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The Wright Way

Friday, November 8th, 2013

By Sara Driscoll
Photos by Mark Scheyer Photography

This 1950s-era home in River Oaks, TX, was originally designed by renowned Houston architects MacKie and Kamrath, gifted interpreters of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian vision. Six decades after the home was built, Miller Dahlstrand DeJean Architects crafted a plan to give the residence some much-needed restoration. “Not only did the house need general repair, it also needed decades’ worth of paint and ‘improvements’ removed to return the finishes back to their original state,” says Reagan Miller of Miller Dahlstrand DeJean Architects. “The current owners and I wanted to preserve and sympathetically rehabilitate this historically important house while meeting modern needs,” he says.

Both structural and cosmetic changes were made, including a new two-story wing, kitchen, and family room on the ground floor, and a reconfiguration of two original bedrooms into a bedroom suite and study. The original foyer, living room, and dining room were preserved with minor modifications.

In addition to creating a functional family home, the renovation was a personal achievement for Miller, who wrote his master’s thesis on MacKie and Kamrath: “Some of the most rewarding aspects of the project were working with enlightened clients whose goal was the preservation of an historic house, working in a style of modernism that had reached its peak over 60 years ago but yet remains absolutely vital and inspirational today, and the opportunity to professionally revisit a project that started 20 years earlier as an academic pursuit.” 

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