Tax Credit Program Highlight: Maria B. Flake Home for Old Women

Houston, Harris County

1917

Designation

Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Historic Use

Residential/Group home/Retail

Current Use

Law offices

Date Certified

June 3, 2019

 

Also certified for federal historic tax credits.

Project Contact

Kerry Goelzer Associates; Andra White Design; JCS Construction Services; MacRostie Historic Advisors; 1103 Berry Street LLC

History

The discovery of oil in Houston spurred a massive population increase in the early twentieth century. Commercial entrepreneurs, trying to meet the demands of the growing populace, began to encroach on residential neighborhoods and purchased homes in which to house their businesses. During this period of development, Maria Boswell Flake charged the trustees of her estate to build a home for elderly Houston women of little means and no family. Capitalizing on the impinging commercialization in residential areas, the trustees purchased a Prairie/Craftsmen-style house in Houston’s South End (now Midtown) and opened Maria B. Flake’s Home for Old Women. The home served this purpose until 1971, when the building was converted into an architectural antiques business.

Rehabilitation Project

The house was occupied by the antiques business for over four decades before closing, which aided in the preservation of the decorative woodwork and other features throughout the interior. However, the original construction methods on the flat-roofed porches had led to significant deterioration in those areas. The rehabilitation converted the house into use as law offices, and included major reconstruction in those damaged areas. Structural beams were replaced and the roofs redesigned to promote better drainage. The unique false beam ends on the side porch were replaced in-kind. Woodwork throughout the house was completely restored. The kitchen and bathrooms were upgraded, with a period look. The attic was also finished out to allow for additional office space. Finally, a non-historic storage building was removed from the site to allow for parking.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • A full view of the front of the house.