We admired the Dentler Building for years from our studio directly across the street. Although it had obviously seen better days, it was an unusual and attractive building, and clearly well built. When the longtime owners decided to sell it, we knew we did not want to see it demolished for make way for townhomes, as so often happens here in the First Ward, and were determined to save it one way or another. Our resolve was further strengthened when we learned that Dentler Maid Potato Chips, which many longtime Houstonians remember fondly, were manufactured on the premises of this building, built in 1923 by George H. Dentler. The plan we ultimately settled on was to convert it from a four-plex incorporating four tiny apartments into a single-family home that we would occupy ourselves.
The change in usage necessitated the demolition of all the interior walls excepting only the interior stair hall, so we had something close to a blank slate to work with. We carefully restored the stair hall, while adopting a modern treatment for the rest of the house. Reclaimed antique white oak was used to replace the building’s original floors, which were termite-damaged beyond repair. The downstairs spaces are large and open, while the bedrooms and home office have been located upstairs. Full-width rear porches both upstairs and downstairs provide access to evening breezes and views of the downtown skyline.
PHOTOS BY Miro Dvorscak. Photo of portraits in DR by Tarik Foteh.