Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A French Chateau in Houston: Part 1. . .8/2/11

Several months back a friend took my husband and I to visit a French chateau and it was truly stunning. At least from the outside. The interior, you could see from the street facing the chateau, was completely gutted and barren. But the ghostly interior wasn't the thing that stood out the most to me. . .no, the fact that THIS authentic French chateau was sitting on gorgeous wooded acres in the middle of Houston, Texas was the most surprising.

The chateau was brought to Houston piece by heavy piece in 1962. It was rebuilt using imported, aged and antiqued materials from France and Italy and was even reconstructed by real experienced French craftsmen. The home's entire facade is built of limestone and features marble steps, antiques statues and fountains, manicured French gardens, and elaborate details strewn throughout the house. That's right! It is here at 306 E. Friar Tuck in Sherwood Forest off of Memorial and it can be yours for just under $9 million. . .pocket change, right? The good news is that if you can afford that kind of a home, it's value is EXCEEDINGLY higher, the bad news is that the entire 12,734 square feet inside the home (lot is 117,089 sq ft) is completely gutted. There's no sheet rock, no flooring, no ceiling. . .nothing. But for some fearless person with incredible imagination and time, the possibilities for beauty and creativity are boundless. The chateau's skeleton is wrought with original French brick, wrought iron work, marble patterns on the ground, you name it. . .it's an antique lover's dream come true but the truth is that to make it come alive, it would take approximately $5-7 million dollars of work. Here are some photographs of the chateau in it's former glory.
This is absolutely breathtaking! I can only imagine the elaborate parties that must have been given in this gorgeous backyard and veranda.
To the left is a photo of the greenhouse that was home to beautiful plants as well as antique statutes. The greenhouse no longer stands today.
That back house is the pool house.
Such stately rooms. . .I wonder what ever became of all this gorgeous antique French and Italian furniture.
I love this study. This is sort of how I imagine Buckingham palace's private residences to look like. . .although I know they are much more modern.
beautiful kitchen. . .a tad antiquated but nonetheless. . .
This landing feels like that of a French hotel.
That's a heck of a butler's pantry!

1 comment:

jane carter said...

When I stepped into the showroom, I felt like I was in Provence.
The scent of lavender and the sound of running water from the antique limestone fountain along with the incredible selection of French garden antiques were really impressive. If you are looking for very large garden ornaments, French planters, etc. this is the showroom to visit. A total of 15,000 square feet of the most incredible French garden antiques, French limestone fountains, fireplace mantels and the most selective collection of planters from France with immediate availability. Each piece feels real, the atmosphere is so calming and rural. A true and unique gem to be found in West Palm Beach! Their website is www.authenticprovence.com