Today Swamplot is sponsored by condos that happen to be for sale in Regency House. Thanks for supporting Swamplot!
As far back as 1951, when he announced plans for a 15-story co-op on the site of what is now the Huntingdon, developer Bill Dickey had wanted to build a highrise in the area now known as Upper Kirby. But it took 2 more attempts, a change of site, and more than a decade for that to happen. The 13-story Regency House apartment building, designed by the architecture firm of Turner & Geyer on the former site of the Avalon Mill & Lumber Co. at 2701 Westheimer Rd. just west of Kirby Dr., finally opened in 1962. It featured a gas pump in the garage, a hair salon, a private restaurant/club on the penthouse level (the Napoleon Club), and a bowling alley. (Dickey moved into the building’s top floor and opened an office there too.) If you ignored the 1926 Plaza Hotel on Montrose, it was Houston’s first suburban building taller than 3 stories to sprout west of Main St.
The building was converted to condos in 1980. The Napoleon Club later became office space for Mid-Main developer Bob Schultz; it’s since been converted into a private residence. Among the building’s roster of current and former residents are the proprietors of the Sloan/Hall boutique across the street; interior designers Barbara Hill and Brent McCaleb; Tootsies owner Mickey Rosmarin; Wayne Smith of Wayne Smith Jewels; restaurateur Benjy Levit, and PaperCity publisher Holly Moore — which might help explain the regular appearance of Regency House interiors in that publication and several local and national shelter mags.
If you’re interested in poking around the building for yourself, visit the upcoming open house in Unit 12BC. It’s scheduled for Sunday, February 21, from 2 to 4 pm.
Got a building with a bit of history you’d like to see Swamplot readers pay attention to? Contact us about our Sponsor of the Day program.