Proposed historic district Harmonium is a work of art—literally

Harmonium historic district
A section of six homes in the Magnolia Grove neighborhood near Rice Military could soon be designated a historic district by the city of Houston. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

A section of six homes in the Magnolia Grove neighborhood near Rice Military could soon be designated a historic district by the city of Houston. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

An enclave of six homes across 10 lots in the Magnolia Grove neighborhood dating back to the early 1900s could become Houston’s newest historic district.

The homes are owned by Houston-based artist Salle Werner Vaughn, who has turned the collection of early 20th century properties along the 4600 block of Blossom Street into an art installation called “Harmonium,” which would also be the name of the proposed district. The homes’ original exteriors are largely intact, while the interiors have been reimagined by Vaughn, who originally acquired the homes in the late 1980s, according to county records.

”It’s a sublime combination of preservation and art,” said Roman McAllen, the city of Houston’s historic preservation officer.

Two lots in the proposed district have been turned into wildlife habitats with lush native greenery. According to the district application, the bungalows are representative of the Brunner addition, a community that was annexed into the city of Houston in 1913 after being unable to incorporate on its own.

A historic district designation would protect the homes from demolition and significant modification under to-be-determined design rules. Houston has 22 such protected districts, though the law that allows for their preservation is being challenged in the Texas Supreme Court.


A public hearing on the district was held in October. The Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission is expected to consider the item at its Dec. 16 meeting, McAllen said. If a recommendation is supported, it will go to City Council for approval.
By Matt Dulin
Matt joined Community Impact Newspaper in January 2018 and is the City Editor for Houston's Inner Loop editions.


MOST RECENT

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

Houston City Council approved a $500,000 grant ask that targets updates to the city’s parks master plan. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Houston City Council approves $500,000 grant ask for parks plan

The city of Houston is asking for $500,000 in grant funding to help pay for updates to its parks master plan.

George Floyd protest
Houston-area officials, advocates react to guilty verdicts in George Floyd murder

Across the city of Houston, local officials and advocates shared messages of solidarity and urged for more reforms in the wake of the announcement.

Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston region in 2017. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
How Harris County residents can prepare for hurricane season

After the most active hurricane season on record in 2020, Harris County officials said residents should be prepared for the upcoming season starting June 1.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo speaks at an April 19 press conference at a mass-vaccination site at NRG Park. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook Live).
Harris County accepting walk-ins for vaccine at NRG Park

As demand for vaccines has fallen, officials are looking for ways to make them more accessible.

The Market, one of the concepts at the Asch Building, features a selection of groceries including prepared foods, pasture-raised chicken and Texas produce. (Courtesy Asch Building)
Featuring local and international goods, Asch Building in the Heights holds grand opening

The building includes three small shops and two "micro" shops out back.

Black, indigenous and people of color-owned businesses will be the aim in The Ion’s new Aerospace accelerator. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Minority-owned businesses aim for Ion’s new aerospace accelerator launch

The accelerator will take four businesses through a 12-week program designed to further develop their innovations.

Vaccinations at any of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic's 26 Greater Houston-area locations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only at no cost to the individual or family. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-based Kelsey-Seybold Clinic expands vaccine eligibility to age 16 and older

Vaccinations at any of Kelsey-Seybold Clinic's 26 Greater Houston-area locations are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment only at no cost to the individual or family.

Artists with Ink Dwell Studio created the mural, which depicts birds that migrate seasonally to the Houston area. (Courtesy Anthony Rathbun/Houston Parks Board)
Photos: New mural 'Confluence' celebrates Houston's bayous, birds

"It is so important to use art to lift everyone’s spirits and look at the world in a different way,” Houston Parks Board's Beth White said.

Costco Business Centers, of which there are only about 15 in the country, carry different products and provide a different shopping experience to members than do traditional Costco Wholesale stores. (Courtesy Costco Wholesale)
Costco Business Center being built in Stafford; see live music in The Woodlands and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the Houston area from the past week.