1957 Sputnik house — midcentury modern time capsule house in Houston’s Glenbrook neighborhood

midcentury modern house in houston the sputnik house in glenbrookOne guess why everyone calls this the ‘Sputnik House’. Yes, the original owner put that huge sputnik light in the entrance when the family moved in, in 1957, says real estate agent Robert Searcy. Robert has just listed this gorgeous mid century modern house in Houston’s Glenbrook neighborhood for sale. You may recall that Robert is the agent who sent us the photos of the Swankienda house. It’s right down the street from the Sputnik. Oh my, what a street! Thanks and link love to Robert Searcy and to TK Images for immediately supplying me with these photos to feature. We love our time capsule houses, yes we do. Although they make us all jealous because we do not all have rooflines that look like eagles ready to take flight, where we can hang fantastic sputnik lights.

Here is what the listing says about this 2,334 s.f. house, which has three bedrooms, two baths and is listed for $192,500:

The Sputnik house, one of the Glenbrook historic districts most iconic homes. A stellar restored mid-century mod on a premier block with many upgrades yet original character intact. Original vintage tile baths & swank light fixtures. Mod doorplates & original hardware professionally polished. Study ith wall of storage, front living + open den/dining area w/vaulted beamed ceiling, poured terrazzo & fireplace.

And, sit back, here is the photo tour: 

And Robert sent me these from his cell phone:

The original owners had the groove thing going on, that’s for sure!

The original pink appliances were replaced but stored in the garage. If you want to have them repaired and reinstalled for a more vintage look, they can be conveyed with the property.

Gorgeous. Thank you again, Robert and TK Images, keep sending these my way, and we’ll show them to the appreciative mid mod world — including potential buyers, stat!

Repeating the link love:

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  1. Lee says

    I went to an estate sale at this home a couple of years ago. The photos only give a hint of how fabulous this house really is. I purchased two pieces of multimedia art depicting peacocks in an abstract form. They hung at the end of the den near the built in china cabinet.I fell in love with this place the moment I walked in the door; if I didn’t already own a home I would be all over this one.

  2. Christa says

    *Drool* Can’t STAND it! It is Ah – MAAAY- ZING! But alas, I do not live in TX, and have no reason ( other than this FAB house) to move there. Ah well…perhaps in my next life :)

  3. John says

    Hi Pam, amazing house, I’d buy it in a second if I lived in Texas. Even the landscaping is gorgeous. What really blows me away though is the asking price of under $200,000.00. If this was in Northampton I’m sure it would go for over $300,000.00.


  4. Sarah says

    Houston is strange like that, it’s one of the biggest cities in America but the real estate is super cheap! I think it’s because it is so big, they built too many houses lol. Their market is just like my neck of the woods (Lake Charles, LA) houses go for well under $100 a square foot

  5. Annie B. says

    I want to weep. All that MCM grandeur for 192.5, and that’s the listing price. This house exhibits the essence of my favorite mid mod era: when we reached for the stars. Sputnik and starburst designs particularly tug at my heartstrings and fill me with sweet memories of those times.

  6. Nate says

    Glenbrook Valley is THE most beautiful neighborhood in Houston if you love MC. They even have an historic designation now. The homes there are all beautiful in their own right. BUT…personally, even though the price on this house is awesome and it could easily be called my dream home, I’ll stick with looking for something in Oak Forrest. Too much drama in Glenbrook Valley! http://www.houstonpress.com/2011-06-23/news/war-zoned/

    • Sarah says

      When I saw the house I thought, man it’s so cool but yuck I’d have to live in Houston. After reading that article and the comments! Boy was I right!

      • Robert S says

        Don’t believe everything you read. That article was heavily dramatized and represents very little reality.

  7. Ana says

    Love love love the house. I live in Austin and my tiny bungalow cost about as much as that huge, beautiful house in Houston. If I were looking to move to Houston, I’d buy that place in a second … and invite everyone here for a tour. :)

    • ErinInOhio says

      Ha! Every single time Pam posts a “time capsule” for sale, I send my DH an email with the link and write, “We’re moving to _____.”

    • Just another Pam says

      Me too Desirae,

      Take down the fan, move in, never read the paper or internet again….perfect.

  8. BettyMod says

    I also hit up this estate sale a few summers ago when it sold the first time. The trim used to be painted a super groovy aqua color and I remember some super hip curtains in the bedroom before it was remodeled. I bought a small mod vanity mirror from this sale that I use daily.

    It’s a great house, hopefully a mcm nerd will buy it!

  9. JKM says

    Beautiful homes in a lovely neighborhood. Too bad the area around it deteriorated so horribly. Truly an island in a sea of blight.

