The effects of historic designation upon valuations in mid century modern neighborhoods: A comparative analysis of Glenbrook Valley and Meadowcreek Village, Houston Texas




Lanoux, Cecil Lance

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Here in the U.S, just as a the current and previous generation of preservationists have had residential building stock from the latter nineteenth to early 20th century architecture upon which to ply their craft, a newer generation of preservationists need look to mid-century modern building stock to hone theirs. It is among these structures that preservationists can maintain their traditional core value to society by preserving and maintaining elements from an important period in our nation's history, as well as affect the future well-being of specific communities by ensuring that mid-century modern neighborhoods remain, or return to, the safe, affordable places that modest income homebuyers sought then and will continue to seek in the years to come. This study addresses one particular line of inquiry that expands upon earlier research into the relationship between historic designation and residential valuation: Do positive price valuations occur in Mid-Century Modern neighborhoods upon receiving historic designation? Once these Mid-Century Modern neighborhoods are designated historic, do they economically perform in the same manner as historically designated housing stock from previous eras such as turn of the century Victorian neighborhoods, or early 20th century Craftsman-style neighborhoods?

Presently, Texas has only designated one Mid-century Modern neighborhood as historic, Glenbrook Valley in Houston. This difference on difference study compares assessed appraisal values of Glenbrook Valley and Meadowcreek Village, a similar but not historically designated mid-century modern neighborhood, both located in southeast Houston. For this study, data collected from Harris County Appraisal District was used to identify and compare total assessed valuation trends over a 10-year period which includes years before and after the historic designation of Glenbrook Valley occurred. This study concludes that there is a relationship between positive valuations of the structures and the land after historic designation. Also, that the architectural style of these mid-century modern homes effects the variation of their positive valuation, as well as revealing a relationship in the substantial increase in valuation of the land separate from the improvement after designation.


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appraisal, architecture, historic, mid-century, preservation, valuation