August 2023 Mod of the Month

August 13, 2023
5507 Braesvalley Dr Houston, TX 77096

Houston Mod invites you to join us Sunday, August 13, 2023
for a Mod of the Month open house event from 1 – 4 PM.

Please help us find new preservation-minded owners for these vintage modern dwellings by two of Houston’s most prominent builder/developers. They are located in west and southwest Houston. Please note the staggered opening schedule.

Thanks to Houston MODern Market for sponsoring this FREE event.

 5507 Braesvalley Dr Houston, TX 77096
HAR Link  |  Google Map
Open 1 to 3pm on Sunday

Near Meyerland and never flooded is this nifty flat-roofed mod priced very affordably. The 1963 design incorporates the popular barrel vault theme over the entrance, double front doors, terrazzo floored living areas, built in shelving and planter box and many vintage fixtures, all in good condition.
Pace Setter Homes developed the neighborhood about 1961 and built the house in 1963.  Mitchell-Dobbins Land Development Corporation, consisting of George Mitchell and Norman Dobbins, lead the firm. Norman Dobbins was an experienced homebuilder and Mitchell was mainly in the oil industry until this time. Mitchell-Dobbins went on the develop Pirates Beach and Pirates Cove in Galveston. George Mitchell later developed the Woodlands, an award-winning new town development, population 115,000 today and restored much of Galveston’s downtown.

1330 Chardonay Drive #2, Epernay Phase 1, Houston, TX 77077
HAR Link  |  Google Map
Open 2 to 4pm on Sunday

Gerald Hines explored residential development in the 1970s in Houston first with Ethan’s Glen then Epernay.  Both were multi-family communities designed by the award-winning San Francisco Bay-area firm of Fisher-Friedman Associates. In the 1970s, the firm became nationally famous for their multi-family projects, mostly in California, which combined modern architecture with elaborate site plans and resident amenities.

For Epernay, which had an intended audience of up-market empty-nesters, they created sophisticated modernistic slant-roofed “almost-detatched townhouses” in 6 different plans arranged in staggered groups for privacy. They featured mostly brick exteriors, carefully-placed windows and incorporated outdoor spaces on both levels.

The featured townhouse faces a motor court with fountain, part of the architects concept of “mini neighborhoods“. In a few places in the complex, the original custom cedar garage doors and supergraphic house numbers are still visible. Don’t miss touring the grounds at Epernay to see the resort-quality modernist clubhouse and numerous cleverly-arranged site amenities designed by Sasaki-Walker landscape architects (the pool is raised and the tennis courts partially sunken to protect privacy and reduce noise).

Although it won a national housing award in 1975, the overall project met strong headwinds from the late 1970s housing slump and unit price-points that were too high versus traditional builder single-family homes.  Only a portion of the master plan was built. Another developer completed the project with smaller modernist units with wood siding by another architect.

Gerald D. Hines (1925-2020) was one of the world’s most prominent real estate developers.  He employed top architects like Philip Johnson and I M Pei while creating landmark structures like Pennzoil Place, Transco-Williams Tower and the Galleria in Houston and Dallas. His developments are prestigious and high quality.