Ever wonder what it’s like inside the only Houston house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright? Take a virtual tour.
By the numbers: 12020 Tall Oaks Street, Bunker Hill Village, TX 77024 | 1954 (year built) | 8,072 square feet | 5 bedrooms | 6.5 bathrooms | 1.19 acre lot
Nestled on a wooded lot in the scenic community of Bunker Hill Village, where homes routinely sell for seven figures, the structure at 12020 Tall Oaks Street, best described as a severe, concrete-block of horizontal lines, has long attracted special attention among contemporary architecture enthusiasts -- That’s because it’s the only building in Houston designed by America’s most influential architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.
The Thaxton House, named for William Thaxton, the insurance executive who commissioned it in 1954, is one of just three Texas homes with such a pedigree. The others are in Dallas and Amarillo.
A structure that is as much a work of art as it is a home, the original, 1,800-square-foot Thaxton House sought to strike a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature. The modest domicile is often considered an example of what Wright termed a “Usonian” house -- economical abodes designed using principles of organic architecture.
“Wright’s Usonian houses related directly to the earth, unimpeded by a foundation, front porch, protruding chimney, or distracting shrubbery,” the Frank Lloyd Wright foundation wrote of its namesake’s building concept. “Glass curtain walls and natural materials like wood, stone and brick further tied the house to its environment.”
Wright designed some 140 Usonian homes before his death in 1959.
Now, after an abridged architecture lesson, let’s walk it back to Bunker Hill Village. Over the years, various owners altered the Thaxton House’s original design and by the 1990s, it faced the possibility of demolition. A pediatric dentist, and his wife, an architect-turned-dentist, ultimately bought the home in a bid to preserve it, The Houston Business Journal reported. The pair spent millions restoring the original house and constructing a 6,300-square-foot addition to compliment Wright’s original creation.
Overzealous architecture aficionados, in case it wasn’t abundantly clear, this is someone’s house. There is no welcome center. No tours are offered. Respect the owner’s privacy and don’t, you know, violate any property laws. Before you make any unwanted house calls or hop any fences, take a deep breath, or two, curb your basest desires, regain your faculties, opt for sanity and scroll through the slideshow above for a virtual tour of the Thaxton House.