result. A Mod of the Month open house was held at the property a few months later while it was being remediated; this time, however, Houston Mod warned children and “those requiring air conditioning” to consider — as the architect himself had done — staying by the curb.

By last October, the home was back on the Mod of the Month circuit again, this time with repairs complete. The last listing for the property before its March sale showed a renovated kitchen with glowing cabinetry, among other fixes.

But the listing also showed photos of these new homes, built in place of the ones that flooded next door and across the street:

Yesterday, a permit to tear down 4815 Braesvalley was purchased by a demolition contractor for the new owners.


Mod Be Gone

10 Comment

  • Those new homes look waaaaaay nicer than that place

  • The City of Houston needs to just pay the $42M needed for project braes to go forward. They have money for everything else and have likely collected that amount many times over from the twice, thrice, quadruple flooded home owners. The city is richer than it has ever been, pension mismanagement notwithstanding.

  • These homes are hideous. Damn cookie cutter homes.

  • Are the new homes any less likely to flood?

  • @Neil: Probably. To rebuild in that area folks are required to raise the house. I heard it was 10 feet. It looks weird with new houses jacked up over the old houses.

  • @ Memebag: if those new mcmansions are raised up anything like 10 feet, then I’m at least 12 feet tall (without heels).

  • I need the house plan

  • This is why Houston is a PIT to live in. The city will let anybody destroy historic buildings just look at the River Oaks Shopping Center. Weingarten is destroying that Art Deco shopping center and the city of Houston is letting them do it. Houston has the most horrendous traffic, crime, pollution, and just an all around crapiness of a city. Houston does NOT have SMART GROWTH nor any GREEN SPACE.

  • @Marc Kagan

    While I do agree with everything you said, there are cities much worse than Houston, in terms of pollution, traffic, etc.

  • Such a shame. I wonder if the family had remodeled it with the intent to stay and then couldn’t, but damn that is a lot of work and money lost. According to HCAD, the sellers were the family who bought it in 2008 and went through the flood with it. Seeing the way the neighborhood was going, I can’t believe they’d remodel it and expect it to sell as is. HCAD has just the land valued for within the $400K range that HAR shows as the sale price, which has to mean they lost the tens of thousands, if not over 100K in remediating and remodeling it.