The homes depicted in the teevee version of The Astronaut Wives Club may turn out to be a bit more landlocked than the actual Space Age family spreads they’re modeled after. Location scouts for the upcoming ABC mini-series, which will be based on the book by Lily Koppel, appear to be steering clear of the actual Clear Lake-area neighborhoods the original 7 astronaut families lived in — and pushing west instead. Real estate agent Robert Searcy tells Swamplot the location scouts who contacted him were looking for a neighborhood with original-looking mid-fifties-era houses. So he passed info around to owners he knew about, letting them decide if they wanted to open up their homes to teevee crews: “They also contacted Houston Mod,” Searcy says:
“Apparently [the site scouts] are most interested in what they loosely described as ‘mid-range’ homes of the era, not updated. I got them in a few houses in Glenbrook Valley and a couple in Meadowcreek Village, including the Mackie & Kamrath one over there, but I think some of the mods were a bit too grand for what they are looking for. They seem to be most focused on Willowbend right now. So if you live in Willowbend in a non-updated house, don’t be shocked if you get a note on your door!”
Most of the original 7 astronauts, of course, lived in the Timber Cove subdivision fronting Taylor Lake, a mere 4 miles northeast of the NASA installation then known as the Manned Spacecraft Center. Freedom 7 and Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard, however, moved into a “large suite in a high-rise apartment building” near Hermann Park and Rice University — when he and his family first moved to Houston in 1962.
Filming for the 10-episode series is expected to begin in April, for airing this summer.
- New ABC series now in Houston scouting for filming locations [Houston Chronicle]
- Out-of-this-world tales in moonwalkers’ suburb [Houston Chronicle]
- Astronauts’ New Homes Are Problems [Palm Beach Daily News]
Photo of Josephine Schirra and children in front of their home on Pine Shadows Dr. in Timber Cove: NASA, via Apollo Mission Photos