Liese House

328 Buckingham
  • Year Built
  • Building Type
    Single-Family Residential
  • Neighborhood
    Bayou Woods
  • Quadrant
  • Status
    Mod No More

`Hidden behind screen walls of pink Mexican brick, this linear modern house, planned and detailed in the manner of the Los Angeles architect Richard Neutra, conceals a curvilinear patio garden laid out by the San Francisco landscape architect Thomas D. Church.` -Stephen Fox, Houston Architecture Guide, Second Edition.

`For the Burton Liese House, also by Hermon Lloyd, [Thomas] Church designed one of his most iconic Houston gardens. The process by which it was created is documented by 11 letters written between March 12 and September 10, 1953 (preserved in the Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, Berkeley), in which Lloyd and Liese explain to Church the difficulty they had executing the design and the extra costs incurred in developing the schematic plans. Despite the fact that Liese ultimately asked Church to stop working on the project, he was pleased with the design, which cost him $987.60. When the Liese House and garden were featured in the April 1954 Contemporary Arts Association`s Modern House Tour, the Houston Post called Church a `landscape artist`. The Liese House was demolished in 2005, but its garden is documented by contemporary photographs and two presentation plans. The wooded 1.4-acre property in Bayou Woods was distinguished by a shallow ravine running east to west. As at the Straus house (53 Briar Hollow Lane, demolished) Church inserted a gridded, concrete-paved terrace with a retaining wall where the two wings of the L-shaped dwelling met. Church also fitted a freeform swimming pool along the eastern edge of the terrace. A raised, circular, brick-clad pedestal jutted into the pool and provided a place for sunbathing and for the Lieses to pose for photographs with their Great Dane. Two freestanding bathhouses and rectangular beds for cut flowers were to be installed along the property`s southeast boundary.` -Ben Koush, Organic Gardens: The Houston Landscape Designs of Thomas Church. CITE Magazine 73, Winter 2008.