12/04/17 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE ONLY MACKIE AND KAMRATH HOMES LEFT ON THE TIEL WAY LOOP “. . . My husband and I drove around Tiel Way after the storm to check on all the MacKie and Kamraths. There were several homes on the street that flooded — and not just by a few inches but into their second levels. One of the things that make the Kamraths of this era (and really, many high-end midcentury homes) so gorgeous and unique is the abundant use of wood panels for all walls, doors, built-in storage cabinets and seating — everything. But it also makes them particularly expensive and hard to fix after extensive water damage. As Swamplot reported earlier this year, the home at 2 Tiel Way was bought with the intention to restore but had so much termite and water damage it would have cost double to restore compared to a full rebuild price. So that’s what they are doing: rebuilding the same house. . . . It’s a controversial choice but in my opinion it’s the best architectural conservation alternative to demolition. But not everyone has the resources to undertake something like a full architectural rebuild. So while the demo of this house, one of Kamrath’s finest, is certainly a punch in the gut . . . I get it. They probably would have saved it if they could. Tiel Way was the last concentration of MacKie and Kamrath’s great residential works, at one point having 7 homes on the loop. After this demolition we will be down to 2.5: the Gold Brick–awarded restoration at 67 Tiel Way (which thankfully, did not appear to have Harvey flooding issues), Kamrath’s own residence at 8 Tiel Way (definitely flooded, but appears to be safe at the moment), and the rebuild currently in progress at 2 Tiel Way. 48 Tiel Way won’t be the only midcentury treasure lost to Harvey, but it’s certainly one of the saddest to see go.” [Rabbit, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Tiel Repeal; previously on Swamplot] Photo of 48 Tiel Way: HAR

08/02/17 3:45pm

Here’s a view from late last week of the back of former Exxon Upstream Research facility at 3120 Buffalo Spdwy., as crews continue their demolition magic. Transwestern Development and Spear Street Capital purchased the 16.9-acre site from the oil giant in March, and shortly thereafter began removing structures from the property, including the 550,000-sq.-ft. 1962 building by MacKie and Kamrath Architects — shown here in half-gone mode — and its attached auditorium, which was added in 2003. The eastern wall of the attached parking garage is still visible in the photo.

And here’s a view from yesterday, as demolition advances toward the structure’s Buffalo Spdwy. façade:


Slice by Slice
04/02/15 4:00pm



The craggy terrain backing Buffalo Bayou in River Oaks near the neighborhood’s decorative gates at Shepherd Dr. sprouted several Usonian-design inspired homes by the architecture firm of MacKie & Kamrath back in the fifties. One of the modernist properties that still remains on the Tiel Way loop landed on the market Monday — and it’s in near original shape, right down to the redwood siding and built-in furnishings. A 1957 structure noted in architectural circles for its angles, wedges, cantilevered terraces, and detail-layered ceilings, the bayou-view home on a ravine lot now bears a $2.5 million price tag.


River Oaks Wrightists
08/30/12 1:41pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE HOUSTON DESIGN SWEEPSTAKES “MacKie and Kamrath seem to be winning the award for most demolished landmark buildings in the last 18 months. . . .” [Matt, commenting on M.D. Anderson Planning To Extract Dental Branch from Med Center]

08/29/12 1:00pm

The 1955 building Houston architects MacKie and Kamrath designed (along with several later additions) for the University of Texas Dental Branch will be removed from its home at the corner of MD Anderson Blvd. and Moursund in the Med Center, according to the Texas Historical Commission. The UT School of Dentistry abandoned the 5-story, granite-faced building earlier this year for a new 300,000-sq.-ft. facility in the new UT Health Science Center Research Park south of the Med Center proper (and OST) at 7500 Cambridge St. UT’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which owns the Med Center site, hasn’t yet announced a schedule for the demolition.


08/02/11 4:47pm

A reader sends us this latest photo (at bottom, with close-up) of the ongoing smashing and crushing action at the former home of Astrodome builder H.A. Lott on Sugar Creek Blvd. in Sugar Land. The low-slung, Frank Lloyd Wright-ish house designed for Lott in 1975 by Houston architect Karl Kamrath was put on the market last year after a renovation.

Photos: HAR (before), Swamplot inbox (after)

07/27/11 4:26pm

Courtesy of a Swamplot reader who spied the wreckage, we now have photo confirmation that the recently renovated former home of Astrodome builder H.A. Lott, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright devotee Karl Kamrath in 1975, is currently being smashed to pieces. That’s the steel frame of the north end of the house being mangled above. And we have a video, too! Not of the demolition — but of the sleek-looking home itself last year, when it was on the market for just over a million bucks. Treacly but ultimately ineffective soundtrack included:


07/27/11 9:14am

The director of a recent documentary about the late architect and educator Samuel Mockbee says he’s already received pledges for about half the money he thinks he and his production team will need to raise for his next project: a feature-length film about midcentury modern architecture in Houston — or what’s left of it. Houston native Sam Wainwright Douglas’s Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio has appeared on PBS, in local theaters, and on the museum circuit since its debut at SXSW last year. Douglas says he hasn’t fixed the lineup for his Houston movie, but he’s hoping to profile local architects Harwood Taylor, Hugo Neuhaus, Howard Barnstone, and William Jenkins and their work, as well as buildings by modernist firms such as MacKie and Kamrath and Lloyd & Morgan. (If he wants to capture any portions of MacKie and Kamrath’s Sugar Land oeuvre, he’ll have to hurry.)


07/25/11 1:07pm

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:


08/13/10 12:47pm

This low-slung sorta Usonian-style home mounted between the Sugar Creek and Riverbend country clubs in Sugar Land was built in 1975 by and for Houston builder H.A. Lott, known for his work constructing the Astrodome, among many other local buildings. The home was designed by local Frank Lloyd Wright devotee Karl Kamrath of MacKie and Kamrath Architects. After a few recent updates of the granite countertop, mosaic tile, and vessel-sink variety, it went on the market last month — for $1,080,000.


05/22/07 10:34am

Back View of 5226 Berry Creek

Stained Glass Window at 5226 Berry Creek Dr.A three-bedroom, two-bath, 2700-square-foot house on a cul-de-sac. A half-acre, wooded, park-like lot. Overlooking the bayou. Designed by Houston’s own Frank-Lloyd-Wrightian architects, MacKie & Kamrath, and built in 1969. Lots of built-ins and stained glass.

At $259,000, is it a bargain?

It’s in Meadow Creek Village. Meadowcreek has some nice mid-century moderns. But yes, it’s on the southeast side of Houston, and it’s not too far from Hobby Airport or Pasadena. That bayou is Berry Creek, a tributary of Sims Bayou.

So some of you are probably imagining how nice this house would be if it were only in a different part of town.

How nice would it be? Read on for an estimate—and more photos.