Six historic Houston homes saved from demolition

They'd been destined for a landfill until new owners and their architect approached the developer. Now they're being preserved
January 20, 2014 3:20:47 PM PST
It's a monumental undertaking in the name of preservation: A half-dozen homes are being moved in an effort to save a piece of history.

Before dawn Saturday, while most of Houston slept, houses that had stood in the shadow of downtown for more than a century went on their first and final journey.

On Monday, they were moved into place on a new lot not far from where they were originally built. They'd been destined for a landfill until new owners and their architect approached the developer.

"He very graciously gave them to us. We approached him, said we had some empty land and ultimately we ended up taking all six," architect Joe Meppleink said.

They are Victorian cottages -- or what's left of them -- and there's a lot. If you go looking, you can see the original gingerbread trim and inside, there are hints of what they once were.

They're now next to an old fire station that the property owners are planning to make into their own new home. It's the same station that once served the Second Ward neighborhood known as Lubbock Grove. An ad created in 1892 describes it as the most desirable residence property for sale in the city.

Eventually, four of the small houses will become two large ones; the other two will be restored, retaining the character that makes them special.

"They have everything intact, and they haven't been altered or modified over the years, which is really rare to see that," Meppleink said.

One other nod to the past, the homes were originally located on the electric trolley line. Now they're a block from the Harrisburg rail line.

History's been saved so it can repeat itself.

"It's amazing we've come after 120 years full circle," Meppleink said.

The architect says most of the homes have new owners.

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