Saved from subdivision-hungry developers and given a $1.5M restoration, the only Frank Lloyd Wright home in Houston has returned to the market, heralded by the Wall Street Journal. Designed by the UNESCO-spotlighted wizard of organic architecture with low ceilings, dramatic overhangs, and at least one built-in sofa with groovy, parallelogram-shaped orange cushions, the 8,000-square-foot circa-1955 home was acquired by Dr. Allen Gaw, a pediatric dentist, and his former wife in 1991 for $790K. The preservation drama surrounding the Thaxton House was documented by the New York Times, which deemed the six-bedroom "not among Wright's most unusual works, or his most outstanding, or his most anything," noteworthy mainly for the "architectural indignities" it had suffered over the years: pineapple-shaped neo-classic finials added to the corners of the roof, the custom furniture torn out, the interior redwood walls whitewashed, and "horrors to Wright purists—ionic columns installed," which ruined the structure's charming lack of right angles.
The Gaws rolled all of that nonsense back. In 1995, they also added an all-glass gallery wall surrounding portions of the courtyard, that, if not necessarily ideal, is certainly less of an architectural indignity than what came before it. The master bedroom is its own wing, and comes with a loft space; other perks include an extra kitchen (the narrow, galley-style one is the original), and a courtyard pool. Last offered for $3.5M back in 2010, the Thaxton House is now seeking $3.2M.
· A Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Houston [WSJ]
· A House With a History May Not Have a Future [NYT]
· Frank Lloyd Wright's Only Houston Commission For Sale [Curbed National]
· 12020 Tall Oaks St [Sotheby's]
· All Frank Lloyd Wright coverage [Curbed National]
· All Houston coverage [Curbed National]