January 3, 2018

7843 Santa Elena

Muscanere Home
Built 1956
Norman Edwards Designer/Draftsman

Built in 1956, the 5,924 square foot home is an elegant mid-century modern with a front elevation that stretches 82 feet across a 13,800 square foot double lot representing the homeowner’s exuberance and confidence in Houston’s emerging prominence in the nation and the world. The structure’s simple, streamlined profile with low pitched roofline, wide overhangs, cantilever gables and massive fireplace incorporate modern design element found in architecturally significant residences throughout the country.  The southern front elevation and U-shaped foundation footprint with a large courtyard at the rear of the property are design elements indicative of the Muscanere family’s Sicilian heritage.  Norman Edwards prepared the existing construction drawings for the home. The home was built to custom specifications that included bell footed foundation piers, fir framing with structural redwood sheathing beneath orange Mexican clay brick. The home was undamaged by the three named hurricanes that have struck the region since its construction. The home’s current landscaping was designed and installed shortly after construction and includes an award winning azaleas hedge across the front elevation and the six mature oak trees that surround and shade the property.

Sam and Lily Ann Muscanere were the owners of Lily Ann’s Clothes Care and Dry Cleaners which was subsequently acquired and absorbed into the Pilgrim Cleaners chain. The couple had extensive real estate holdings throughout the city, particularly in Garden Oaks, Park Place and Fourth Ward areas. Sam Muscanere was a charter season ticket holder or the Houston Oilers professional football team and was friends with its team players and staff who were entertained at the home. The home had been occupied by the Muscanere family for 52 years when it was sold to the current owners in April, 2008.

The present home closely resembles the original 1956 structure and was impeccably maintained by the Muscanere family. The crushed white marble gravel roof has been replaced with a high quality composition shingle roof and the single pane aluminum frame windows were replaced with fixed double pane glass.  An addition, built-in 1984 is located to the rear of the property and adjoins the eastern wing. The addition’s fireplace is constructed from granite recovered from a demolished section of Gulfgate Mall. No structural modifications are contemplated for the original 1956 structure or its addition.

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