A Frank Lloyd Wright–designed home in Texas? Yes!
Most of Wright’s designs dot the Midwest. However, Houston insurance executive William Thaxton had a dream to “move out to the country” and establish a neighborhood in the 1950s. The result is one of three Wright-designed homes in Texas, and the only one in Houston.
That neighborhood is now Bunker Hill, 30 minutes from downtown Houston on the west side.
There is a caveat: “To a Frank Lloyd Wright purist, I would tell you that it’s been redone,” says listing agent Clay Joyner with JP & Associates.
But it’s not what you think, and Wright likely isn’t rolling over in his grave.
The current owners, with Kirksey Architecture, performed extensive renovations from 1991 to 1995, not only getting the property into tiptop shape but also adding luxe amenities that are, amazingly, in line with Wright’s vision.
What was once a modest 1,800-square-foot home now has five bedrooms and 6.5 baths, thanks to a 6,300-square-foot addition.
The home retains original features such as the redwood and mahogany woods, polished concrete floors, concrete blocks, and plate glass. The newer spaces include an enclosed patio, central courtyard, and expanded family room.
The original carport now doubles as a covered entry or patio. Original to the design are a pool and patio, as well as the master bath and interior built-ins. Removing two bedrooms as well as original furniture in the master bedroom created more open space.
“The living space is extremely open,” says Joyner. “That was (Wright’s) whole idea—bringing the outside in.”
A fun feature is a sliding window off the master bath that leads right to the pool. “You can literally step out of that window and into the pool,” says Joyner.
Infrastructure (namely HVAC) was added as well.
“It has everything that would be considered over and above in regard to what you need to heat it and cool it,” says Joyner. This includes geothermal heating and cooling added during the ’90s.
Even without a house on it, the land (1.2 acres) would be worth at least $2 million given the neighborhood—making this Wright home a relative bargain.
“The neighborhood lends itself to one of the most exclusive parts of Houston,” says the agent. Most homes sell for between $2 million and $2.4 million here.
It’s also close to urban amenities. “You are minutes from anything, but it’s peaceful, it’s quiet, and it’s serene,” says Joyner.
“After 27 years and raising a family there, he’s retiring and moving forward,” Joyner says of the current owner. “We are bound and determined to find someone who appreciates the Frank Lloyd Wright legacy.”
In fact, he thinks the buyer might not even live in the U.S., let alone Texas.
“Houston has become such an international marketplace. We want to believe there’s going to be some international interest. Someone overseas is going to appreciate it more than someone across the road,” says Joyner.
He also thinks it could work as a corporate purchase—perhaps an architectural firm’s “calling card” to entertain clients. “That (concept) has actually gained some traction and interest in Houston.”
Whoever buys it will walk away with a singular treasure.
“It’s a work of art,” says Joyner, “and a piece of history.”
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