OMG Mod Begone: Sugar Land’s Lott House Meets Its Wrecking Crew

Yes, it looks like demo equipment has already arrived in the driveway of the MacKie and Kamrath house in Sugar Creek featured a little less than a year ago on Swamplot. The home was originally built in 1975 for Astrodome builder H.A. Lott, in the Houston architects’ famed signature Frank-Lloyd-Wright-without-the-cape style. The photo above was sent in by a reader, who passes on a rumor from neighbors — that the 4,426-sq.-ft. home’s new owners plan on tearing down the structure and putting up a 2-story something in its place. After an extensive renovation, the the 4-bedroom on a 36,041-sq.-ft. waterfront lot was listed for north of $1 million last August. It sold in April for around $800K. A few pics of what now appears to be headed for the landfill:


Top photo: Swamplot inbox

52 Comment

  • I’m all for people doing whatever the heck you want with their money, but tearing that house down is a crying bloody shame.

  • There are no words.

  • WHY are they tearing this down? What a waste.

  • I wonder what the previous owners think. I just want to know why? There are few unique structures like this left. Sad.

  • Tragic, but I’m sure that whatever they replace it with will be just as nice.

  • I guess there must be not another single vacant lot in Sugarland? That’s the only reason I can see putting an $800k home, recently renovated, to take up another 4000sq ft of landfill space. The fact that it is one of the most spectacular mods in our metro area just adds insult to injury.

    Do you think there is any chance they are going to donate those almost-new fixtures, appliances and granite counter tops to something like Habitat for Humanity? Probably not. If they cared that much, they wouldn’t tear this house down to begin with.

  • wow. what a waste. not sure why anyone would tear down an architectural gem like this.

  • 36000 square foot lot? I’ll bet they’ll just tear this down so they can built 8 townhomes.

    It WAS a beautiful house, and like the above commenters I believe it’s a shame that this is being torn down. I’m sure the chorus of people blathering about how it’s “none of your business what other people do with their money” will chime in here soon; in the meantime we can always enjoy the pictures.

  • A single story home doesn’t let people know how RICH you are. Gotta build up and tell the world you are important because you can afford a 30 story entry way, a wine cellar, a media room, and maybe even a classy turret or something “Continental” that demonstrates your worldy tastes.

  • yep, definitely looks like another one of those termite/mold infested houses that has to go.

    but really now, is it already time for people to be buying/demo’ing dream homes in sugarland only to replace it with their own frankenstein version.

  • I fear that the same fate will rest on my in-law’s house when my father in law is gone and he was one of FLW’s last students! His house hasn’t really been updated since it was built in the early 1960s, whereas this Sugar Creek house is amazingly modern and beautiful. I hope whoever bought and is demolishing this property builds a piece of crap that causes them nothing but misery for years to come.

  • It’s pretty obvious why it needs to be replaced: No Turrets.

  • I have to point out that Not all that is old is valuable and one person’s treasure is another person’s trash.

  • clearly the new owner is an idiot

  • It needs torn down. It’s far too unique for that God forsaken cesspool of cookie cutter suburban crap that all looks the same in grand ole’ Sugar Land. Bleh. What a shame!

  • Here comes the fake stucco, fake keystones,
    fake stonework, cheap aluminum windows and granite, granite, granite . . . furnished by Suniland

    That ol house didn’t have enough closet space!

  • I also have to point out that the Greater Houston area is full of people with no goddam taste or sense of history.

  • I’m all for people doing whatever the heck you want with their money, but tearing that house down is a crying bloody shame.


  • Looking forward to seeing the “Tuscan-French-Country-Itallian-Villa-Stucco-and-Stone” Monster they are going to put in it’s place.

    When are they going to start tearing THOSE things down?

  • It really is kind of depressing how every house of significant historic value in Houston is razed over for some cheap, tacky McMansion. Thank you suburbs, it’s all your fault.

