2016 GOOD BRICK AWARD
Architect Harry D. Payne conceived the Henderson-Scurlock House as a 2,600 square foot English Regency-style structure replete with neoclassical elements—a Doric colonnade, stucco pediment, continuous fascia and frieze, Greek revival casing around full-height double-hung windows, brick quoins and wrought iron railings. Landmarked in 2009 for its architectural significance and the legacy of philanthropists Eddy and Elizabeth Scurlock, this historical structure had undergone a series of major additions nearly every decade since its construction in 1941.
The current custodians of the house engaged the architecture and interior design services of L. Barry Davidson Architects for the firm’s extensive work in Georgian style architecture. It was a primary goal of the project team to preserve the original front and side façades and rework the incremental additions in a cohesive manner to suit the needs of an active family with three young children.
In keeping with the original materials used, the rigorous extension of the Regency style is evident in the continuous fascia and frieze, blending of the existing and new brick veneer, and most dramatically the rhythmic repetition of the front entry pediment as a gable feature. The flat-roofed carport added by Langwith Wilson King in 1971 was completely removed to expose the new side entry and children’s study nook. The original garage and renovated quarters were in disrepair, now rebuilt with a pair of traditional garage doors. The sunken playroom with archtop French doors added in 1971 was made level with the original house, with new historically appropriate doors and brick steps down to the lawn. The plate glass windows, also added in 1971, were replaced with new clad wood windows with historical muntins and brick mold.
The placement of the new open loggia as an extension of the house and on axis with the pool offers a completely unobstructed view of the entire garden, referencing the sweeping lawn of the English country house. The loggia is defined by a colonnade of cast stone Doric columns centered on the outdoor fireplace and summer kitchen.
The main gathering spaces were left largely intact, with new generous openings aligned to allow a continuous vista from the front to the back of the structure. The family porch added by Hugo V. Neuhaus, Jr. in 1964 was replaced with a new three-sided sunroom to relieve the constricted passage from living to family. The needs of each successive owner had resulted in fragmented circulation and utilitarian furr-downs throughout the second floor. The simple idea of shifting the main bedroom hall 18” and now lit by a new barrel vaulted ceiling cove allowed the new second floor rooms to fall into place along a spine.
From a cost standpoint, the proposed work to the house was extensive enough to justify a petition to remove the landmark status in favor of a complete demolition of the existing structure. However, it is highly commendable that the owners did not hesitate to proceed with the renovation and addition, thereby retaining the historical correctness of the house and grounds.
The home of Robert and Jane Cabes designed by L. Barry Davidson Architects was a recipient of Preservation Houston: 2016 Good Brick Award.