Yes, This $2.65 Million 1938 Southern Colonial Estate Is in Riverside Terrace


This graceful estate is a bit coy about revealing its Riverside Terrace address. The street name and number are hidden on HAR, though other sites using the same MLS info show it. You’d be able to figure it out anyway: Aerial maps and old architectural guides show the circular driveway, massive lot, and balanced opposing wings of a homestead across from Parkwood Park, located just south of S. MacGregor (and Brays Bayou) and east of Del Rio. That would make it the Kurth House, a 1938 southern colonial whose design is attributed to Henry A. Stubee. It was the first home built in the Parkwood section of the vintage neighborhood. Grand (and grand-scale), the tended property is reported to have changed ownership only 4 times in its 75 years. If you could afford the $2.65 million asking price, would you sign on to be number 5?



Vistas unfold outside (above) and inside, where a wide entry hallway (flanked by living room and paneled library) widens further for an inner, central hall with sweeping  staircase. There are pediments aplenty, cresting doorways . . .


and, in broken form, the mantel in the living room. A slight barrel to the ceiling rolls in at 11 ft. 6 in. up:


Across the hall, the paneled library gets another of the 4 gas log fireplaces — and a park view:


Hungry? Pick a menu venue. There’s a formal dining room, served with a view of back yard and patio . . .


a formal breakfast room that’s warmed by another of the fireplaces . . .


and a cozy paneled nook attached to one end of the kitchen:


Ankles beware in the butler’s pantry — there’s a belly-up-to-the-bar rail. Mobs of knobs open a variety of storage options in this space that plays many roles between the dining room, kitchen, second staircase, and central hall:




The floor plan downstairs includes a sunny enclosed porch with access to the back yard, on the south side of the 111,980-sq.-ft. property. Do the math; it’s slightly over 2 and a half acres.


A first-floor bedroom (not the master) doubles as another sitting room near . . .


the powder room (though it’s a full- not a half-bath):


Beam down to the basement — yes, there’s a basement — for a cypress-paneled room that appears to be wine-friendly:


In contrast to the heavy cellar, lacy balustrades dance up the main staircase.


Another of the fireplaces warms up the master suite:


The listing photo merely hints at the bath and adjacent dressing room.


A “sitting room” has been used as office:


Among the 5, 6, or 7 bedrooms (lower numbers work if you’ve lost count, or repurposed 1 or 2) is this one, with a private bath:



And this one, also with a private bath (not shown):


The plank-lined game room on the third level runs most of the width of the home . . .


Both ends of the chillax pad have been given room status.


Meanwhile, a guest haus with breeze-catching porch adds another (paneled) living-dining room, (paneled) kitchen, (paneled and painted) bedroom, and bathroom to the estate’s room count:









Parkside on South Parkwood

23 Comment

  • This is one of the best houses in the most affluent section of Riverside Terrace. It’s cool to see the neighborhood coming back, it’s still boarded by sketchy areas and the demographic is pretty awful, but it’s getting better. When the affluent Jewish community left (or in some cases forced out) the neighborhood went into a death spiral, with many of the great houses left to squaller–it’s cool that the area has been rediscovered by the urban pioneer gays and the medical center professionals–the schools are still horrid!!! but HISD has open enrollment, still good luck–I really wish that eccentric wing nut that owns the Weingarten Mansion would sell it, he actually stated that he likes the look of decay and squaller –WTF?–this is the kind of crap you have to deal with from the older stock of owners in Riverside Terrace –ugh

  • Beautiful and tasteful! I always have a soft spot for homes in Riverside Terrace and its historical significance in Houston.

  • Omg, so glad to see this and it’s so funny how they’d try to “hide” the location. I had no idea this pocket of high end stuff existed. I was driving by one of our uglier complexes on Tierwester. I took a wrong trun and next thing you know I was in an area that looked like freggin river oaks
    So trippy that a pocket of such nice homes are RIGHT next to such ugly run down stuff. I just told my wife about it the other night.

  • Laugh all you want, but in my opinion, that price is a bargain. In 20 years, it’ll be worth double if we continue to grow. A beautiful, historic, and VERY well located central neighborhood with the best inner loop topography to boot.

    Sadly, the McMansions and McCondos are quickly approaching so people like Shannon’s ilk will begin to feel safer around all those black folks…

  • Some on here really earn their screen names. I champion this neighborhood and I hope it returns to the gorgeous neighborhood it was before the people who built it were driven out by hate. Watch the documentary on Riverside Terrace called, This is our home, it is not for sale”–then we can talk, you have no clue about the history of this neighborhood and you obviously never read my comments because I’m always about preservation and I’m always bitching about these McMansions you speak of–my house was built in the 1930’s!!!–to act like this area hasn’t been isolated and desecrated by the demographics of the area is delusional–the area in the 30’s thru the late 70’s was safe and relatively prosperous, then the original home owners were forced out by crime, politics of the times, and unscrupulous realtors that ruined the entire area–it’s slowly coming back, but it was so run down it’s taken years to slightly turn it around –the building of 288 didn’t help, it further isolated the are from Hermann Park and the Medical Center–in short, do some research before making unfounded accusations–

  • Shannon – have you had work done on your home? We moved to RT and looking for a contractor that has experience working in respect to the original design/look of the home.

