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Historic Homes of SE Texas-GOOD NEWS UPDATE!

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Historic Homes of SE Texas-GOOD NEWS UPDATE!

Postby pqtex on Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:57 pm

I found this at our local newspaper's website...

http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/photo ... 701803.php

Many of these houses are long gone, as evidenced by the captions and dates. Some are still here, but in rocky condition. Others are restored and still occupied. At least two of them, The Lutcher Stark Home (Orange, TX) and McFaddin-Ward Home (Beaumont, TX) are fully restored and operate as museums. There are 70 black and white photos. I enjoyed scrolling through them. Many of them have addresses, so I'll probably spend a few hours next week cruising around Beaumont to see which ones are still there and what they look like.

Jill
Last edited by pqtex on Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby lavender_bush on Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:43 am

Such beautiful houses and so sad to read the 'was demolished', 'about to be razed' comments.

Is the Old Weir house still standing? - I love that house 8)

I'd be interested in seeing pictures of the houses that are still standing - hopefully there are quite a few. If I lived closer? I'd be bringing my camera and asking if I could come along with you. Old house stalking is so much more fun with a friend :)

LB
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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby pqtex on Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:21 pm

You know what, Old House Stalking IS more fun with a friend! Unfortunately, no one I know around here enjoys that sort of thing. C'mon down! Our winters are moderate and the guest room comes with a complementary cat for the duration of your stay! :lol: I had forgotten about this post and my intention to go looking for these houses. Thanks for the reminder. I am charging my camera battery as we "speak" and have made notes of the addresses that were available. It ought to be interesting (and sometimes sad) to see the before-and-afters.

Jill
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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby pqtex on Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:00 pm

I took my camera and a list of addresses from the online newpaper article about historic houses. The Polk House was not one on the list, but is across the street from one that remains and the location of one that is gone. The one that remains has had some stabilization work done on it (photo to come in another post), but is shabby. The mansion that is gone was replaced by a car wash, laundromat, Exxon station, and loan office. I hate my town.

The Polk House was built in 1896. I didn't find a photo depicting when it was in its prime. At some point it became a haven for hookers and homeless. It was purchased in 2006 or 2007 and the owners were fixing it up. I drove by this house on a daily basis for almost two years when I still worked downtown. I loved watching the progress, even though it was really slow. They got the porch stabilized and replaced some of the clapboard, then progress seemed to stop. Then a few months ago the local newspaper had a story about historic house owners who weren't meeting city demands for progress, and this house was listed as being in danger of being demolished. I emailed the owner and he indicated that he was still working on a plan to save it. A few weeks ago I drove by and saw it had been red-tagged. My heart sank. I drove by today to find the bulldozer at work. I don't know what happened. Maybe they bit off more than they could chew, the economy, money issues, lost interest, or maybe they just decided the land was worth more than the house. I don't know. This was once a street filled with mansions and oil barons who lived in them. Most of the homes that remain on Calder Avenue are in sad shape and dire need. The house behind this one will probably meet the same fate.

About 2007...
Polk House.jpg
Polk House.jpg (11.39 KiB) Viewed 15429 times


Today...
polk house demo.jpg
polk house demo.jpg (51.1 KiB) Viewed 15435 times
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby pqtex on Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:31 am

At least this one is still there...

This is known at the Old Gilbert Home, located at the corner of Calder and Oakland. Across the street on Calder is the beautifully maintained historic Mildred Building. Across the street on Oakland is a car wash (the location of one of another mansion that has been demolished), Exxon Station, etc. And it is cater-corner to the Polk House that was destroyed today. The Old Gilbert Home has two pairs of columns at the entry, but the old black and white photo shows only one pair of columns. I don't know the history of architectural changes.
Gilbert Home.jpg
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And today...
gilbert home today.jpg
gilbert home today.jpg (43.19 KiB) Viewed 15420 times

Side of building...There is a church group using at least part of the building, and they may be providing services to the homeless.
gilbert home side on oakland.jpg
gilbert home side on oakland.jpg (51.16 KiB) Viewed 15420 times
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby pqtex on Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:41 am

And according to the Beaumont Enterprise: "W. Cape Grant, the famed trainer of the Spindle Top stables, lived in the home at 1376 Calder until it was demolished in 1956. It was built in 1908 by the late Valentine Wiess, a pioneer lumber man."
1376 calder -old.jpg
1376 calder -old.jpg (26.72 KiB) Viewed 15419 times



And how it looks today...
BTW...see that big tower? That's the tower behind the Old Gilbert Home in the previous post.
1376 Calder - car wash.jpg
1376 Calder - car wash.jpg (39.18 KiB) Viewed 15420 times
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby pqtex on Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:54 am

Can you stand another one?

