KHOU & CultureMap

Historic Houston home hits the market after artist's death: Will it be treasured or forgotten?

Historic Houston home hits the market: Will it be treasured or hurt?

Living room 4739 Buck
The 180-square-foot living room feels larger with its open ceilings. HAR.com
Bert Long home CM moment
The two bedroom, one bathroom former home and studio of local artist Bert Long, Jr. is on the markert for $200,000. KHOU Channel 11 News
Front of 4739 Buck
The front of Bert Long's former double-shotgun style home features two patios. HAR.com
4739 Buck Bert Long green space
The lot features ample green space between the home and studio. HAR.com
Master bedroom 4739 Buck
The 200-square-foot master bedroom sits near the back of the home. HAR.com
4739 Buck Bert Long studio
The large studio space could easily be transformed into guest quarters as it features a small bathroom. HAR.com
Living room 4739 Buck
Bert Long home CM moment
Front of 4739 Buck
4739 Buck Bert Long green space
Master bedroom 4739 Buck
4739 Buck Bert Long studio

Known for his bold, highly-personal paintings and sculptures, Bert Long, Jr. served as one of Houston's most notable living artists for 33 years. With Long dying in 2013, and with his wife, Joan Batson, moving to Nebraska to be with her daughter, Long's unique former home and art studio is now on the market.

The attached double-shotgun row house — which is the focus of a new KHOU CultureMap Moment — was carefully renovated 15 years ago as part of a year-long thesis project by then-Rice University graduate architecture student Brett Zamore. Originally made for two separate families, Zamore deconstructed the home and rebuilt it, transforming into something completely unique.

The two bedroom, one bathroom home measures 960-square-feet and features exposed rafters, an open kitchen and second story storage space. Long truly made the house his own with art pieces — by Long and other artists alike — strategically placed around the home.

 "It's about architecture, it's about art, it's about Houston's history." 

With its large lot and secluded yard, CultureMap real estate guru Barbara Kuntz notes that the home offers a great deal of privacy for its residents. The 5,831-square-foot lot, located at 4739 Buck Street in the ever-evolving Fifth Ward, also includes Long's former studio which features a bathroom of its own, meaning the building could easily be converted into a guest house. 

Long, who grew up in the Fifth Ward, will be remembered as one of best-loved and most unique artists in the city.

"It's about architecture, it's about art, it's about Houston's history," Kuntz says.

Batson expressed her connection to the home and it's importance to Houston's history. "I wish I could take the house with me," she says. "It's specifically an African-American historical entity."

The property is listed by Boulevard Realty for $200,000. 

See the KHOU CultureMap Moment: