The Isaac Heffron House, a two-story Victorian in the East End Historic District of Galveston, has seen a lot since it was built in 1890 — thanks in part to the occupants who called it home over the years.

Isaac Heffron immigrated to the U.S. from Wales and settled in Galveston in 1860. He worked on the docks, making his way eventually to a career in construction, winning bids with the city of Galveston for a railroad and trestle bridge that connected the city to LaPorte. (more…)

EllwoodCraig Ellwood wasn’t always Craig Ellwood, but the Clarendon, Texas, native became renown under that moniker as he made a name as a premiere modernist architect. His homes, often considered works of art (and rightly so), are perfect blends of spare, midcentury German Bauhaus architecture and the more informal California sensibilities of the state he called home longer than the Lone Star State.

Born John Burke in 1922, his family left Texas and found themselves in Los Angeles by the mid-1930s. After joining the Army Air Corps in the forties, he, his brother, and two friends set up shop as contractors under the name Craig Ellwood. Not long after, Burke changed his name to Craig Ellwood, and began night classes in structural engineering.

He opened his own firm, and began to make a name for himself. Despite never having a license as an architect, he was a sought-after guest lecturer and continued to create residential and commercial masterpieces until he closed his shop in 1977 and moved to Italy. He died in 1992.

One of those masterpieces is The Smith House in Los Angeles. Built in 1958, it was restored this year under American Institute of Architects fellow (and former Ellwood associate) Jim Tyler’s guidance. It is now on the market. (more…)

For $350,000 and some elbow grease, someone is going to snag this bed-and-breakfast ready historical shelter on the way to Toledo Bend Lake in Shelbyville, Texas. It’s just a matter of when, and who, not if.

The Bickham House, now on the state registry of historic homes, was built around 1885 after the original home (built in 1850) was razed by fire. The builder, Frederick Lee Bickham, was the stepson of longtime Shelbyville resident J.M. Crawford.

By 1972, the land and the homes on it had passed to N.O. Thomas, Jr., who restored the main home and renamed the historical shelter “Welcome Hall.”

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If you’ve spent any time in Arkansas the name E. Fay Jones is probably one of the first names to come to mind when someone mentions midcentury modern homes.

In fact, we may have mentioned him once before.

If you’re new to Jones’ work, the clean lines and use of natural materials will likely remind you of Frank Lloyd Wright — with good reason. Jones was an apprentice to Wright, and in fact was the only Wright apprentice to receive the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. (more…)

Anne RiceFans of southern gothic novelist Anne Rice know that New Orleans is prime territory if you’re looking for settings from some of her most famous books. But one of her abodes (she’s had a few) in New Orleans is now up for sale, again.

Located at 3711 St. Charles in Uptown New Orleans, the mansion was sold by Rice to new owners in 2011 (the list price was $3.19 million).

It is said that one of the families from her fictional Mayfair series “lived” at this home,  which Rice bought while she was writing “Lasher.” (more…)

WarrenWhen Robert Lee Warren built his Colonial Revival-Prairie School style mansion in 1897, Terrell, Texas, was about 24 years old, having taken root like so many towns in Texas did — along a railroad line.

Although settlers first arrived in the area in the 1840s, it was the Texas and Pacific Railway’s march across North Texas that attracted interest in the town.  C. C. Nash and John G. Moore bought the tracts and planned the town that would flourish during the heyday of rail travel, and Warren would come a couple dozen years later to build his mansion, complete with a special room in the master suite that allowed him to watch his farm wake up every morning, right after he woke up. (more…)

davis mansion

It’s a home designed by a famed architect, and it is also potentially the keeper of secrets of Houston elite — and now the Davis Mansion (or the Kingston-Davis House, as it’s now called) is up for sale.

Depending on who you ask, Evalyn Davis was either romantically involved with oilman T.P. Lee, was a friend to Lee, or was romantically involved with Lee and he had something to do with the death of her husband (something he always denied).

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Victoria, Texas, is often called “the Crossroads” because of how close it is to some of the biggest attractions and cities in the state.

Indeed, at first it might seem like Victoria wouldn’t be an obvious choice for a vacation retreat, but when you realize that almost anything a vacationer would want to do is within a two-hour day-trip, suddenly the town seems like a great place for a base operations.

Victoria is within a two-hour drive of Corpus Christi, Shiner (and the Spoetzl Brewery), the Texas Independence Wine Trail, Goliad State Park, the Great Coastal Texas Barbecue Trail, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. (more…)