The old Weingarten mansion in the historic Riverside Terrace neighborhood may be restored after all.
Debra Blenderman, branch manager for Better Homes and Gardens Gary Greene Bay area office, confirmed that the house and property is under contract, adding "it's our understanding" that the property is to be restored. She said she could not reveal the name of the buyer or the final sales price at this time due to real estate laws. That information will be available after the property closes, she said.
After only two weeks on the market, the 5,480-square-foot mansion on almost five acres at 4000 S. MacGregor Way was up for grabs at $2.2 million — either to buyers willing to take on a complete restoration project or developers hoping to build multiple homes on the property.
Built in 1938 by grocery magnate Joseph Weingarten and wife Malvina, the three-story mansion was the first residence in what later became known as the "Jewish River Oaks."
The former owners bought the Weingarten mansion and surrounding acreage from the Weingarten family in 1967 and have lived on the property ever since. Hence, the mansion was on market for the first time in almost 50 years. The Houston Association of Realtors's listing describes the structure as "sound but would need a complete restoration."
Designed by architect Joseph Finger, the French chateau sits on the Weingarten estate's 4.7-acre wooded lot. The structure is an 11-room brick residence with nearly 5,500 square feet, including four bedrooms (all upstairs), three full and one half-baths, a 900-square-foot basement and a detached garage with living quarters initially above.
A once grand rotunda entry with ornate, spiraling staircase and chandeliers overhead welcomed owners and guests in the house's glory days. Four gas connections and wood-burning fireplaces warmed the house, which still has no air conditioning or updated source of heating.
A wooden-paneled office seems to be fairly intact, while paint from the ceiling peels in other rooms, such as in large living area filled with windows, sunroom, dining area and even a bedroom. Floors are also covered with dusty carpet remnants. Several original light fixtures remain, as do, of course, the significant architectural elements.
The expansive grounds are full of mature trees, and the house overlooks a huge front yard and even larger backyard.
Riverside was featured in Jon Schwartz's documentary, This Is Our Home It Is Not For Sale, which traces the "integration, real estate blockbusting, white flight and regentrification" of the area over a 60-year period.