  10. says

    Wow! I need to find a realtor to send me pictures like this. I can only imagine its a similar feeling to a beautiful woman sending you a photo of her lady parts. Hahahaha!

  11. Janet says

    What a gorgeous house for sure! I think in Connecticut it would go for twice that price! I am curious though – does anyone else think the kitchen is strange in that dark wood? My 1958 ranch had light birch cabinets and the person before me stained them this same dark color, which I thought was so *** [edited] because they did it like it was “antiqued”. I think it is possible that someone did the same thing to these. I also think the wall ovens went in the two cabinets to the right of the stove, where there are now two doors in each cabinet. These doors don’t quite match so I really think someone removed the ovens, put double doors in, and stained the cabinets dark, which was all the rage in the seventies. We tried to remove the stain but couldn’t get the dark streaks out so we ended up painting them, which was nice but I sure wish we could have gotten them back to the beautiful original natural birch color that was in the house next door! That’s the same house that had the pink and black bathroom tile! Wish I still owned it – I miss that house!

    • Just another Pam says

      ‘Round here it would be getting pretty cosy with a million for that house and lot. My house is about the size of their garage and it cost almost double.

      Sometimes seeing this houses almost hurt ;o)

  12. Holley says

    I told my DH that I got goosebumps when I looked at this house, just like I got 32 years ago when I met him! He really liked that! So much so that he said “Even though I’m not a mid century modern kind of guy –I’ll buy the house for you!” Swoon and drool! …..with one teeny, tiny caviat — if it’s still available in a year..Yikes! I don’t think it’s going to be available but it’s a very sweet thought! We live on the NW side of Houston – we love it here — the SE side is not my cup of tea but the house is so tempting I might be inclined to change my mind! Thanks for posting this beautiful time capsule!

  13. leslie says

    Lived in Houston for many years, and I have never heard of Glenbrook Valley. Once I realized where it was it’s no wonder because I lived on the other side of town and it’s a BIG city. There are pockets of these wonderful mid century subdivisions all over Houston. With NASA being there, you can only imagine how exciting the space age/mid century years must have been celebrated! Great article Nate, thanks for posting.

  14. MCM is Grand says

    I think we should all applaud Robert Searcy the realtor…for recognizing the beauty and value of MCM and marketing them as such..”swanky pink ” bathroom, amen!

  15. Ruthless Bunny says

    The kitchen in our MC Colonial was dark like that too. We kept the cabinets and painted them. Had to remove the Harvest Gold appliances (as they were rusting), added some more cabinets.

    Is the flooring in that dining room Linoleum or dare I ask, terazzo?

    • Robert S says

      Terrazzo in the entry, den, dining, kitchen, utility and office and half bath.

      As for spotting where the wall ovens used to be, yes, they put in two new doors. The cabinets were always the dark color. The ovens quit working and the owners had to replace them for the tenant they had in the house. They did save them, however, so if someone wanted to have them repaired and put back in, they could.

      • Allen says

        ****They did save them, however, so if someone wanted to have them repaired and put back in, they could.*******
        Which is AWESOME!!!

      • Janet says

        What marvelous thinking to save those pink appliances and sink! I hope they saved the cabinet where the stove it now for under the cooktop? Or someone could just insert a full sized pink stove, to have three ovens. I never have enough ovens! I have seen enough pink wall ovens on ebay and craigslist to know they could replace them easily enough if necessary. I really love those muted pastel bathrooms, so calm and cool looking. The house is really amazing!

  16. Jay says

    Great house! What details. The only thing not midmod is the ceiling fan, it disrupts the lines of the room. I can’t get over the listing price. My house is half the size and would cost at least half as much more.
    Thanks for sharing, Pam.

  17. Lena_P says

    The dark kitchen cabinets weren’t gelling with me until I saw the pink appliances. That’s a great combo! I love soft pink with a rich brown, but I’ve never seen it used in a kitchen. It ties in beautifully with the pinkish bricks and built-ins of the great room.

    I do wonder what a “worshop” room is, though. Did the agent mean workshop or worship? Houston does have many Indian residents after all … although my Hindu friends generally keep their shrines to Ganesh on the smaller side.

    • pam kueber says

      Nope, I’m pretty sure it’s “worship” room. See the previous story (click link to Swankienda) for an explanation in the comments…

      • Robert S says

        Oops, no, workshop. Many houses in Glenbrook Valley do have built in prayer shrines and I know of one with a mini-chapel affair, this one has a study or workshop though, with a wall of built ins on one side. Mr. Stotler, the original owner who had the house custom built, designed the room for his radio operating hobby. It would make a great home office now, or crafts room, or yes, you could make a worship room out of it too.

