Owsley House

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

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.

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

While the house has been painted a greenish-yellow, all of the original charm and grandeur of this house remains. In fact, the house seems to grow more and more amazing as the years pass. The house is certainly one of Houston`s most magnificent mid-century modern homes. As of February 2011, the Owsley house is undergoing a remodeling/restoration. The mustard colored paint has been replaced with a darker gray, amongst other changes.