The Scene of the Scuffle: Super-Sized Southern Colonial on Buffalo Speedway

If this West U mansion on Buffalo Speedway brings to mind a game of Clue, chalk it up to its interior layout — and its inadvertent role in a jewelry pilfering attempt by a house-hunting poseur earlier this year.

As with the classic board game, the listing identifies each room by its function. There’s a Music Room. A Loggia. Even a Billiards Room. It was in a Bedroom back in January, however, that an unassuming early guest at an open house allegedly rummaged through a jewelry drawer. He left quickly and empty-handed, but first  “body-slammed” the sales agent who had interrupted him. An account of the incident that appeared in the Village News at the time (no longer online, unfortunately) said the perp, believed to have been working high-end open houses in 2 cities, was quickly ID’d, due in part to a fast-and-furious word-of-mouth campaign among Houston-area Realtors to name him and flush-out his whereabouts — and to remind fellow agents to be careful when showing properties.

The upshot? Don’t be surprised one of these days if you’re asked to show an ID and pose for a cell phone photo at a slightly less open open house. No ID required for this tour, though:


Built to oil boom scale and sensibilities, the 1981 mansion channels the opulence of even earlier economic heydays. Interior finishes include marble, granite, and carved woodwork, such as the kinda Corinthian columns. Accents, meanwhile, include antique and stained glass, wooden tiles, mother-of-pearl, Waterford chandeliers, and hand-painted Gracie panels.

The Living Room:

The Dining Room:

The Family Room:

The Bar:

A Hallway:

The Kitchen:

The Morning Room:

The Music Room:

The Study:

The 8-bath home has 5-7 bedrooms, including this extra master bedroom downstairs:

Meanwhile, upstairs, there’s an extra kitchen:

The Billiards Room:

The Loggia:

And the Game Room:

The ceiling upstairs has this focal point:

The master bedroom upstairs measures 39 ft. by 20 ft. and has a wood-burning fireplace:

The Dressing Room:

One of the other bathrooms:

On part of the nearly half-acre lot, a lazy river off the saltwater pool winds beneath a footbridge and past a gazebo and grotto with waterfall.

The home’s asking price dropped last month to $2,550,000, and again last weekend to $2,495,000. That’s down more than $350,000 from last November, when the home was re-listed. A previous listing had sought $2,950,000 for six months, starting about a year ago.

11 Comment

  • Yikes. Drop the price a LOT more to compensate for the way over due updates.The green carpet is a hoot. And the thief needs to be made to open doors at myriad open houses. The tedium will make him crack.

  • Needs some updates from the 80’s to the carpets, bathrooms and kitchen(s), but that’s a nice place.

  • I like the backyard. The house itself, not so much….I’d probably get lost in it.

  • This must have been the first of the “McMansions” built in West U by those who had a slight inferiority complex and somehow just were horrified by the prospect of moving to River Oaks and being completely ignored. Of course some who had slight superiority complexes took the “McMansions” to River Oaks. And were, well, indeed ignored. Too much money, too little taste doesn’t work well anywhere. As for these “second kitchens” the purpose of being rich is to have staff so you don’t ever have to even go into a kitchen. So I suspect some like them in case they lose it all – they can turn the “McMansion” into a duplex.

  • That green carpet is just plain bad. Absolutely love the back yard. Too bad all of the neighbors can see in it. What good is having a pool that awesome when you can’t even enjoy privacy.

  • No. Hold on to all the 80s touches. In about 30 years, people will pay a premium for that stuff when “late century frump” becomes all the rage.

  • Mr. Green, in the Game Room, with the rope.

  • I remember when Virginia Bell..had this house..such a southern lady she was… still looks good…tad overdone….

  • The extra kitchen is probably for live-in staff or grandparent.

  • The morning room seems…..well….small.

    I have no idea how the rich live day to day but not being rich, I’m sure I’d get tired just trying to get around in that place.

    Hell, I’m tired just looking at all the photos.

    I agree though, the back yard is great.

  • this house was built by the lady that owned Cellar Door BBQ