02/19/16 3:45pm

The Sterling Mansion, 515 Bayridge Rd., La Porte, TX 77571

The century-old semi-model of the White House in Morgan’s Point, commissioned by then-future Texas governor Ross Sterling (founder of ExxonMobil’s Humble Oil beginnings), is once again up for grabs. The 20,689-sq.-ft. home at 515 Bayridge Rd. — purported to be the result of Sterling pointing at the back of a $20 bill and telling architect Alfred E. Finn to “build that” — went on the market this morning for $6 million (that’s 300,000 $20s).

The 9-bedroom, 15-bathroom mansion was converted into a dormitory-style boy’s home for the Optimist Club of Houston after Sterling’s death in 1949; it was sold in the early 1960’s to a Houston banker who eventually decided that cleaning it back up wasn’t worth the trouble. The house sat on the market for 8 years until its sale to a mysterious French Count-type in 1980. This time around, the house is being sold by an orthopedic surgeon who put in $1.5 million in renovations, including a sand-and-palm tree beach (tucked below the South(west) Portico on the edge of upper Galveston Bay):

On Sale in Morgan’s Point
04/29/15 11:30am




It’s a grand view of Upper Galveston Bay from a lattice-wrapped century-old Victorian home in Grandview. The bayfront stretch of Morgan’s Point in La Porte was an early 20th Century enclave of upper-crust summer residences. The 1896 home sits near the water end of the lot, which is nearly an acre; 1886 quarters anchor the gated entry off the lone roadway serving a string of shoreline-hugging properties, which includes the 1928 Ross Sterling mansion and its mega-sized, treeless lot. This property, however, has plenty of plantings. County tax records indicate the spread has been in the same family since at least the early (19)80s. The asking price for the listing, which went up earlier this month, is $1.2 million. 


Lattice Wrap
12/02/13 3:00pm



In the Morgan’s Point Historic District, a 1997-vintage custom home’s water-view windows and width-of-house veranda (visible through the window in the top photo) provide vantage points for some relaxing Upper Galveston Bay surveillance. The waterway is likely to be full of passing activity; the Barbour’s Cut shipping terminal is nearby. The bayside property, designed by Bruce Conaway and built by John Wycoff & Associates, includes an updated 1900 carriage house, which sits closer to the street on this deep lot with a 103-ft.-long private beach and a 400-ft.-long shared pier.