Fehr & Granger – $1MM

I have been waiting for this listing for some time now.  It is huge on a huge and wonderful & private lot (next to Pease Park – Now with no frisbee golf!).  It also needs a fair bit of work.  The family that has it now is the second owners (purchased from the original owners in the late ’60s).  It is mostly intact but there were some modifications down, particularly to the back master suite at some point).

Given the location and the neighbors I could see this attracting teardown developers.  That would have surely happened a few years ago but perhaps lesser chance now given the overall market.  I know one of the owners (it is owned jointly by the children of family that bought it in the 60s) desperately wants to house to be restored and not torn down.

Listing details.

11 Responses to “Fehr & Granger – $1MM”

  1. chuck says:

    didn’t we have a ‘meet-up’ at this house once?

    • bp says:

      yup. fall 2005 I believe.

      • Susan McElroy says:

        Yeah, I loved that party. We rolled out the original plans on the baby grand piano and had a barbeque out back. An old pianist friend found out later that I didn’t invite him and was really miffed…he’s into “swank” 50′s music too…oh, well.

  2. Eric says:

    Fingers crossed it doesn’t become a teardown, but man, 1 million? Whew! I guess MAYBE that’ll keep develepers away? Hope so, cool house.

  3. Julie says:

    No inside photos at all? I’m guessing this poor house doesn’t stand a chance.

  4. Susan McElroy says:

    I am the person who had the meetup, and one of the current owners. We tried to preserve the house but ran out of funds with the down economy. We put it on the market but it was very quietly listed so it languished for a year. We then got more agressive and got several offers but finally got a reasonable one (considerably less that this posted here) but they wanted to demolish it. They are very appreciative of the architecture and wanted to preserve features, but the city has ruled that it HAS to be preserved. We are at our wits end because we do not have the ability to restore the property and are in no position to sell it at an unreasonably low price. I want to advertise it in places that appreciate its historical value but I feel I’m being taken advantage of by the city or unscrupulous people who want to wrest it from us for an unfair price. Please consider what it’s like to own a house that everyone in a position to buy thinks is ugly, but those who can’t afford it want to get it on the cheap. Sorry, I’m distressed today.

  5. Susan McElroy says:

    Perhaps it has gotten little interest because we requested it be listed by a commercial agent–we just thought it couldn’t be saved and would have to be bought by a developer. Had some “regular” RE agents look at it and they basically sniffed and headed for the hills saying it was impossible.

  6. wlhmod says:

    I understand the difficulty in this kind of situation. Is there something in particular that makes the house unusually difficult and expensive to restore? You’d think there would be interest from people who would want to restore the old house and add something new also — like a mod guest house.

    • Susan McElroy says:

      The thing is, I am only one of three owners. My siblings feel it’s just too much work…I don’t particularly; just too much for me, who isn’t wealthy or builder-saavy.

      I went along with the destruction idea because I was persuaded of it, and because I didn’t want to spoil the others’ chances of a sale. But my deepest feeling is that it’s a very unique property and at least the facade is worthy of restoration. It is less a mid-century example than something earlier; definitely an International Style feel and look. Even the historical commission wants to save it for the wrong reasons. They’re focusing on the first owner, not the architect or, as I believe, the architect’s teachers–Neutra and Gropius, et. al.

      Granger, one of the architects, studied under Neutra in California before moving to Texas, and my dad before he died told me emphatically that when he bought it, Wagner told him that it was featured in Architectural Record. If it was, many hours I spent in the stacks at the Architecture library at UT didn’t find it.

      My bible for restoration was Classic Modern Homes of the Thirties by James and Katherine Ford I got at Amazon:

      http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Modern-Homes-Thirties-Architecture/dp/0486259277/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334761557&sr=8-1

      Some houses in there are absolutely spot on this style.

      The foundation is built like a rock; in fact, it is sitting on 6 foot pylons sitting on bedrock. I could say more; I love to talk about it. No functional insulation, which is the problem. It was built before air conditioning and is a marvel of air flow in and out, which we don’t appreciate these days, to say the least.

      Most of the interior was changed, as it was in bad shape in ’76 and that was of course over 30 years ago.

Leave a Reply