Part 3: Idylwood Historic District Inventory

Table 1 includes basic information about all of the resources within the historic district. This includes the number assigned to each historic resource, the estimated date of construction, the architect or builder if known, the address, the style, whether or not the building contributes to the Idylwood Historic District, and any additional pertinent information.

Resource numbers were assigned in the field, and then finalized to list each resource in numerical order by street. For elements such as stone gate posts, the system of streets and tile markers, and concrete street markers, numbers were assigned independently of the streets and follow last. Estimated construction dates were determined by evaluating several data sources, including data found in city directories dating from 1928 onward, Harris County Appraisal District data, the Houston Architectural Guide and other published sources, and the professional judgment of the authors. Architects and builders were identified through archival research (see References section). Additional architect-designed houses may be located within the Idylwood Historic District, but were not identified during the current study. To locate all architects and builders, a search of the city of Houston building permit records would be required. Styles were assigned in accordance with the National Register Bulletin How to Complete the National Register Registration Form and with Virginia and Lee McAlester’s Field Guide to American Houses.

As noted, Table 1 categorizes properties within the district as either contributing or noncontributing. All contributing properties date from the period of significance (1928-1950). Because of the importance of their architectural design, domestic resources (the most prevalent resource type in Idylwood) must retain most of their architectural features and remain in use for their original purpose in order to retain their integrity. Overall, the condition and integrity of the resources in Idylwood are quite high. The vast majority have been little altered. They therefore retain their architectural integrity and are contributing resources to the historic district. Later modernization of the residential structures in Idylwood often included roof replacements, painting of masonry, additions to the rear of the building, and the replacement of original wood sash windows with aluminum or vinyl windows. In many cases, only one or two changes in the building materials, or minor changes in the form of the building, have been made and they have therefore not compromised the overall architectural integrity of the buildings. An example of alterations that have not severely compromised integrity include the porch addition to 6748 Meadowlawn Street (Resource Number 0176). Although not in keeping with the style of the house, the railing and awning addition is relatively minor considering the scale of the house, where the form is still apparent and prominent and important Art Moderne details are retained.

Noncontributing properties date from after the period of significance or have a compromise of multiple character-defining features such as the replacement of siding, windows, and roof with incompatible materials; or large additions on prominent façades. As Idylwood is quite intact, only at a very few buildings have the extent or methods of alterations severely compromised the architectural integrity to a point where they are no longer contributing to the character of the neighborhood. For example, 6735 Fairfield Street (Resource Number 0040) has had numerous alterations including siding and window replacements, as well as a front-façade garage addition. These changes have caused a loss of integrity and the house does not contribute to the historic district. Ancillary buildings such as garages often receive modifications in residential neighborhoods. These garages are key elements to districts such as Idylwood that were built as automobile suburbs. Due to their importance, and the fact that they are often the subject of change, these buildings have a lesser threshold for integrity, and changes in siding, windows, or doors may be acceptable in some cases. Detached garages in Idylwood were originally clad with wood lap siding.

Several garages retain their original siding, but many others have been re-sided with aluminum or vinyl. Some have had their windows or doors replaced. Others have been attached to the house with breezeways or other structures. The carports in Idylwood were generally installed after the period of significance. Several carports have been sensitively attached to the fronts of garages in such a way that they do not detract from the original form of the garage; however, in some cases, their installation has compromised the integrity of the garage. Other carports are freestanding, and are not considered contributing resources when they postdate the period of significance. Map 3 shows the locations of all of the resources in Idylwood.

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