Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pretty Blue House ... SOLD

738 Cortlandt, Houston Heights, Texas [scroll down for photos]

It appears that we have a deal and that, in April, we will move on and The Perkins House (see history) will have new caretakers.

We have loved this house and will miss many things, but nothing stands still, not really.

Forrward! We are excited.

This house was built in 1918 and it is a transitional home; it is mostly Craftsman style but has some lingering vistorian elements.

Downstairs has a large, modern eat in-kitchen, one full bath, a laundry room with sink, separate foyer, living room and “other” room which would have been the family’s everyday sitting room, while the parlor (our living room) was probably saved for company. We use the other room as the media room. It could be a kid’s play room, a dining room or whatever suits you. It is separated from the living room by a pair of French Doors.

Upstairs has 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms, plus an office alcove with a door that leads to a large, covered upstairs porch.

Items original to the house: Cross beamed living room ceiling, heart of pine floors, claw foot bath tub, decorative ceramic gas heater in the living room, living room French doors, most of the trim, windows, doors, door knobs and escutcheons. The original kitchen had few cupboards. All three glass, multi-paned cupboard doors have been repurposed in the house.

Some period items have been added, like the stained glass window in the bathroom and some of the doorknobs to replace modern knobs put in by former owners.

This house is amazingly sunny. Even the master closet has windows! There is also excellent storage for an old house, and a great flow. Downstairs, every room leads to two other rooms, so it feels very open.

There is a deck off the kitchen and a 1.5 car garage, meaning one car still leaves plenty of room for a work space.

Included- Front Proch Glider
Not Included- Schmutz; our geriatric cat.

Best Location Ever

Cortlandt Street, between 7th and 8th is simply the BEST location in the Heights.

Pretty Blue House sits just a one minute walk from Harvard Elementary School, a Texas Exemplary School and National School of Excellence.

The Houston Chronicle recently featured the new eateries on White Oak, a short walk away.

At the south end of the block is the new Hike and Bike Trail, which means you are 1 mile from the Sawyer Heights Shopping Center (Target, Petsmart, Staples and many more) and an easy 10 minute bike ride to the Downtown Heights, with great eclectic shopping and good food.

The house is less than 2 blocks from White Oak Street: Onion Creek Café, with its Saturday Farmers Market, Dry Creek Cafe, its BYOB sibling, and two Houston classics – Fitzgerald’s and Jimmie’s Ice House, though both are far enough away that there are no issues with noise or parking. Plus Blue Line Bikes, Nova Beads, Artful Corner Gallery and fine crafts shop, and several new eateries are under construction right now, including Christian’s Tailgate, D’Amico’s Italian Market and Tacos a Go Go. And who doesn’t love a great little Mom and Pop Mexican place, like El Gallo de Jalisco. Trust us; it’s delicious.

Just east at Studemont and 8th is Antidote, the city’s best coffee shop (beer and wine, too) and right next door, Kaboom Books and Woods Market - convenient! Just up Studemont from there, fine dining at Stella Sola and The Glass Wall, plus DaCapo’s Bakery (the BEST pies) and the 11th Street Café across from Someburger; a Heights institution.

Three blocks north - Cortlandt and 11th is a great intersection for necessities and more, including the dog-friendly C&D Hardware, a dry cleaner/laundromat, three art galleries and Doug’s Barber Shop, made famous in the movie “Rushmore.” Make a right and you will find Buchanan’s Native Plants, a truly superior nursery.

Plus, you are less than 2 blocks from one of the city’s best parks for younger kids - Donovan Park at 7th and Heights Blvd - and within 2 blocks of three churches, including the beautiful All Saints Church and its budding fine arts programs.

Wouldn’t you love to live in a neighborhood that is walker/biker/stroller friendly, with great non-chain businesses, where you get to know your neighbors and the local shopkeepers? If so, here it is.

The History

The home was built in 1918 by H. C. House. The pictures below are of the 1925 edition of the Sanborn Insurance Map. (Currently available at the reference desk of the Heights Branch Library.)

We are not sure when, but the Perkins family moved in next. We have several cancelled checks from Mr. Fred Perkins, a lawyer, from the 1920's that we found during remodeling. The daughter, Francis, was born in 1889. She attended college at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches. She returned to this house after obtaining her degree and began teaching at Harvard Elementary School where she spent her entire career. She inherited the house from her parents. Francis never married and lived here till she died in 1966.

The house was then inherited by two step-nephews that, it is said, she detested. The rest of her estate was left to First Baptist Church, Heights at the corner of Harvard and 9th and the money was used to purchase the large stained glass window for the new sanctuary they were building.

The step-nephews turned the house into an upper/lower duplex and used it as a rent property for the next 13 years.

In 1979, the house was purchased by Paul and Susan Campbell. He worked in the oil industry. She was a French teacher. They had no children.

In late 1989, we bought the house: Mark Sterling and Sheila Sorvari, a married couple with 1.3 children on the day we moved in.

Aside from the construction date, the rest of this information was gathered oral history. When we moved in, several of our neighbors had lived here a long time and knew Francis Perkins personally. We have also met a number of people who attended Harvard Elementary in the 1920s-1950s and remember Miss Perkins or had her as a teacher.

The next owners of this home will also get all the things we have found- the cancelled check, the bits of old wallpaper and the glass bottles we’ve dug up. Plus, you will get the limited edition poster of the original marketing materials for this development known as Houston Heights and a copy of the book Houston Heights 1891-1991.