Note: This post was originally published August 8; it has been corrected to reflect the lower rent now being asked for the apartment.
Charles Granger was one half of the midcentury Austin juggernaut Fehr and Granger, the firm that ran this town, architecturally, from approximately 1946 to the mid-1960s. It designed the old Robert Mueller Airport, Westwood Country Club, Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School Chapel, and many other commercial and residential buildings of note, including its own offices on Waller Creek.
Before Granger joined in that whirlwind of activity, though, he took it upon himself to study under a couple of modernism’s great masters. When he was studying at the University of Texas, the architect served as a summer intern for Fehr. After graduation in 1936, he worked for the influential modernist architect Richard Neutra in Los Angeles. He then earned a master’s degree from Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, where he worked as a designer for the famed Eero Saarinen.
Then he came back to Austin, joined the firm, and built himself a house. Called the Perch, it’s now considered an accessory dwelling unit behind the home Granger eventually built for his family (the recently restored Granger House). Located at 805-1/2 West 16th Street in Judge’s Hill just northeast of North Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street and listed by the Value of Architecture, it’s currently available to rent for $1,950 per month.
You can take a gander at a couple of our recent Curbed Comparisons to see $2,000 and $2,500 rent you in different neighborhoods around town. But if you’re a modern-design enthusiast seeking for place to live for around $2K, chances are you’ll want to look at this one.
Built in 1941, the Perch is surrounded by windows on all sides, like a treehouse, and has hardwood floors, new appliances, a renovated bathroom, vintage fixtures, original built-ins, and other authentic details throughout. “The ribbon window system, inset structural columns, aluminum paint, open plan, and functional core (kitchen, bathroom, closets in a box at the heart of the composition),” according to the listing, “are reminiscent of Neutra’s well-known Strathmore Apartments and other work.” (The home is a city, state, and National Register historic landmark.)
The block in the middle contains the kitchen, bathroom, and some nifty, pullout-storage nooks and devices.