  • Shannon,

    Thanks for the lecture. By the way, I’ve seen the film. I think you missed the entire point of the film, but that isn’t surprising. Here’s all you need to know about Riverside Terrace;

    1) It came to be because Jewish families were forbidden to buy property in many of the best Houston neighborhoods (River Oaks).

    2) It was built adjacent to Third Ward, Houston’s healthiest and wealthiest black neighborhood.

    3) When deed restrictions were changed, Houston’s most powerful Jewish families sold as quickly as they could and often to wealthy black families.

    4) When the blacks moved in, the rest of the Jewish families who could afford to moved out.

    5) In the 1970s, after school desegregation, the wealthy black families began to move away because the area just North of the bayou had turned to a slum and the local schools were not seen as worthy.

    6) Without a stable upper class (either Jewish or Black), the neighborhood fell to crap.

  • African-Americans were not allowed per deed restrictions in Riverside Terrace until the Civil Rights Act and Equal Housing became the law of the land. Everyone seems to love to discriminate against someone else in this country. Makes them feel “elite” and “better than” someone else who becomes “less than” as a result of the discrimination. But in reality not everyone does. Riverside Terrace was never a “Jewish” neighborhood. It was merely predominantly Jewish. It is now merely predominantly African-American.

    What was appalling about what happened to Riverside Terrace was the matter of the “blockbusting” by unscrupulous realtors. “Better sell your home now while I can still get you a good price….”

  • The owner is a Harvard educated lawyer. See kids, graduate from college and you too can live in the big house.

  • Shannon – Thanks for the suggestion(movie) and the info. I had no idea about this area. now I’m interested to see what happened.
    We own some apartments around there but I’ve only seen the bad parts. It wasn’t until a wrong turn the other week that I drove around some amazing homes. It felt like the twilight zone to see such nice stuff in the middle of so many other run down properties..
    Even without having seen those places, I knew/know the area has to improve. It’s just too close to freeways, downtown, midtown/Montrose, medical center, rice, herman park, etc. So you’re THAT close to almost everything the city provides, yet the rents are near $ and the homes are even less.

  • Yeah, I just mapped… We have “low end” apartments that are literally 2 minutes & 1/2 mile from this property. Only in Houston can you rent a 2 bed apartment for under $600 while down the road from a $2m+ property. You’d think being next to some old junky stuff would be a serious turn off to a new buyer. Most people spending MILLIONS on a home want to be next to other nice stuff — Not just nice homes but nice amenities: Walk to nice shopping, entertainment, etc. That area — sadly — has none of that. It’s *CLOSE* via car but the immediate area kinda sucks.
    I’d have a hard time not buying slightly less house but in the Montrose/West U / midtown area over this one, but that’s just me. But in terms of house/yard and “close” to good areas (even if not IN a good area) this place is pretty hard to beat.

  • I used to live in RT in the early 1980’s ( Hurricane Alicia blew through-knocked down a large oak tree,nearly smashed the garage.Thank goodness we had gas & water afterwards-the power was on within 24 hours). The house I lived in faces Calhoun Rd. directly across from MacGregor Park… The Calhoun Rd. property has a 1+ acre lot. And a smattering of old growth oak trees. Another gracious well preserved property in RT…RT has a lot of historic,period homes spanning numerous architectural styles.

  • Sigh*–no area of Third Ward was as wealthy as Riverside Terrace, it was by far and away the River Oaks of the Third Ward. Wealthy Jewish families were forced to leave by the block busting. No group is more liberal or giving to minority causes than Jewish Americans, they even chose to put their affluent enclave in an historic black area, something wealthy WASPS would NEVER do–I don’t need a lecture I’m
    Very familiar with Riverside Terrace and its history –all your blathering just proved my point –and the so called “wealthy” blacks never took care of the houses in the neighborhood it went down hill almost immediately after the Jewish Americans moved out–I rode my bike over there all the time when I was a kid living in Southampton and I watched it go to sh#t–I liked the hilly area to bike ride with my friends, but almost over night it became a slum and became very dangerous –I’ve never seen a neighborhood fall so far so fast, it was a shocking –boarded up windows and overgrown yards literally over night –it was awful–so it’s so refreshing to see people who give a sh*t about mowing a yard and fixing a window moving into the neighborhood–it’s on the rebound in a major way–and I for one am thankful to the new professionals moving in and making a difference.–as a Houstonian who cares about preservation, I thank you.

  • Here’s a 1987 map for a driving tour of the homes of architectural significance in RT:

    I have been meaning to do it myself to see how many remain since 1987, and in what condition. Lots of cool stuff around there.

