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Kellum-Noble House: Houston's Oldest Home
June 14, 2021

Kellum-Noble House: Houston's Oldest Home

by The CE Shop Team

Turn Back the Clock at Houston’s Kellum-Noble House

From Frost Town to German Town, the city of Houston has plenty of historic charm to go around. However, there’s one property that has stood the test of time longer than any other — the historic Kellum-Noble House, Houston’s oldest home.

A Brief History of the Kellum-Noble House

Commissioned by local entrepreneur Nathaniel Kellum, construction on the house was completed in 1847, just a decade after the city of Houston was officially established. Records show that Kellum purchased the eight acres of land upon which it sits for $500 and that the two-story brick Colonial/Plantation-style home was constructed using mud from Kellum’s brickyard on the banks of nearby Buffalo Bayou.

A few decades later, the property became home to the Noble family. During this time, Zerviah Noble — one of the area’s first female real estate investors — and her daughter Catherine operated one of Houston’s earliest schools in the house. After her death, the house and its plot were purchased in 1899 by the city to make way for what is now Sam Houston Park.

Kellum-Noble House Today

Today, the Kellum-Noble House serves as a living piece of Houston history right in the heart of downtown; talk about a great location! And thanks to successful preservation efforts, it has been extensively restored, though it’s worth noting that the building has maintained its original brick and foundation since its initial construction. The building is now a museum and gallery offering visitors a curated look into Texas history.

“The reopening of this house offers an extremely rare look at the city’s history in a tangible way,” Ginger Berni, The Historical Society collections curator told Forbes. “The biggest challenge is support – both monetarily and simply believing that saving our history is a worthy cause.”

Historic Properties and Preservation

As it turns out, historic properties are definitely worth saving. By owning a historic home, you not only own a slice of history but also enjoy a slew of additional benefits. To begin, the home is unique in that builders aren’t likely to recreate that particular style of architecture when constructing new builds. Next, historic homes are often in very desirable locations — which is why they’re likely still standing. They also tend to sell faster and fetch higher asking prices than your run-of-the-mill property. Lastly, homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places are oftentimes eligible for tax credits, grant money, and preservation loans if they meet certain rehabilitation standards. As always, check with both federal and state agencies or preservation networks to see if you or your client can help save a piece of the past with your next property purchase.

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