With downtown residential space growing in appeal, a renovation of Houston House comes just in time. The 31-story building was opened in 1966 as downtown’s first high-rise. Designed by noted architect Charles Goodman, it was considered one of the most stylish luxury high-rises in Houston. The mid-century modern building also housed the Castile Club supper club, frequented by the rich and hungry, including Elvis Presley and the king of Spain. Playwrights, musicians and theater actors were typical tenants – the last vestiges of the beatnik era.
Smash-cut to 2010, when Houston House began a comprehensive and posh renovation by Houston-based Kirksey Architects. The $10 million project will update and salvage the building’s original appeal and spirit. Known for its innovation and sustainability efforts, Kirksey’s recent projects include Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA in Houston and the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Rush Tower in Las Vegas.
The project is progressing rapidly with the lobby, exterior and recreational areas complete and more than 25 percent of the apartments revamped. The lobby reflects a mid-century interior with sleek 21st-century additions that are anything but retro. Even more exciting – Houston House brought in four local designers and asked each to decorate a model for display during public tours scheduled for September.
Guests will devour the new amenities floor, which includes a 24-hour, state-of-the art fitness center and an outdoor pool with dramatic views of the city.
The full-size basketball/volleyball court, chic lounge area, media, club and conference rooms will provide convenience in a comfortable social setting.
“There was a niche in downtown for a hip, modern, convenient, boutique high-rise that targets students and professional singles or couples wishing to downsize,” said Larry Hill, developer of Houston House.
“It is a historic jewel with unparallel views that we have worked to renovate into the ultimate urban living choice.”
The building’s location offers easy access to the Medical Center, Museum District and universities, and is located just one block away from the MetroRail. It is within walking distance of many office buildings and prime downtown dining, nightlife and shopping destinations including Discovery Green, Toyota Center and Houston Pavilions.
Residents won’t have to go far to grab a tasty meal. Go Fresh! Gourmet is opening a café and market that tenants can enter through the lobby and which the public can access from the street. Go Fresh! Gourmet will operate seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and provide to-go meals and catering.
As renovations continue, more re-fashioned apartment homes will become available. All apartments will have stone counter tops, subway tile backsplash, new wood floors, stainless steel appliances and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the glittering downtown skyline.
Units are sized for individuals and families alike with effiencies, one and two bedrooms apartments and four penthouse suites. Square footage ranges from 428 to 1,463 square feet. The renovation reflects the building’s authentic mid-century roots and has been elevated to appeal to a modern style of social living. And with the city’s best amenities at your fingertips, Houston House will make a happy home.
Houston house salutes emerging designers
Explore four unique transformations at Houston House Salutes Emerging Designers - a public tour of Houston House and its four distinctly renovated apartment homes.
Friday, Sep. 23 - Sunday, Sep. 25
Friday, Sep. 30 - Sunday, Oct. 2.
Friday 11 am - 1 pm
Saturday and Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm
MEET THE MAGIC MAKERS
Chris Nguyen is a graphic designer with a mid-century modern obsession. Making the most out of Houston House’s 569-square-foot efficiency, Chris blended bold contemporary elements without limits, making the space comfortable, functional and oh-so-perfect for enjoying the view.
Krista Johnson is a licensed interior designer and is inspired by texture, warmth and layers that convey the complexity of everyday life. Her inspiration for the Houston House space started with rugs that worked well together; then she built a soft, neutral environment around them using strong supporting elements.
Richard Sanchez began his love affair with design when he stumbled across a beautiful sofa labeled as Eames Style. He read about the famed furniture couple and was immediately drawn into the world of interior design. In his Houston House design, Richard embraces the mid-century modern aesthetic and proves it to be a true classic.
Saba Jawda, an interior designer and artist, pulls her inspiration from color and urban sophistication with a modern flair. Her design for Houston House challenges the mundane by mixing color and sleek design with abstract art to enhance function, form and fantasy for the ultimate downtown utopia.