This addition and remodel to the historic Clayton Summer House combines the owner’s love of modern architecture with her fond memories of the original. In 1923, patriarch Will Clayton hired architect Birdsall Briscoe to design the first house in Houston’s River Oaks, then located outside the city, as a summer house for his family. As was popular at the time, Briscoe used Mount Vernon as an inspiration for the planning and the design. The house is now on the National Register of Historic Places; the addition complements and respects the original.
The house is flanked by two curved covered walkways that connect a redesigned, open kitchen on the east side and the original screened porch on the west. The utilitarian exterior of the kitchen was redesigned to mirror the three graceful arches of the screened porch. The existing walkway was replaced with a steel and glass curved passage, its columns placed at the same rhythmic intervals. The master bedroom addition was placed in the northeast corner of the property, obscured by the front of the house. The back porch provides a covered seating area from which to view croquet games on the new lawn. The house’s refurbished wood siding and white painted brick retain their recreational charm, and the sound of the gravel drive still evoke memories of long-ago summer days.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston Design Council Members Tour 2008
American Friends of Attingham Tour of Houston Architecture 2007
Rice Design Alliance Architecture Tour 2003
Houstonia Magazine, July 2013, “Sustain Agility: the Oldest Home in River Oaks” by James Glassman
Houston Architectural Guide, 3rd Edition, AIA Houston, 2012
Tribeza Magazine, December 2007, “Theme to a Summer Place”