The newly restored Moore-Hopson House is one of the finest examples of Renaissance Revival in the Historic District. Located at 545 W. Hopkins St., it has been earmarked as the Designer Show House during the 44th Annual Heritage Home Tour and is where the Preview Party will take place. Photos by Denisa Burnham
The 44th Annual Heritage Home Tour
The 2019 Heritage Home Tour is right around the corner. This year the tour features architectural masterpieces of newly constructed homes, superbly updated vintage bungalows and restored historic manors with stunning views and magnificent gardens.
A Texas Home built with Stucco & Stone
Will and Lana Holder’s home is the first home to visit on the 2019 Heritage Home Tour. It rests on a bluff located at the end of a cul de sac on Norcrest, in the heart of the Spring Lake district. Designed as a home with two separate domains, it is unified at the eyebrow arched entry flanked with black iron gates. You are immediately embraced by the majestic bronze sculpture of a woman with open arms overlooking the pool. Her backdrop is a stunning, panoramic view of the Hill Country with multiple terraced levels.
The main Holder residence is on the left in a spatial open floor plan surrounded by enormous picture windows with contemporary furnishings and an impeccably pared down interior in a neutral palette. Materials from nature embellish the home in every room including the sink carved from a block of stone in the half bath that creates an exquisite architectural statement. The living room ceiling is pierced with recessed lighting and exposed white oak trusses that serve as structural framing. When you enter at the front door, you face a backlit slab of onyx with veins that remind you of the water running through the San Marcos River.
A Mid-Century Modern with a View
A cheery, blue wooden door set into a flagstone garden wall welcomes visitors to the front of Bill Huddleston’s Mid-Century Modern home built in 1961. When Huddleston purchased it 19 years ago, it was in need of extensive updating. The house has benefited from major interior improvements including mesquite floors, new doors and windows, and a completely remodeled kitchen. Exterior improvements involved a metal roof, gutters and gates. The renovation is still a work in progress, as Huddleston admits.
Antique books, vintage trucks, classic cars, reclaimed wood and character-rich collectibles are things that Huddleston appreciates most. A large open floor plan leads to a library/ dining area where a hand-hewn 7-and-ahalf-foot-long dining table serves as the focal point. Huddleston constructed the table from salvaged, flood-damaged cypress, and also built the shelves on each side of the room which display his collection of old books.
The bright, airy kitchen was constructed from repurposed floor-to-ceiling stone pillars that once supported the carport roof and are now an architectural statement in the interior. The house is a modified U-shape with a courtyard in the open area. On the right leg of the house is an eye-catching garage constructed almost entirely of large glass panels built to showcase his prized Porsche automobile.
The piece de resistance can be seen as you enter the living room where enormous wallto-wall windows frame the breathtaking, panoramic view of Spring Lake Preserve. This fantastic scene was unavailable at one time due to numerous large oak trees that blocked the view. An infestation of oak blight turned out to be a blessing when Huddleston cut them down and the entire landscape became visible. An outside terrace is paneled in thick glass so your view is not obscured giving you a sense of floating in endless space.
This impeccably detailed Ranch Style home was recently finished after months of renovation. It is the third home on the 44th Annual Heritage Home Tour.
A Renovated Ranch Style
The newly remodeled home of Russ Clark and Fred Poston does not come without layers of stories, beginning with when they made it through Hurricane Harvey. They were ready to leave Houston after the storm and they agreed that they wanted to move to a small town in the Texas Hill Country. The prerequisites included a three-car garage, a pool and a fabulous view. When they discovered Mimosa Circle, they saw the potential and chapter two was written.
The view from the street level is deceptive because what appears to be a small one-story house is actually a two-story that continues below on the steeply graded hill. Additionally, the panoramic view from the back is hidden from the front view, another illusion.
The home has a well-established relationship between the inside of the house to the outdoors; the two are never clearly defined. There was a natural connection to the house, the site, and the neighborhood, and the two agreed it felt right.
Their home is a reflection of their work together. It is a space composed with clean lines, walls of glass and it’s all about the view. The street level entry opens into a sunken living room with twin portals leading into the dining room and kitchen. Pared down furnishings add to the spaciousness. All rooms overlook the pool and tree-lined backyard with stunning views of the hill country. The enormous windows fill the whole space with light and act as a fulcrum to the house. A handsome master bedroom and bathroom complete the upstairs providing privacy for guest rooms below on the first floor adjoining the terraced pool.
The Rogers Ridge House
Genevieve Scanlan had lived in San Marcos for two years while working at the university when she first discovered the Rogers Ridge House in 2010. “It was chocolate brown and didn’t have much curb appeal,” she said.
However, when it came back on the market in 2012, she decided to buy it. The home is handsomely appointed with antiques from around the world, family heirlooms, and a playful mix of eclectic art. While mixing new and vintage pieces in an interior gives a house charm and character, it also reflects the personalities of the people who live in it. Scanlan’s home is a gallery of individuality.
Her paternal grandmother collected Asian furnishings and antiques from around the world. “They were in the army so they traveled a lot,” she said. Several classic tables in the living room were purchased in South Korea and China and a gorgeous assortment of handmade oriental rugs cover the floors throughout the house.
A collection of textiles from Guatemala and Mexico were gifts from her sister’s mother-inlaw and they cover the pillows on the living room sofa. The massive gilded framed mirror in the dining room was a Horchow find in Dallas. The plantation shutters in front of the living room windows were made by her father repurposed from a lumber yard sale in Corpus Christi and the pendant lights in the kitchen are from Wimberley Glassworks.
