Here’s the history of the West Mansion in Clear Lake that is being demolished

The West Mansion in Clear Lake, Texas, is seen in 2013.
The West Mansion in Clear Lake, Texas, is seen in 2013. (KPRC)

CLEAR LAKE, Texas – Demolition crews began tearing down the historic West Mansion on Nov. 21.

The West Mansion is a 17,000 square-foot Italian Renaissance style home located in the center of a 35,000 acre ranch in Clear Lake.

The mansion was a product of James Marion West, a lumber, oil and ranching tycoon, according to Preservation Texas.

Here’s a timeline leading up to the demolition of the 45-room home, according to Houston History Magazine:

1928: Austrian-trained architect Joseph Finger began the mansion’s design

1930: The mansion was completed

1941: The mansion was left unoccupied after the death of James West

1953: Humble Oil acquired the home and remaining land after the death of Jessie West, James West’s wife

1968: The mansion was renovated for use as NASA’s Lunar Science Institute

1991: The mansion reverted to Humble Oil’s successor, Exxon Corp.

1992: The home was deeded to Rice University.

1992: A 20-year deed amendment preventing the mansion’s demolition was signed.

1993: The home was designated as a Texas Historic Landmark

1994: Rice University sold the home and its surrounding forty one acres to the Pappas family

1994: Placed in the National Register of Historic Places

2006: The mansion was purchased by Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon

2006: The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance (GHPA) announces adding the mansion to its Endangered Buildings List

2007: GHPA succeeds in nominating the West Mansion to Preservation Texas’ list of Texas’ Most Endangered Historic Places

2012: Deed agreement preventing the mansion’s demolition ends

2019: Demolition of the West Mansion begins

The mansion’s demolition could not be prevented due to a lack of ordinances in the City of Pasadena that could protect the home.

Preservation Texas said the company that owns the property announced it plans to divide the land where the home sits to be sold for development.

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