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10 Fab Homes

10 fabulous Houston homes — from most unique to most expensive — offer unforgettable memories

10 fabulous Houston homes for sale, from most unique to most expensive

 Houston's most expensive homes, 3866 Willowick, January 2013, aerial
Houston's most expensive home in 2013, 3688 Willowick, is still on the market with a reduced price. Photo courtesy of Martha Turner Properties
24 On the Market 5102 Jackwood St. April 2014 bomb shelter or storage
The "bomb shelter" house at 5102 Jackwood St. in Meyerland definitely deserves our most unique designation. Photo courtesy of © TK Images
Heights house for sale September 2013 405 Woodland St. double lot
Best bungalow? Among our favorites is the home at 405 Woodland St. in Woodlands Heights. Houston Association of Realtors
On the Market 1111 Caroline No. 3007 June 2014
This William Stern-designed penthouse is our favorite downtown luxury home at 1111 Caroline St., No. 3007, in the Four Seasons Hotel. Photo courtesy of Stern and Bucek Architects
On the Market 12020 Tall Oaks St. Frank Lloyd Wright house July 2014 front exterior
The only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house in Houston at 12020 Tall Oaks in Bunker Hill Village. Photo courtesy of © TK Images
3 On the Market 1609 Seaside Galveston December 2013 by Robert Mihovil
Stand-out beach house: 1609 Seaside Drive in Galveston. At $3,750,000, it's still for sale. Photo by © Robert Mihovil
Shelby, On the Market, 405 Timberwilde Lane, December 201
Jeff Bagwell home at 405 Timberwilde Lane in Hunters Creek. Photo courtesy of John Daugherty, Realtors
2 On the Market 201 Westmoreland November 2013
Readers certainly recalled a lot of parties held at The Waldo Mansion at 201 Westmoreland St. Photo courtesy of © TK Images
8132 On the Market 100 Carnarvon Chateau Carnarvon September 2014
Chateau Carnavon recently went on the market with an asking price of $43 million — the most expensive home for sale in Houston. Photo by © Rob Muir
Front of 4739 Buck
A true Houston treasure: The late Bert Long's double-shotgun house at 4739 Buck St. in the Fifth Ward. HAR.com
On the Market Round Top Inn February 2014
Historic getaway: Round Top Inn bed and breakfast. Photo by © Ben Hill/TK Images
 Houston's most expensive homes, 3866 Willowick, January 2013, aerial
24 On the Market 5102 Jackwood St. April 2014 bomb shelter or storage
Heights house for sale September 2013 405 Woodland St. double lot
On the Market 1111 Caroline No. 3007 June 2014
On the Market 12020 Tall Oaks St. Frank Lloyd Wright house July 2014 front exterior
3 On the Market 1609 Seaside Galveston December 2013 by Robert Mihovil
Shelby, On the Market, 405 Timberwilde Lane, December 201
2 On the Market 201 Westmoreland November 2013
8132 On the Market 100 Carnarvon Chateau Carnarvon September 2014
Front of 4739 Buck
On the Market Round Top Inn February 2014

People love to look at photos of pretty houses. Just take a look at the ka-zillions of home, decor, interior design, makeover, etc. magazines and e-magazines solely dedicated to these topics.

CultureMap, during our five years of publication —with more to come — has offered readers peeks into hundreds of Houston-area and beyond homes through our ongoing On the Market editorial series. We've covered the gamut, from bungalows to million-dollar mansions to every budget range and style in between.

For our fifth birthday, we've rounded up some of our favorites, 10 as a matter of fact, to double your viewing pleasure.

Most unique
As the headline read, "Talk about bang for your buck." The Mid-Century mod featured in the 1955 Parade of Homes — and designed by the same architecture firm that planned the Astrodome — came up for sale in April featuring its own bomb shelter. Located at 5102 Jackwood St. in the Meyerland community, the structure includes the secret space, called the "Para-Cap" shelter, with a parabolic roof and room to accommodate up to 10 people. The emergency exit in the backyard is now hidden by landscaping, even though the circular eyepiece or telescope for observation is visible.

Best bungalow
When CNN Money crowned the Heights area as one of America’s 10 Best Big-City Neighborhoods in August 2013, this completely restored 1920s gem at 405 Woodland St. in Woodland Heights was listed at $974,900. Not only is the four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath charmer in pristine condition; it also sits on a rare double-corner lot. The shady, fully fenced property provides a cozy covered porch, multiple courtyards and green spaces. And there’s more: A large private side yard opens to a guest apartment or a future pool house.

