Random Ephemera

Mid-Century Sharpstown Homes Allow Us a Look Back at Houston's Architectural Past

Mid-Century Sharpstown Homes Allow Us a Look Back at Houston's Architectural Past (2)
Photo by Chris Lane
Houston has its share of interesting older neighborhoods, and many of them appeared during the post-war years. One of the biggest and most revolutionary for its time was Sharpstown, developed by Frank Sharp, the same man who'd created Oak Forest a few years earlier. The neighborhood was originally a nearby suburb of Houston, which was mostly contained within what is now the Inner Loop, and featured modern homes and the "Sharpstown Center," one of the first indoor, air-conditioned malls in the country, a major perk for the master-planned community.

click to enlarge A lot of Sharpstown yards feature beautiful mature trees. - PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
A lot of Sharpstown yards feature beautiful mature trees.
Photo by Chris Lane
Frank Sharp also contributed land to what went on to become Texas 59, to address concerns that his new community would have a convenient route to downtown Houston, and that deliveries to his new mall would be reliable.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane
The residential areas of Sharpstown today have some interesting surprises in store for fans of mid-century architecture. There are areas where a large number of homes still feature the lines and features that fans of Mad Men might find appealing.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane
Many of them have been updated, and have modern doors and windows replacing the originals. Often those changes dilute the look a home once had, but it's easy to appreciate the appearance of many older homes in the area. Decorative entryway brickwork; large, hanging front door lights that may have once been Sputnik chandeliers; and asymmetrically peaked, flattened roofs are common in some Sharpstown residential areas.


click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane
As you drive through these neighborhoods, it's interesting to compare the homes to others in places like Timbergrove and Lazybrook, and there are definite architectural similarities in certain cases. Sharpstown feels like it is slowly being rediscovered by people who see the potential of the older neighborhoods within it. Home prices are reasonable, and many of them have the features that fans of mid-century homes look for. What's old is new again, and there's a lot to like about some of the area's houses, and their big yards.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane
For people who love these types of homes, Sharpstown may be considered a local treasure; the homes are still affordable, and the neighborhood is arguably one of the most diverse in the city.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane
click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane
click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane
click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHRIS LANE
Photo by Chris Lane

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Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.