The majestic pair of beveled glass double doors at the entrance came with the house and always arouse comments from visitors. The foyer is lit by a chandelier made with capiz shells handcrafted by her father. The mate to it resides in the dining room, and they are referred to as “yin and yang.”
The home of Kathy and Jude Prather, is a newly renovated masterpiece and the fifth house on the Heritage Home Tour.
Mid-Century Modern & Texas Chic
Located in a historic neighborhood of charming homes, Jude and Kathy Prather's unpretentious-looking residence is a total anomaly. What appears to be a very modest dwelling is actually a spatial 3,200 sq. ft. beautifully remodeled vintage home. It is built on a hillside at an angle so that only a portion is visible from the street. Askew from view, is the impressive front door, an ornate, iron, double Dutch-style work of art designed by Kathy Prather and crafted by San Marcos Iron Door Company.
Built in 1959, the Mid-Century Modern style, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, has evolved into what the owners call “Texas Hill Country Chic” in an updated palette of soft beiges, pastels and white.
The spacious living room is surrounded by wall-to-wall picture windows facing east to overlook an expansive lawn. In the springtime, it is blanketed with bluebonnets and wildflowers. The exposed beams, planked walls, and warm Texas limestone lend texture to the room.
During the home's renovation, most of the walls were either removed or reconfigured to create a continuous open-floor plan. This is apparent when you enter the enormous beamed kitchen where a work island anchors the space. It was designed by Jude Prather, who does most of the cooking.
Sliding ship-lap barn doors hide the pantry and were repurposed from a wall that had originally existed there. What appears to be a floor-to-ceiling spice rack is actually a secret short-cut into a different part of the house.
Two full baths were added to the house. The stunning master suite adjoins the bedroom and bathroom to form an enormous, elegant room. The bathroom is graced with a luxurious chaise lounge and a graceful, envy-inducing white claw-foot tub and an enormous marble walk-in shower.
The Crookwood home, at 227 North Mitchell St., has stunning gardens. It is the sixth home on the 44th Annual Heritage Home Tour.
Greek Revival & Gardens
The gardens of Crookwood, home of the late Ambassador William H. Crook and Eleanor Crook since 1960, will be open to guests during the tour.
Crookwood is a large white house, with handsome columns gracing the front porch in the classic Greek Revival style. It was built in 1907 for the Ike Wood family.
William and Eleanor Crook purchased the house in 1962, after he assumed the presidency of San Marcos Baptist Academy. In 1967, he was named National Director of Vista in the Johnson Administration, at which time the family moved to Washington, D.C. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Mr. Crook to serve as Ambassador to Australia in 1968-69, after which the family returned to San Marcos.
Crookwood – the Crook family is only the second family to own the house, hence the name – has been restored as faithfully as possible, using Greek Revival colors and furnishings appropriate to the pre-colonial period.
Adjacent to the conservatory – a newer addition to Crookwood, completed in 1997 – is a garden laid out in a formal style in red brick with boxwood lining the walkway and patio. Fig ivy covers the thick wall on the north side of the garden and outlines the eagle above the gate.
Restored Renaissance Revival
Barrie Breed recognized the diamond in the rough when she purchased one of the finest examples of Renaissance Revival in the San Marcos historic district. Renaissance Revival was a popular movement that lasted from the 1890s through the 1930s. The home was in need of restoration to survive but the extraordinary features still existed in the bones of the building. The low pitched hipped roof of clay tiles with broadly overhanging bracketed eaves, a symmetrical façade, masonry construction, a round arch entrance and windows, classical details including columns and balustrades, all of these characteristics were beautifully preserved.
The Hopson House, as it was originally named, was built by John M. Moore and his wife, Bess Moore, who owned and operated a wholesale grocery store during the early 1900s. Moore sold the business to Breed’s father-in-law and it became Breed’s Hardware Store. This previously unknown connection between the two families, according to Breed, became the primary catalyst in her desire to purchase the home.
When it was built in the 1920s, it was considered one of the finest homes in San Marcos. The original yellow brick veneer with white stone trim made it a magnificent vision in the town.
The Hopson Estate was left to the Moore’s six grandchildren, two of whom, Laura Weatherford and Sue Coal, still reside in San Marcos. Weatherford, Coal and Breed are actively involved in recording the history of the Moore-Hopson House, restoring its legacy and maintaining its integrity.
The Moore-Hopson House has been designated as the Designer Show House for the 2019 Home Tour and will be furnished by professional interior designers for the tour on Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5.
While on the tour, participants are encouraged to ask the docents to share stories from each homeowner about the unique history of the house.
La Cima, a new home development in San Marcos, is the premier sponsor for the 2019 Heritage Home Tour. During the tour on Saturday and Sunday, from 12-7 p.m., La Cima will serve street tacos and margaritas.
The Preview Party will be held there on Friday, May 3 from 5-9 p.m. The event will include fiesta food and drink, a silent auction, mariachi music and folkloric dancers — a festive kick off for a Cinco de Mayo weekend surrounded by a sense of history as original as Texas itself.
Home Tour Tickets are $20 in advance online. Tickets will be $25 the day of and will be available from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Charles S. Cock House Museum, 400 E. Hopkins St. Preview Party Tickets are $50 in advance online. The Preview Party tickets also include admission to the home tour.