  18. Lisa says

    I have a wild imagination…..I can just see some of the early NASA engineers, designers and yes Gemini astronauts going to a party there once they settled in Houston. I know, timing is a bit off, but it is an interesting visual, no?

  19. Terri Polick says

    Oh MY GOD. I love that house. I’d buy it in a heartbeat if I was planning to move into the area. Thank you for posting the pics.

  20. Jordanna says

    I am not a big one for dark wood kitchens, normally, but I really think the pale pink appliances would pop against all that chocolate. Perhaps mint or jadeite or Suburban Modern chartruese on the walls in there? Just to perk it up a little?

    And Houston real estate prices make this Sydney-dweller weep.

  21. Noir says

    Wow, that house is so amazing! And for that price! Here in Los Angeles I don’t think you could buy a garage for that little.

  22. erin moureau valdez says

    I lived in Glenbrook Valley as a small child. Such a wonderful a beautiful house. My 73 year old father still claims that was the best home he ever owned or lived in. Unfortunately, the area and schools have really gone down hill.

    • Robert S says

      Yes Erin, Glenbrook Valley is a transitional neighborhood that saw a cycle of decline that started probably some time during the oil bust. For awhile, nobody wanted it. Over the last 7 or 8 years, however, it has made a significant turn around as mid-century enthusiasts and others who just want to live close to town have come back in and started restoring the homes. The Historic District designation has also helped fuel this. International architecture group DoCoMoMo held a home tour there last year things continue to trend in a positive direction. This home, for example, went under contract within 2 days in a multiple offer situation and for above list price. Things are definitely looking up in there. You can’t have houses this nice, this close to town, this affordable, even by Houston standards, and not have people come back in at some point and pump new life into the neighborhood.

  23. Mcmmom says

    Oh wow – we have the chandelier version of the globe light (the one with the little glass bubbles) in our MCM in Houston. We had to get it re-wired, but now it works like a dream. And those of you knocking Houston – don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. We love it and definitely think its worth it (www.houstonitsworthit.com).

  24. Vicky H says

    OK–what cracks me up the most about this discussion is the “OMG–under $200,000!” comments.
    People–MOST homes in Houston are under $200,000!
    This particular house is fabulous, and it’s priced as a “nice house” not as a “steal”.

    Now, a lot of you buy a house that needs a little TLC in a transitional neighborhood and restore it.
    In Houston, that house will cost you under $100,000.
    No, I’m NOT kidding!
    For instance, >5 minutes on a real estate site and I found a 4-2, 2000sq.ft. in Glenbrook Valley for $75,000!

    I love Houston, I grew up here, & I’m glad to have moved back–ya’ll should all join me!

  25. Anne Walker says

    Been trying to track down pink appliances. Can anybody tell me what happened to those pictured in the article?

  26. Anne Walker says

    I responded to this article in April and never got an answer to my question. I would be happy with the clock unit in the oven on the left to replace a broken one on 1 of my existing in use ovens. Not sure how the glass got cracked & the timer went whacko, but I am sure that finding a replacement is next to impossible. Next, of course, being securing the one on the oven door pictured. As is, we turn the circuit off in the basement when the oven is not in use so that the reoccurring buzzing noise from the timer won’t drive us crazy. The oven will surely be fired up this Thanksgiving…would be so-o-o nice to have a replacement by then. Plz, someone respond as to the possible availability. Thanks!

  27. Tara Pogue says

    Hi Anne,
    I’m sorry I haven’t responded sooner. My husband and I are the current owners of this house. We haven’t re-installed the pink appliances- my husband is dead set against it- but every once in a while I work on him hoping he’ll change his mind :). They’re beautiful and in amazing condition. If we don’t ever put them back in, we’ve decided to leave them for the next owner.
    Thanks and good luck with your search!!

    Tara Pogue Donnelly

    • Anne Walker says

      I hear you Tara,
      Later is always better than never…thanks for the response. Keep plugging away, you never know. I think it very thoughtful of you to keep the appliances to see if the new occupants want them. Thanks for the well wishes & the best to you guys as well.

      • Tara Pogue says

        Beej – you know what? I totally agree. So I decided to get rid of the husband but keep the pink appliances! Win-win!! Restoring them will be ridiculously expensive, but I hope to do so one day!

        • Lee says

          Tara, I went to the estate sale at your home before you purchased it. I got two art panels that were in the dining area by the built in china cabinet. You can probably see the shadow where they were on the paneling unless you have refinished it. Anyway, I am going a different direction with my home and I no longer want the panels. Would you be interested in having them back for you home? I live in Garden Villas nearby. Please reply back and if you are interested we will figure out a way to get these to you. They are like fighting peacocks… Lots of blues like the light fixtures…

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