"The home was built by Albert L. Kiber, a native of Switzerland who moved with his family to Beaumont in 1902 from Corsicana. He came to join the booking oil business at Spindletop and also operate a cafe at the corner of Crockett and Pearl streets in downtown Beaumont. The porch and second-floor balcony of this home at 1308 Liberty were once lined with boxes of flowers, results of Mr. Kiber's hobby of gardening."
1308 liberty.jpg
1308 liberty.jpg (31.25 KiB) Viewed 15422 times


Mr. Muffler is at 1308 Liberty today. I don't know the history of the house next door, but it is in a lot rougher shape than the photo indicates. The scaffolding looks like it has been there for years. I'm not certain about the chimneys, but I don't think that is red paint. I think it is Redgard waterproofing membrane. There is quite a bit of trash on the porch and in the yard, including junked cars and appliances. But that house is not the one in the old photo. Mr. Muffler is the location of Mr. Kiber's home.
Mr. Muffler.jpg
Mr. Muffler.jpg (44.53 KiB) Viewed 15415 times
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
pqtex
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
Location: Beaumont, Texas

Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby pqtex on Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:06 am

The good news is that not all of the old homes featured in the Beaumont Enterprise's photo album are gone or dilapidated. I just didn't get to them today. Unfortunately, in my Old House Stalking, I picked up something in my tire, which caused a flat and wasn't fixable. I ended up having to buy two new tires, since I always replace two at a time. I kept the "good" one to change out with my old spare. At least I was out of the really bad neighborhoods when it went flat, and I had a good, safe place to wait. I love AAA, but maybe I should learn how to change a tire. :oops:
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
pqtex
 
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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby CycloneOfRed on Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:10 am

pqtex wrote:[...]demolished in 1956. It was built in 1908 by the late Valentine Wiess, a pioneer lumber man."


Please, someone explain to me how such a beautiful home can't even last 50 years in our culture?
Laws of Home Repair:
1) It will be more difficult than you think.
2) It will take much longer than you think.
3) Murphy's Law is in effect tenfold.

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Re: Historic Homes of Southeast Texas (link to pics)

Postby pqtex on Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:59 am

CycloneOfRed wrote:
pqtex wrote:[...]demolished in 1956. It was built in 1908 by the late Valentine Wiess, a pioneer lumber man."


Please, someone explain to me how such a beautiful home can't even last 50 years in our culture?


I don't know the background of that specific home but my observation is that many houses are simply too big for individuals to maintain. The original owners may have had the wherewithal to keep them up, but what about subsequent owners or heirs? This is a generalization on my part, but I think we are a nation of overconsumers. Advertising tells us to buy-buy-buy. Many buy to impress or show off. The same thing was happening when those houses were built a century ago, and it's happening now with the McMansions.

I'm having a hard enough time doing the basic things for my simple, one-story vernacular farmhouse. I can't imagine what shape my home would be in if I had to maintain or repair one of the big, old beauties on my same financial resources, physical abilities and time constraints.

Many lovely old homes that were built by people with money in prestigious neighborhoods are now occupied by people of lesser incomes who are unable to pay for repairs or maintenance. Some of the homes have been converted to apartments and/or owned by slumlords.

Why did the neighborhoods fall into disrepair in the first place? Well, the depression reduced many people from a prosperous status and prosperous neighborhoods declined and deteriorated. People in our current economy are facing many of the same problens our depression-era parents and grandparents faced.

Our city is spending millions and millions for downtown revitalization and creating a riverwalk, but they don't do anything for our neighborhoods. The city orders demolition on a gorgeous old home because the owner isn't making progress fast enough, but they won't do a thing to clean up the neighborhoods. How can they possibly think that Mr. Muffler, a car wash or gas station is preferable to a street lined with stately old homes? The city is not poor. They are raking in millions from recent drilling on land they have mineral rights on.
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My great-grandparents' 1913 farmhouse

Too bad the spam got so bad. Some of us have been spending time at the new community for folks with a love of old houses at wavyglass.org
pqtex
 
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Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:03 pm
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