The Process And Progress of A Significant Georgian Estate Restoration
If this home looks familiar, it is. Deidre Woollard's 2008 post in Luxist was about this home, then on the market for
$11.2M. But since Deidre's article was posted, the estate was sold, remodeled and renovated. It is slated to be finished in two weeks, and the price reflects the work done: it is now $14,500,000. Here's the history:
This home is located in the private, gated community of Shadyside, close to Rice University and the Rice University Medical Center in Houston. Shadyside was originally planned by J.S. Cullinan in 1916. However, he did not treat the development as a speculative venture, selling to anyone with money, rather, he offered building sites to individuals he referred to as 'congenial parties.' By the time the first owners were ready to plan their houses, the practice of hiring out-of-state architects was common in Houston. Cullinan hired St. Louis architect James P. Jamieson to design his house. Stockbroker Hugo V. Neuhaus commissioned renowned architect Harrie T. Lindeberg of New York City who was trained under Stanford White in the design of significant country estates.
Neuhaus secured additional commissions for Lindeberg in Shadyside -- that included the wholesale merchant D.D. Peden, for whom our this home at 2 Longfellow Lane was originally built and designed.
Gallery: Longfellow Lane
The Peden country estate is set on two landscaped acres in the Shadyside gated community. The original house, built in the popular Georgian style of the time, was large and included a carriage house with horse stalls and a tack room. Subsequent owners added additional square footage to the northeast and southwest sides of the main structure, and the pool and pool house were added in late 1990 and early 2002.
In 2008 the home was sold and the new owners made the decision to remodel and restore the estate at 2 Longfellow Lane.The restoration began in October 2008 with the completion date slated for two weeks from now. The southwest wing, an addition which altered the elevation but provided little useful interior living space for the new owners, was removed and the house returned to similar original footprint. Most of the systems (HVAC, electric, plumbing, sewer, irrigation, insulation) were replaced and a natural gas fueled generator installed to run the main house in the event of an electrical failure. The grounds were redesigned and landscaped to enhance the new elevation with stone terraces, fountains, walking paths and benches. The asphalt drive between the main house and carriage house was replaced with slate gray concrete.
Restoration architect, Charles W. Ligon, AIA, was careful to preserve the historic character of the house and used the original Lindeberg and Staub architectural drawings as his guide. The blue prints were miraculously found in the basement in relatively good condition.
Ligon and construction contractor, Dirk A. Hoyt of University Towne Building, worked closely together to plan and implement the renovation. When the southwest wing was removed, the original brick and other materials were utilized to build the new exterior wall and the mortar aged to match the existing house. Original materials that could not be saved because of their deteriorated condition or obsolescence, but were meticulously duplicated using products of similar age and/or quality. Ornate fireplace mantles were protected during construction and great care taken to preserve wall coverings and other amenities original to the house.
Significant interior design changes include an enlarged master suite, master bath with retained existing fireplace and new closets, guest suite and bath, kitchen and service areas. The first floor library and one of the two second floor studies were paneled in wormy chestnut with Tudor ceilings. The house, which lends itself to entertaining, now includes a gourmet kitchen with open circulation designed to accommodate large catered events.
Notable features of the house include a grand floating staircase in the reception room, oversized living room, dining room and library. The formal rooms overlook old oak trees and beautifully landscaped gardens. The wallpaper in the dining room is called "Views of North America," first printed in 1834 by Jean Zuber et Cie in Rixheim, Alsace.
The 11,336 square foot main house has seven functional, wood burning fireplaces. On the first floor is the Formal living room, dining room (w/French plaster ceiling & 32-panels of Zuber's 'Views of America' wallpaper - museum quality), library (paneled in wormy chestnut), card room (w/wet bar), morning/sun room, signature Lindeberg floating staircase, wine vault (1,007 bottle+), caterer's kitchen, flower arranging room, silver closet, china closet, mud room, and the service/receiving room.
The second floor includes 5 bedrooms, wormy chestnut paneled study, master bedroom sitting room, guest living room, exercise/family room w/kitchenette, 5-full baths + 1 half bath, 3-original fireplaces with antique French mantels + 4th fireplace with new mantel. Also, there is the family/exercise room, northeast wing sitting room and elevator.
The lot size is 1.72 acres, and has a Carriage House with three car garage, tack room with fireplace, and a two room apartment. There is also a greenhouse, pool and pool house, and two motor courts with guest and service parking,
The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Luxist is grateful to John Daughery Real Estate, and Luxury Real Estate.com for providing information on this property.