Walk Through Houston’s History: The Good Brick Tour

Curious about our beautiful city’s history and architecture? If you are, you aren’t alone; people, not only in Houston but around the Nation, are taking more interest in our city’s history, buildings, and story. If that describes you, you’re in luck: This weekend is Preservation Houston’s 5th Annual Good Brick tour, a two-day event celebrating and highlighting some of Houston’s most historic and stunning homes.

The homes are all Good Brick Award-winning projects, showing off the city’s oldest homes that have been restored to their original beauty, and updated with today’s technology and comforts. On Saturday and Sunday, docents will led public tours through five current and former Good Brick Award-winning projects. These five historic properties on the tour are just the tip of the Good Brick-awards–more than 200 homes have been honored in the past near 40 years.

Join the over 1,500 people who are expected to attend this year’s amazing architecture tour, from noon to 5pm on October 27 and 28. Tickets are still available online through Thursday, October 25, and can also be purchased at any of the sites. Click here to buy yours while they are still available!

Since 1979, Preservation Houston has honored over 200 projects with Good Brick Awards. After years of demand, a tour was created to provide the public an opportunity to explore examples of historic preservation projects. The property owners, architects and designers are on site, providing first-hand experience and knowledge of the ‘before and after’. Preservation Houston has highlighted three out of the five award winners, including 934 Louise St., which is sponsored by Circa Real Estate. If you are on the tour, we’ll see you there!

After, 934 Louise. Image c/o of Pres. Hou.


Before, 934 Louise. Image c/o of Pres. Hou.

On The Tour: 934 Louise Street

Circa Real Estate is thrilled to be a part of the 2018’s Good Brick Tour and to have the opportunity to sponsor 934 Louise Street in Sunset Heights. This 1920s bungalow remained untouched over the decades, until 2013 when the home was sold. The new owners were familiar with 934 Louise, first becoming enamored with the decaying house after passing it on a walk around their neighborhood. After an extensive preservation project, the owners had crafted a home that meets the needs of modern living while still maintaining its original charm. The bungalow was then sold to its third ever owner-occupant. Many historic features remain and now are complemented by family pieces and original art.

Heights Textile Mill, present day. Image c/o Rice University.


Heights Textile Mill in 1980. Image c/o K.L. London.

Heights Textile Mill

Louise is one of two Greater Heights properties on this year’s tour. The other is The Heights Textile Mill, at 611 W. 22nd Street, which was constructed in 1894, before the Heights was annexed in 1918 by the city of Houston. The Victorian textile mill was built for A.R. Morey & Co., a mattress manufacturer. At the time, the project was located in the industrial center of the Houston Heights. Over the years, as different companies moved in (a textile mill, a fiberglass factory, a blind manufacturing plant), more and more square footage was added. Despite years of neglect, the Textile Mill had become a Heights landmark. In the early 2000s, the neighborhood urged the current owners to preserve its history and restore the mill and clock tower. After almost 10 years of work, the Good Brick award recipient now houses offices, Kraftsmen Cafe, lofts, an apartment and studio space. The building’s five-story tower still contains its hand-wound Seth Thomas clock.

67 Tiel Way, present day. Image c/o of Pres Hou.


Kamrath’s personal home at 8 Tiel Way (demolished). Image c/o Ben Hill.

67 Tiel Way

One of the more notable streets in River Oaks, the Tiel Way loop once featured seven homes designed by prominent Houston architects MacKie & Kamrath. Only two of the firm’s Tiel Way houses remain; one  is 67 Tiel Way, another of this year’s featured Good Brick Tour properties. MacKie & Kamrath helped introduce postwar modernism to architecturally conservative Houston and were especially known for their work in the Usonian style pioneered by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright. Built by oil and gas pipeline manufacturer E.L. Rolfs, 67 Tiel Way has had multiple owners and undergone several renovations. In 2004, the current owners purchased the home and began reversing years of insensitive updates, revealing original Mexican brick walls and redwood trim. Today the home showcases its unique architecture while accommodating a modern lifestyle. As one of the last remaining Usonian homes in River Oaks, 67 Tiel Way is a must-see.

Map of the tour. Image c/o Preservation Houston


Preservation Houston

Preservation Houston is Houston’s only citywide nonprofit organization that advocates for historic preservation. Their members, volunteers and staff share a commitment to preserve prime examples of this great city’s architectural and cultural heritage.  Preservation Houston works tirelessly to educate and advocate for Houston’s historic resources, with a commitment to create economic value and above all else, strengthen the community. Preservation Houston offers a wide variety of public programs, including film screenings, walking tours, lecture series and book discussions.

Explore these award-winning preservation projects this weekend. All 5 tour locations will be open noon to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Keep an eye out for Circa agents at 934 Louise Street in Sunset Heights. Our agents and staff members will be guiding tours and providing a brief history of the neighborhood.


Featured image c/o Pres. Hou. Social Media images c/o Pres. Hou. and Ed Uthman via Wikipedia.


Written By Sarah-Anne Fehr