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Home-improvement giant dubs Houston enclave a "Best Old House Neighborhood" — and it's not the Heights

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Glenbook Valley hosts one of the city's largest clusters of mid-century homes, like this vintage mod on Lakewind Street. Courtesy of Houston Association of Realtors
Glenbrook Valley 8035 Glenforest Houston mid-century modern front exterior
Note the round living room on this Glenforest Court home from 1959. Houston Association of Realtors
Glenbrook Valley 8035 Glenforest Houston mid-century modern
And no circular room is complete without a circular fireplace, of course. Houston Association of Realtors
Tyler, mod house, 7919 Glenview, December 2012
Glenbrook Valley homes, like this one on Glenview Drive, are begging for architecture enthusiasts looking for preservation projects. Photo by Ben Hill
Tyler, mod house, 7919 Glenview, December 2012
Glenview home, rear view Photo by Ben Hill
News_Peter Barnes_real estate_neighborhood_Peter Barnes_Glenbrook Valley_7711 Lakewind
Glenbrook Valley 8035 Glenforest Houston mid-century modern front exterior
Glenbrook Valley 8035 Glenforest Houston mid-century modern
Tyler, mod house, 7919 Glenview, December 2012
Tyler, mod house, 7919 Glenview, December 2012

This Old House selected Glenbrook Valley — Houston's mecca for mid-century homes — as one of the nation's "Best Old House Neighborhoods" for 2013, citing the enclave for its "daring roof lines," "sweeping lawns" and "built-in Martini bars."

The home-improvement magazine, a companion to the classic PBS television series, highlighted the neighborhood as one of 10 Editors' Picks alongside noted historic communities like Chicago's Bronzeville and Asbury Park, N.J. along the Jersey Shore.

Editors call Glenbrook "a neighborhood that would have tempted Mad Men’s Don Draper had he landed a Big Oil account." 

Located just north of Hobby Airport, Glenbrook Valley touts more than 1,000 homes built between 1953 and 1962, all decked out with varying degrees of mid-century modern details — from pink-tiled bathrooms to circular living rooms. This Old House editors call Glenbrook "a neighborhood that would have tempted Mad Men’s Don Draper had he landed a Big Oil account."

After weathering several decades of decline, the area has drawn a recent wave of architecture enthusiasts hoping to score an untouched piece of American design history.

In 2011, homeowners successfully lobbied to have the neighborhood declared one of the first post-World War II historic districts in Texas.

"Glenbrook features some of the Houston's best examples of modern architecture," area resident and realtor Robert Searcy tells CultureMap. "It's also one of the few neighborhoods in the city where you can still get a good deal."

With home prices ranging from just below $100,000 to $300,000, the community remains affordable even as the city's residential market explodes. As such, This Old House included Glenbrook Valley in additional "best of" categories for bargains, fixer-uppers, first-time buyers and retirees.

For a closer look at Glenbrook Valley's unique housing stock, check out this vintage 1954 mod featured on CultureMap in December.

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