Owsley House

65 Briar Hollow Lane
  • Architect
  • Year Built
  • Building Type
    Single-Family Residential
  • Neighborhood
    Briar Hollow
  • Quadrant
  • Status

According to a November, 1963, article entitled “Steel And Glass House On Buffalo Bayou.” in Interiors Magazine, Alvin Owsley, a young attorney told Howard Barnstone that his family wanted “A big house and we want it now, not when we are 80 and have enough money for one.” Soon after, the great mid-century modern architect managed to design what architectural historian, Stephen Fox, later described as “one of Howard Barnstone’s most sensational houses.”

Barnstone framed the house in his favorite and least expensive way at the time, steel and glass, and 3 floors of it. The first floor is built into the hillside and serves as a carport as well as a buffer from possible overflow of Buffalo Bayou. One enters the house by walking over a bridge on the second level, which features a two story all glass and steel living room. Flooring on the main level is teak and the draperies are lined raw silk. Balconies encircle the upper two levels allowing connections from indoors to outdoors from nearly every room.

As with many Bolton and Barnstone homes, Fred Buxton was the landscape architect.

The house is certainly one of Houston`s most magnificent mid-century modern homes.

The house was damaged in Hurricane Harvey and has been vacant since.

In January 2024, the award-winning architectural firm of Rottet Studio announced plans to demolish the house and replace it with a new structure for the firm’s offices and showroom. (per the Architect’s Newspaper, February 2024 edition)