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Rare midcentury modern home okayed for wrecking ball

Fehr home won’t be landmarked, despite its ‘exceptional significance,’ commission decrees

International-style midcentury modern house
2614 Delwood Place
All photos via Trask Investments

Despite the “exceptional nature of the architectural significance” of the house, as one commission member put it, the city’s Historic Landmark Commission cleared the way for the demolition of yet another classic midcentury Austin home last week.

According to the Austin Monitor, the shorthanded commission (with two absent members and one vacant seat) did not have the required votes to recommend the property for historic landmark status.

The Tarrytown home, about which Curbed Austin reported in last August, was built in 1951 and designed by Arthur Fehr, half of Fehr & Granger (F&G), which was one of Austin’s most significant and influential architecture firms in from the late 1940s through the early 1960s.

The Fehr house is one of the few and best examples of residences built in the International Style of modernism left in Central Texas.

As we reported, and as Austin Historical Landmark Commission staff member Steve Sadowsky underlined at the most recent commission meeting, the home was in August marketed as a teardown, meaning it was sold based on the value of the land it was on.

Citing structural/foundation problems with the home, the current owners—who, as Sadowsky noted, bought the home with the understanding that it would be a teardown—said they plan to build a different home on the lot, to “highlight the trees.”

While most recent listings emphasized the dramatic landscape and played down interiors, we copped a few from modernist real estate purveyor extraordinaire Creede Fitch in August.

Tarrytown home officially a ‘tear-down’ now [Austin Monitor]

Midcentury modern home by Arthur Fehr could be demolished [Curbed Austin]

Poll

What do you think should happen with the house?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Tear it down!
    (12 votes)
  • 89%
    Fix it up and landmark it!
    (106 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now