Home, Sweet History

At Circa Real Estate, our goal is to make every listing memorable, whether it’s by telling a home’s story or by focusing on that one unique feature that makes it special.  We believe in that concept so strongly that we office in one of the Heights’ most memorable homes, and I’d like to share some of its history with you.

In 1891, the Omaha and South Texas Land Company purchased 1,756 acres of land with the intent of building  a suburb four miles north of downtown, creating one of the first master planned communities in Texas.   This little suburb was named “The Heights” because it was sixty-two feet above sea level.  The appeal of the community would be a “city within a city,” where residents could shop, send their children to school, and enjoy life away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

 The Cooley Mansion was built in 1892 by the Omaha and South Texas Land Company, and it originally stood on the property that is now Marmion Park on the northeast corner of E. 18th St. and Heights Blvd.  It was the first mansion built in the Heights.  The treasurer of the land company, D.D. Cooley, moved here from Nebraska and had the house built for himself.  Electric trolley lines were run up Heights Boulevard connecting to downtown, and Cooley attached the lines to his mansion, making the home one of the first in the Heights to have electricity.

After being handed down through three generations of the Cooley family, the house was beyond repair and subsequently demolished in 1965.  The land was purchased by the Houston Heights Association in 1979, and Marmion Park was constructed there.

In 2000, Premier Victorian built a replica of the Cooley Mansion across the street from where it originally stood.  The mansion’s interior is different than the original because the design company only had exterior pictures to work with, and modern convenience had to come into play.  A descendent of Cooley’s remembers the home to have had eight bathrooms, but the modern version has only four bedrooms and four bathrooms.  The decor truly makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the past, with beautiful silk window coverings, stunning chandeliers, and reclaimed hardwoods that are over 110 years old.  The home was sold to a law firm, and it was the first single family home to sell for over $1 million in the Heights.

When we decided to open our own brokerage, there was really no other location that even came close to the fit of the Cooley Mansion.  After all, if we’re going to sell real estate, doesn’t it make sense that our office be part of the original real estate transaction that started the neighborhood?

If you’d like to take tour of this historical replica, or if you would like to talk to us about selling your own memorable home, give us a call today at 713-862-1101.

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