Happy Holidays from Houston Mod

As 2020 comes to an end, we write to thank you for supporting Houston Mod. Unfortunately we will not be hosting a Houston Mod Member Holiday Party this year. Please stay tuned for a future Houston Mod celebration once it is safe to participate in large gatherings.

Houston Mod met the challenges 2020 presented, adjusting procedures as necessary to continue to promote knowledge and appreciation of modern architecture in Houston and Texas.

In January Houston Mod members celebrated the rededication of the Dunbar Chambers Memorial Chapel designed by MacKie & Kamrath. The chapel, located at the Holly Hall Retirement Community, was the location for Houston Mod’s 2019 Holiday Party. Until recently the Chapel was largely unknown by the local preservation and architecture community, however, through the efforts of Master Mod and Holly Hall Board President Diann Lewter, the chapel has been designated a City of Houston Landmark.

Prior to the Houston city-wide stay home work safe order issued in March, members ventured to Shreveport, Louisiana in February for two days of architectural touring lead by architectural historian and Master Mod Stephen Fox and architect, Guy Carwile. We look forward to continuing to offer travel tours.

In June Docomomo US, our national nonprofit partner, highlighted Houston in their online Regional Spotlight on Modernism. If you missed the 5-part series, start at Making Houston Modern and click through the articles. In November, Docomomo US announced the 2020 Modernism in America Awards; Houston Mod board president, Steve Curry, was honored to serve on the national Awards Committee. Congratulations to Amy Walton for receiving a Special Citation for Grassroots Initiative for the modTexas Instagram campaign to socially map mods across Texas.

Also in November, Steve Curry participated in a lively conversation about Houston and Texas modern heritage as a guest on “Live from The Heritage Society with Mister McKinney”.

Behind the scenes Houston Mod provides consultation for various midcentury minded projects in our region. This includes working with the Galveston Historical Society on modern residential resiliency and mitigation strategies; and with the NASA Johnson Space Center in review of new construction projects at the historic 1960s Manned Space Center (Johnson Space Center) master planned campus.

Our very popular Mod of the Month program adapted to the times with socially distanced open houses with drive-by options and, as always, via online realtor provided photo tours at HAR .com. This year’s Mod of the Months included 5443 Whispering Creek Way (sold!); 319 Westminster Dr. (sold!); 203 Chimney Rock Rd (price reduced!); 403 Hunters Park Ln (contract pending); 411 W. Gaywood Dr. (price reduced!); 4603 Ivanhoe St. (featured in a Mr. McKinney’s Historic Houston video walk-thru); 1409 Dickson St, El Campo (price reduced!); 523 Bolton Pl. (sold!); and 8113 McAvoy Dr.

Planning is underway for Houston Mod 2021 programs including more Mods of the Month, Modern Month in April, special tours of local modern landmarks, and a call for entries for the 2021 Houston Mod Preservation Awards.

As an all­ volunteer nonprofit organization, none of this is possible without support from our members. Houston Mod wishes you a very happy and safe holiday season. We look forward to celebrating modernism with you in the new year.

To join or renew visit the Houston Mod Membership page. 


Photo: Holiday lights on Main Street, downtown Houston, December 6, 1960.
Houston Press Photographic Collection, Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library