Avenue P is a narrow residential dirt road on the edge of Anson, a small central Texan town famous for being the inspiration for the Kevin Bacon film Foot Loose.
Not the place one would expect to find such playful and quirky architecture, but it was on this unsuspecting road where I found what felt to me to be the most whimsical rural house I have ever seen.
From the main road I could see the broken windows and bare wooden walls peeking through evergreens and winter trees. It beckoned to my curious nature and an immediate U-turn was performed.
From the front of the house you see a foundation for typical Texan house with a low roofline and a small porch entrance, similar to every other family home on the road; however, even from this vantage point you see elements of the creative spirit who once dwelled here. It was these creative visual elements along with the over growth of trees that set this house apart from the rest of the houses on the road and gives it its whimsical almost fairytale like quality.
The small porch reflected a Neo Classical inspiration with its squared columns and a simple pediment with arch opening over the doorway. The door was boarded up and windows were covered thoroughly with large sheets of corrugated metal. Looking closer you can notice more simple decorative details under the concealment of the wood and metal.
Walking around the house and passed the trees into the parking lot next door I was able to get a full view of the back. An addition was added to the original simple Texan home and it revealed even more whimsy than the elements added to the front. Most of the windows were still covered, but I could see and admire small Mondrian styled stain glass accent windows. I was pleased that these windows were not damaged like many other windows from the numerous other abandoned houses I have come across. My hope is that others didn’t have the heart to break a beautiful decorative element like these. They are simple in pattern and color, but they offer a visual texture that completes the house.
Even more noticeable than the small stain glass windows, was the odd structure of what I assume is a semi enclosed balcony. While standing directly behind the house and looking at the design of the balcony with the lines and form of the house you can see this odd plural marriage of Mondrian patterns, classical elements and modern architecture.
I never found a way inside because the house was well boarded up and there was a large colony of wasps swarming out of a crack where the original and newer addition meets. When winter comes back, and the wasps are mellow, I hope to be able to find the current owner and gain access for interior photographs. I also hope to learn more about this Texan Gem. Why anyone would leave abandoned this creative oasis is a tragic mystery to me.