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Best Artistic Renovation Houston 2007 - Isabella Court Building

Isabella Court opened in 1929, the year the Great Depression began, but the lovely Spanish-style building is a survivor that made it onto the National Register of Historic Places. Purchased in 1991 by Trudy Hutchings, Isabella Court has been lovingly preserved and restored. The building's stunning courtyard is legendary, and its original murals, faded with time, lend the building a romantic elegance. The apartments may have central air now, but each still has its own milk box out front. Originally designed as a mixed-use building with commercial space on the bottom and apartments on top, the residential space has always drawn artsy tenants, but now the downstairs commercial space is pretty darn artsy as well. Commercial tenants fled during light rail construction, but now the downstairs is fully leased — three galleries, an art consultant and an architecture firm call the building home. Isabella Court has become an art destination.

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