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Step back into the not so distant past with a special selection of mid-century modern homes on Galveston’s beautiful Harbor View drive. Opened only for this special evening, these homes showcase the unmistakable design of mid-century architecture with some vintage fun added into the evening! Guests will enjoy complimentary beverages and appetizers during this tour. The tour is part of Galveston Historical Foundation’s annual Galveston Historic Homes Tour. Tickets for the mid-century modern tour and party, held on Saturday, May 7 from 5-8 p.m., are $50 per person and include complimentary beverages and appetizers.

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“The Harbor View neighborhood lies along Galveston Bay creating extraordinary views of the water,” explains Galveston Historical Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Dwayne Jones. “Platted in 1954 and designed by Houston landscape architect Herbert Skogland, only three streets Harbor View, Harbor View Circle, and Marine comprise the Harbor View Development Company’s subdivision. Physicians and administrators from UTMB found Harbor View particularly attractive for new homes. Today, the largely intact neighborhood has some of the island’s best mid-century residences along walkable streets with a safe, friendly environment.”

MEHOS HOUSE
1306 HARBOR VIEW
THOMAS PRICE (ARCHITECT), 1958

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The long, low-pitched gable roof on the Mehos House allows the north and south elevations to take advantage of the sunlight with large designed windows. The south elevation opens to a sculpture garden.  The main living areas are designed in an open living concept originally divided by shoji screens.

Price, a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, completed some of the finest mid-century buildings in our area and brought a sophisticated modern aesthetic in the post-World War II years to the island.

PAULS HOUSE, 1310 HARBOR VIEW
THOMAS E. GREACEN II AND IRVING PHILLIPS, JR (ARCHITECTS), 1960

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This is one of the island’s most spectacular mid-century houses. The extraordinary grid-patterned brise-soliel (sunscreen) and the “upside-down” floor plan makes the house iconic. Phillips designed the house while working as a student intern in the office of Houston architect Greacen. The elevated second floor gives a view of the bay while the sunscreen helps to shade the western afternoon.

The current owners build off the tight edges and rectangles with their contemporary fence and landscaping.  Louis Pauls, Sr., was an investor in the Harbor View Development Company. Phillips was a student at the University of Texas School or Architecture studying under the visionary architects teaching there in the 1950s. He continued to practice architecture for many years in Houston.

BAXTER HOUSE, 1309 HARBOR VIEW, TIBOR BEERMAN AND BEN KOTIN (ARCHITECTS), 1964

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This home for two Galveston’s physicians is positioned to take advantage of the view of the bay. The low-pitched roof and angled carport were popular mid-century residential features. The turquoise panels and masonry screen add color and texture to this house making it one of the architects’ best works in the city.

Beerman and Kotin, both European immigrants, made their careers in architecture in Galveston. A number of residences and commercial buildings show the mark of their skill and appreciation of modern design.

YEN HOUSE
1113 MARINE, THOMAS PRICE (ARCHITECT), 1959

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Thomas Price noted this house to architectural historian Stephen Fox in the 1990s and it has long caught the attention of mid-century architecture buffs. The compact and tight architectural lines make it one of Price’s smallest but best residential designs.  The interior is much like the exterior in that every architectural element and spatial feature is well planned and thoughtful. Economy of space but maximization of light and livability are evident.

Dr. Moore Yen, a Chinese immigrant and anesthesiologist at UTMB, and his wife lived in the house for a short time until the premature death of Dr. Yen in 1964. Subsequent owners have respected the original design and enhanced its presence on Marine, one of Harbor View’s most visible corners.

RAPP HOUSE, 1009 HARBOR VIEW, RAYMOND RAPP, JR. (ARCHITECT), 1964

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This Raymond Rapp, Jr. designed house captures a number of mid-century house features including the flat roof and offset front door behind a partial courtyard. Orange glazed brick and laminate front door draw attention to the entrance. The interior is lighted by skylights and large windows. One of the most interesting interior details is the extensive use of laminate in vertical and horizontal applications making it a very progressive use materials for the 1960s.

Mr. Rapp joined his father in a Galveston architectural firm in 1921 and after his father died in 1959 he continued as an independent architect occasionally working with other business partners. Rapp is responsible for many of the island’s most notable buildings.

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