Harwood Taylor built this house for himself in 1958 as part of a residential building program sponsored by Living For Young Homemakers Magazine together with local utility companies as part of the Electri-Living Program. Each of 12 houses was given a budget of $18,000 (exclusive of the property costs). The program had three guidelines: to satisfy the emotional and special needs of an average young couple with two to four children, to accommodate the full electrical load of household appliances now on the market with allowances for additional equipment in the future, and to be adaptable to the builder house market. It was was awarded first prize at the conclusion of the Electri-Living program.
The house was featured in a compilation of Architectural Record Magazine articles called The Second Treasury of Contemporary Homes, under the title “Economy in Courtyard House”. Every room in the house has a private courtyard, but interestingly there no backyard or sideyard views beyond the courtyards. Glass walls and doors give access to the courtyards. Fred Buxton was employed as the landscape architect and gave the courtyards easy to maintain gravel and concrete pavers. Horizontal lattice-work over the courtyards break the glare of the sun and skylights are employed in the kitchen and bathrooms to provide natural lighting inside the house.
The Taylor family lived in the house until 1962.
The Taylor House is featured in much more detail in the Houston Mod Publication, Booming Houston & The Modern House by Ben Koush (2006).
It is currently in need of restoration.
Text by Jason Smith and Ben Koush
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