  • For a taste of what is sure to come check out what I’ve been watching go up on Alkire Lakes as I commute down 90 for the last couple of years. Street view not available I’m afraid but just count those turrets.,-95.613&spn=0.001854,0.003087&t=h&z=19

  • Actually, I heard that the new owners have commissioned a replica of Frank Llyod Wright’s Falling Water for the sight and are carefully repurposing a majority of the materials, furniture and fixtures in the old mod. They have made a deal to pump lake water through the house to help with aeration of the lake and acheive the magical union of nature and architecture of Falling Water.
    I have also heard that Ainbinder has given Walmart the boot and will make the property a wildlife refuge with a captive breeding program for the Atwater Prairie Chicken.

  • That’s one ugly house.

    Now, my reaction to that is to not buy it rather than to buy it and tear it down, but…the buyer’s money, the buyer’s decision.

  • I feel physically ill after reading this.

  • Not soon enough, Denise.

  • I’m usually a fan of the wrecking ball, but damn if this one doesn’t sting. Senseless waste.

  • But, but, but……..the folks that bought this house already have a big house on the water in SugarLand!!

  • Well, damn…where are The B-52s gonna stay the next time they’re in town for a show? Can you imagine the after-party in this place? Would probably be just what that neighborhood needs. :-)

  • I wonder what Mr. Lott’s family thinks about his pride-and-joy being first remodeled into a strange state of weird ugly and then sold off for land value to stucco box builders.

    There’s enough concrete and masonry in that house to make it stand for a century.

    I think it’s tragic.

  • Wow. That’s a pretty cool house. If you wanted to buy something to tear it down, why would you buy something that has so much of the price/value tied up in the actual structure? I’m sure there are large lots in sugar land with crappy homes on them that would have been much cheaper to buy.
    Seems so odd. Maybe we’re missing something.

  • I think we need a few more comments lamenting “stucco/Tuscan/turrets/suburbs/McMansions.”

  • Joe, I think we need one more comment lamenting the lamenting. Wait, perhaps this post counts.

  • Like the Carousel house in Meyerland, I hope this beauty doesn’t go down without a fight.

  • Actually this thread has a surprisingly low amount of – out with the old, in the the tasteless – remarks. But, I guess you can’t fight progress! Plus who wants to live in Sugar Land anyway? I never understood the drive to move out to where you can get more gaudy for your dollar. It’s like an old proverb, If a really dope tree falls expensively in the forest and no one is around to notice, does anyone care?

  • Stomach-turning at the idiocy in tearing this down, but then again, our world is full of idiots. As much as I love your writing/blog I rarely stop by anymore b/c I always get very upset at stories like these. And there are so many in Houston. Blech….

  • I have spent much of my spare time (and money) in the last 6 years celebrating, enjoying, and promoting houses like these to whoever I could get to listen. I was at the Mod of the Month open house last summer and never once thought of it as a teardown. I never thought I was saying goodbye to the house. Actually I hoped that whoever bought it would invite me to their housewarming party. Whenever a modern house is torn down I feel like a little bit of my soul is torn away with it. I am going to have a good cry over this one. It’s not even 40 years old. My wife and I visited Fallingwater this year, and it was one of the highlights of my life. Of course, this house is no Fallingwater, but it is a lot closer to Fallingwater than anything else in Sugar Land. Too bad the people with the money to buy it don’t have 5 percent of the taste that the Kaufmanns had.

  • It’s a crime. You can bet someone with absolutely no taste will hire a fast talking, no taste builder, and in the place of this historical Kamrath will be a huge, mega, pseudo european piece of garbage. The owner wil greet his guests “Look how big and grand my house is” sad….

  • The horrid remodel put this house one step closer to the wrecking ball. What an utter pile of crap those people put in the house. Hopefully they saved all that ugly furniture for the new house.

  • I think you may be overstating the remodel a little. Sure, they typically did the kitchen with granite countertops and maybe a few other purist or “non-mcm offenses”. It could have been much worse. I don’t remember cringing my way through the house or thinking “complete remuddle”. Like I said before I never thought it was a tear-down. Furniture usually leaves the house when someone sells it so the fact that they like Cantoni or whatever isn’t important. The house I live in belonged to a hoarder. Thank God it wasn’t torn down. I guess what we all as passionate lovers of design and Wrightian design in particular have to realize is that we have a LONG WAY to go in promoting this style to most of the public. This example shows that.

