A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office

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By Anna Jones
In Houston's historic Old Sixth Ward, a neglected, 1904 Folk Victorian cottage is relocated and restored as a modern office.

A resident on the street, architect Michael Morrow of Kinneymorrow Architecture, resolved to invest in the storied neighborhood, refashioning 2341 Kane Street as the firm's own workplace on 2219 Kane Street. 

A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 1 of 13 - An exterior photograph shows the home at its original location prior to relocation and renovation.

An exterior photograph shows the home at its original location prior to relocation and renovation.

A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 2 of 13 -
A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 3 of 13 - The historic home was relocated down the street.

The historic home was relocated down the street.

The design solution for Kane Street Office, in addition to the restoration, introduced a thoughtful display of modern design, resulting in a contemporary, communal work space inside the home. The 751-square-foot structure demonstrates a modern intervention that is respectful to the historic nature.

Using a single surviving photograph as inspiration, the exterior of the home was restored to its original form. The missing front porch was reconstructed, and the unique side porch was reestablished as an accent along the side street. Original siding was removed, restored, reinstalled, and painted a bright white. Missing elements were salvaged from demolished buildings of similar type and age.

A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 4 of 13 - A single surviving photograph of the historic home provided the referential basis for the restoration.

A single surviving photograph of the historic home provided the referential basis for the restoration.

A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 5 of 13 -
A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 6 of 13 - The renovated west facade of the home displays both the front and unique side porch.

The renovated west facade of the home displays both the front and unique side porch.

On the interior, the original shotgun layout was largely respected, but the use was transformed by architectural insertions. A void, cut north to south, allowed for the insertion of a long bar of millwork, incorporating workspaces and a kitchenette in the now open, continuous space. A built-in bookcase accents the opposing wall, complete with a Murphy bed below, allowing the office to be used as a guest house as well.

A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 7 of 13 -
A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 8 of 13 -
A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 9 of 13 -
A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 10 of 13 -
A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 11 of 13 -
A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 12 of 13 -

The relocation and adaptive reuse of the historic home extended the viable life of the materials and resources that were originally used, and is a shining light at the entrance to the small historic district, respectful to the past while intelligently incorporating contemporary design.

A Victorian Cottage in Houston Finds New Life as a Local Firm's Office - Photo 13 of 13 -

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