  • Shannon exactly how old are you–58?
    You claim to be in your mid 30’s so it is completely illogical that you would be a witness to the “neighborhood going to “sh#T” Since Blacks started moving in the neighborhood in the early to mid 1960s that freefall would have occurred “almost overnight” by 1970 long before your parents would have let you ride your bike over there–let alone before you were born. And for the record, gays and other renovators were moving into Riverside Terrace in the very early 90’s so this neighborhood has been on the radar for twenty plus years. To say that people were “forced” to sell is ludicrous. People CHOSE to sell–whether out of fear, ignorance, upward mobility or strong arming from unscrupulous realtors. And what is ironic that if the Jewish owners were indeed so liberal and supportive of minority causes, then the area would not have suffered from white flight. All of your histrionics not withstanding, it is a great neighborhood worthy of all types of people and worthy of a rebounding comeback.

  • Superdave! Thanks for sharing that awesome tour map– looks like it would make for a great bike ride on a nice weekend.

  • I rode thru Riverside Terrace in the late 80’s, you need a math lesson –anyway, I won’t argue a Jewish American philanthropy, history speaks for itself –I’m just happy the neighborhood has been found again by people who give a shit–Mazeltov

  • Honestly, you have no clue the pressure on those people to sell–are you at all familiar with block busting –to disparage a group when you have not walked in their shoes is obtuse –the Jewish community has always been open minded and has given billions to black causes–they had the first banks that lent to blacks etc–many didn’t chose to leave the area they were forced out –I’m tired of arguing this point–let’s move on—nice house –fair price–cool rediscovered area–end of story–
    area–end of story

  • Yes I know what blockbusting is. My Grandmother’s neighborhood in Dallas underwent a similar fate and no one forced her or her neighbors to sell. She sold out of fear of being a widow alone in a “black” neighborhood and because she was prejudiced (though she would never have seen herself in the light). And you need to get your facts straight–Riverside starting integrating in 1962 so the rapid decline you oh so dramatically described as though you were watching an exodus would have occurred 15-20 years before you rode your bike. It doesn’t matter if the Jewish community sold their collective souls to the devil for the Blacks. No one is debating their liberalism or their good deeds.–I only said it was ironic. But the fact remains that those that sold out did so for fear of change, prejudice or whatever you want to call it. That is the end of the story.

  • Please note that my comments were not intended to be against riverside terrace or that whole area. I was making a comment about an area just south of the subject house where we have an apartment building (6000 block of Terirwester). We you have that big of a difference in housing quality literally feet from each other, it struck me as worth commenting on.
    I know this is quite a different area than the area north of the subject property (Southmore/Almeda) where we own other buildings. When I was making a comment on ‘good vs. bad’ I was referring to this house vs. our Tierwester apts, not our units North
    But be that as it may… We’ve been a cheerleader for this area for a while. I’ve made a lot of comments in support of the area and we spend a lot to fix that area up (the best we can, we are only so large). We have quite a lot riding on this area improving so want to contribute what we can to make it happen.
    Okay, so RT people, please back off a bit on me now :) I’m on your side ya know. I wasn’t trying to make a dig on the whole area.

  • Anyone know where I can I get a history of grievances with some pictures of a cool old house?

  • For those of you who want a deeper knowledge of the history of Riverside Terrace, I recommend watching “THIS IS OUR HOME, IT’S NOT FOR SALE”. It explains everything as to why it went downhill so quickly. Director Jon Schwartz made the documentary in the mid 80’s, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only is the film rich in history, it’s extremely well done. I would even say his directing technique was fairly modern for the time period. I’m somewhat surprised that a couple of you here have actually watched it, TBO. Here’s the website:

    The film is fairly impossible to watch if you do not own it, as it is only sometimes aired on PBS, there are no clips or any other media on the film floating around the internet. If you want to watch it, you must buy it from the director himself, via money order or check, mailed to his address on the website. There is no other way to get it, no way to contact him either. Anyway, I do own a copy, so luckily, he is still selling them. The history of Riverside runs deep and the film truly explains the racial themes and social classes of the time. It’s fascinating…it’s amazing what can happen to the absolutely best neighborhoods when when a social balance goes out of whack. We are still dealing with these issues even today, despite how integrated our society has become.

  • It is unfortunate that idiots like Shannon still feel that gays and medical center professionals “turned around” the area. There are many homeowners of diverse backgrounds, couples, gay, downtown professionals and singles that contributed to the remodel of many of the older homes. Part of the issue of the decline of the neighborhood had more to do with redlining of the appraisals and sellers unable to receive fair market value for their tear downs than just sellers not wanting to do anything to their homes. Even if you did a quality remodel and tried to refinance you were redlined. Stop the negative press, idiot! Thankfully this home is a prime example of the value of the area. A non-gay homeowner sold this home to another, wait for it….. non-gay homeowner! Jeez, who would of thought that a home could sell for market value in the area.