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  • I strongly disagree. We inspected this house some six months ago. The house is structurally sound and in beautiful shape. Architects like Kamrath and Frank Lloyd Wright (his predecessor) did not build homes to last a mere 36 years. They Designed masterpieces of historical architecture that endure. Most of them throughout the country are respected, treasured, and protected. They will live on for centuries as icons of the modern movement that swept the 20th century and changed the world of architecture. Some will disappear to be replaced by poorly designed, cheaply constructed monuments of “look how big my house is”. This house will not be replaced because of bad kitchen counter remodeling choices. This house will be replaced because new owners are like so many others of this century. These people are typically hard working folks, but uneducated in design and easily influenced by “standard inside the box” builders who apply a seemingly low price per square foot to their wood frame and stucco boxes. Luckily these current trends of cookie cutter houses are only built to last 50 years. They will fall down or be torn down when no one can afford to heat and cool such massive square footage and no longer need built in theaters with overstuffed chairs and built in cup holders. Perhaps by then 50 year old humans will be considered unnecessary and euthanized to make room for newer models.

  • Hear, hear, #41!

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  • Twice the size….nice, exactly my point, thank you, and the whole thing will be new, not just the bathrooms, even better, when its done the new owners can celebtrate a fresh new bottle of wine, certainly not some old stuff. We will ALL be watching…surprise us, we dare you.

  • Wow beanybaby, you seem to have lots of insider knowledge. Could you be… GASP?! the owner? The kind of person who equates “twice the size” with “better” is the kind of person who purchases this home as a tear down.

  • “It’s twice the size and four times the beauty.” Wait, I’m confused. I thought there was a linear relationship between size and beauty. Shouldn’t that be “twice as big and twice as beautiful”? I thought the geometric relationship was between size and classiness, i.e., “twice as big and four times as classy” or “three times as big and nine times as classy.”

    By the way, does anyone know what the biggest (and therefore most beautiful) house in Houston is?

  • The largest house is the Tudor’s in RO, and it really is beautiful.

  • I have physically seen the house and to be honest it is not all that. I respect the architect. But If I bought that house I would have torn the house down myself. Besides the land is perfect to build any nice house. And If they are spending $800,000.00 on the house and breaking it down. I’ll Bet u $100.00 that these people will make a better looking house! U guys should see how beautiful the 5 acre house is right across the lake!

  • I applaud how much you people appreciate architecture and it’s value in telling stories from
    the past, but you guys really, be nice. I’ve read some harsh comments! Whatever the new owners decide to build it’s their choice, who are we to judge them.

  • Money doesn’t buy class or taste.

  • “Whatever the new owners decide to build it’s their choice, who are we to judge them.”

    We are people interested in architecture with opinions. Nothing more, nothing less. Our opinions have very little sway over other people’s actions. At best, this forum may have a small part in influencing public opinion. Much more commonly, it is a conversation amongst a small number of people interested in architecture, real estate, and goings on in Houston.

    That the owners of this property chose to tear down an architecturally interesting structure is of interest here. Therefore it will be discussed. Of course they own the property and have the right to do with it what they want within the letter of the law. Likewise, we have the right to comment on their actions. Who are we to judge? We are people with opinions and the means to express them.

  • Not to be too rude but it’s Sugar Creek which was never known for anything other than tract housing cleverly disguised as custom. The buyers obviously bought the lot, not the house. The house was nice. But as someone else has pointed out, not all that. It was, to be honest, out of place in Sugar Creek. As for preservationists they had an opportunity to buy the house. There were no takers. There was no historic designation for the house although in Texas that means nothing. And no covenant requiring the buyer to maintain it. So it really is the buyer’s choice to do what they want with it. And their choice was to tear it down.

    Want a house preserved? Put your money where your mouth is and buy it yourself.

    Blame the sellers. Not the buyers. Covenants are perfectly legal and binding. They also restrict the ability to sell your house. As do historic districts.