City Council approves historic landmark designations

Hirzel-von Haxthausen House /  photo courtesy of Kenneth Ramey

Hirzel-von Haxthausen House / photo courtesy of Kenneth Ramey

Houston has two new designated historic landmarks and one new protected landmark through the assistance of Preservation Houston's Historic Neighborhood Resources Program. Houston City Council has approved landmark designations for the Elwyn & Imola Carroll House in River Oaks and the Frank H. Roberts House in Riverside Terrace as well as protected landmark status for the Hirzel-von Haxthausen House in First Ward.

PH staff researched and wrote the nominations and photographed the sites for the River Oaks and Riverside Terrace landmark designations and wrote the architectural description and edited the nomination for the First Ward protected landmark. All of the nominations were done at the request of the homeowners.

Carroll House /  photo by David Bush

Carroll House / photo by David Bush

Roberts House /  photo by Kathleen Nuzzo

Roberts House / photo by Kathleen Nuzzo

The Carroll House, 1827 Kirby Drive, is a classic Tudor Revival-style house designed by Charles W. Oliver, the River Oaks Corporation's in-house architect, and constructed in 1927. The original owner, Elwyn Carroll, was a member of a prominent lumber and oil family from Beaumont. His wife, Imola Link Carroll, was the daughter of Montrose developer John Wiley Link.

The Roberts House at 3308 Parkwood Drive was built by contractor/developer Ivan G. Greer in Riverside Terrace in 1936. Frank H. Roberts was president of the Gulf Brewing Company, which was founded by Howard Hughes after the repeal of Prohibition. The house had stood vacant and deteriorating for a decade when the city issued a demolition order; the current owners purchased the property in 1993 and began rehabilitating the condemned house.

The Hirzel-von Haxthausen House, 2120 Sabine Street, is Houston's newest protected landmark. The house was built in 1883 and is a classic example of Queen Anne design. The original owners, Carl and Anna Hirzel, lived in the house for 22 years before selling the property to August and Minna von Haxthausen, who published the Texas Deutsche Zeitung, Houston's German-language newspaper. The current owners won a 2016 Good Brick Award for the home's renovation.

Local landmark designations are extremely important because of the protections they offer for historic properties in Houston. Designated landmarks may also qualify for city property tax incentives if they are rehabilitated to high standards.