Sports hero's house
When former all-time Houston Astros great Jeff Bagwell and his decided to part ways, it became necessary for them to part with their stunning home at 405 Timberwilde Lane in Memorial - for $15 million. The 16,414-square-foot manse sits on 2.5 acres and includes a resort-sized swimming pool and a guest house that measures in at 1,750 square feet. The John Daugherty realtor showing the house at the time commented, "I think this is one of the most beautiful houses I've ever had the pleasure of listing."

Frank Lloyd Wright jewel
Frank Lloyd Wright architecture historians came to the 2,000-square-foot residence at 12020 Tall Oaks St. in Bunker Hill in July to officially inspect and then declare the structure an original. Once destined to be a tear-down, the home showcases signature design elements, including red-pigmented concrete floors, concrete block walls, walls of windows, built-in sofas and bookcases and lots of angles. Wright enthusiasts did air their disapproval that a substantial annex — about 6,000 square feet of contemporary architecture — wraps around the back of the Wright house.

Readers' choice
While CultureMap reported about the historic significance of 1885 The Waldo Mansion at 201 Westmoreland, readers talked more of the great bashes they had attended at the 6,598-square-foot residence nestled on a 25,000-square-foot corner lot among mature trees. That's easy to understand, as the home boasts a wrap-around veranda, 14- and 15-foot ceilings, 10 gas fireplaces and a private courtyard with a fountain guarded by towering palm trees. In other words, party central in Montrose.

Best beach house
A castle in the sand caught waves of attention as a dream sunny family retreat for generations to come. This house in the Beachtown community in Galveston offers 5,200 square feet on four levels, with seven bedrooms to comfortably accommodate friends and relatives. The custom home at 1609 Seaside Drive sits on three beachfront lots. Community space extends the life outdoors with more than 1,700 square feet of deck space on wrap-around porches. And it's still on the market, if you're interested, and still at the original asking price of $3.795 million

Houston treasure
A double-shotgun row house owned by Bert Long Jr. recently came on the market for $200,000. Long worked at the 4739 Buck St. home in the Fifth Ward for more than a decade before he passed away on Feb. 1, 2013. Once featured in design and architecture magazine Dwell, the structure was carefully renovated 15 years ago as part of a year-long thesis project by then-Rice University graduate architecture student Brett Zamore. The 5,831-square-foot property includes the 960-square-foot two-bedroom, one-bathroom home as well as Long's separate studio space.

Historic bed and breakfast
We had high hopes of this becoming CultureMap's official retreat; however, the $1,225,000 price tag left it on the market until a buyer with deeper pockets snatched it up: The country-chic, top-rated bed and breakfast, Round Top Inn. Built in 1885, the two-story Main House is the largest residence on the property. The Farm House is complete with a sprawling front porch and plenty of rocking chairs. An adorable two-story, salt-box-style abode, the Gate House offers two bedrooms. A spacious Retreat Center is perfect for reunions, birthdays, luncheons or private parties. Quite the package for five residences and a retreat center on about one acre in this antique paradise.

Most expensive home (when article published)
The ticket on Bayou Breeze was first listed in 2013 at $19,995,000; today the mansion is still on the market with a reduced price of $15,995,000. The Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty listing is an incredible English-style country estate sitting on 3.7 secluded acres in the middle of River Oaks. With 16,022 square feet, the manse at 3688 Willowick is a custom wonder designed by Curtis & Windham, built by Randy Ratcliff and decorated by famed New York-based designer Bunny Williams.

Just last week, the Bayou Breeze house seemed like a deal after a palatial Memorial chateau went on sale with an asking price of $43 million, which is believed to be Houston's most expensive home ever offered on the market.

Best penthouse
Also still for sale is the exclusive penthouse in the Four Seasons Hotel Houston designed by renowned architect William F. Stern. With a reduced price now of $3,850,000 (original asking price was $4.6 million), No. 3007 is one of the few private condos at the top of the hotel. Stern arranged the open floor plan into three zones: Living areas with raised ceilings just steps from the dining room, gourmet kitchen and wine cellar; master suite library and media room; and master suite and two guest suites with den. The zones are linked by a hallway along the outside wall, flooding the residence with light and maximizing views of the city's skyline.

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CultureMap is celebrating its fifth birthday with a big party on Oct. 10 from  7 - 10 p.m. at the new JW Marriott Houston Downtown, with a portion of proceeds going to Casa de Esperanza. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.