History of Braes Link, Woodway Glen, Erin Glen, Kerry Glen, and Cashel Forest

Multi-family Housing
Team of James A. McBride, Developer
James A. McBride, II, Architect

(Click images for larger versions.)

The multi-family apartments converted into condominium still remain 50 years later to maintain their design and construction presence within today's time as when the original designs were constructed.

Braes Link was the first new apartment development in 1957 by my father prior to the Woodway Glen Development. My father extended North Braeswood to Stella Link Road in 1957 for the first new apartment development to predict the future of new apartment building developments in Houston, Texas, and the future condominium developments in Woodway Glen. The Woodway Glen Apartments were later successfully converted into condominiums in the 1980s—almost 20 years after the first condominium concept design and construction by James A. McBride, II, was completed in 1962.

Office of James A. McBride Realtor/Developer
and James A. McBride II Architect/Builder

Administration of this work was implemented at the McBride Office, built in 1960 in Houston, Texas. This was the first commercial office building design and construction by James A. McBride II.

Erin Glen

1961-1962 Erin Glen
Concurrently, a 24-unit building was constructed utilizing units from 1500 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. located on Crab Orchard Road. This project achieved a residential style of architecture of large units for future condominium conversion. This property was owned by the McBride Family known as Erin Glen. 50 years later in 2011 this building still maintains the design and construction presence.

Erin Glen

Erin Glen, Crab Orchard Road, Houston Texas

I was fortunate, after graduating from the School of Architecture from the University of Texas in 1958, at a time when my father initiated the development of Woodway Glen. A group of six individuals all working for Humble Oil (now known as Exxon) desired to form a corporation to construct, live, and own 1/6 of the cooperation to achieve the ownership of one individual unit on Deerwood. A six unit building was constructed to accomplish this concept. I designed a two story, two bedroom, basic unit of 1500 sq. ft. which was rotated on the property to achieve individual entry courtyards and patios as illustrated in the above site plan. Today, almost 50 years later, the design remains as an outstanding example in initiating the condominium concept prior to a condominium law.

In the year of 1961, no law in Texas provided for the ownership of condominiums. My father, James A. McBride, was the developer of Braes Link in 1957 and Woodway Glen in 1961 in Houston, Texas, to lead the way towards the beginning of new housing property developments for the construction of new multi-family units.

1st & 2nd floor site plans, exterior elevation, and building section

After this successful endeavor, another 4-unit design was completed on Crab Orchard Road, as illustrated by the nighttime photo, of achieving a single building with 4 individual units of each unit expressing their own residential individuality contained in a single building.

Building on Crab Orchard Road

1963-1964 Woodway Glen
Subsequently, to this construction, a 32-unit apartment design known as Woodway Glen was conceived adjacent to Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Country Club; with a section of property reserved for a 32-unit Tower overlooking Buffalo Bayou and the Houston Country Club Golf Course. Each 32-unit concept allowed for pre-cat foundation construction to conceal parking of cars below the building living unit, allowing 2 parking spaces for each unit. The sloping property adjacent to the bayou facilitated the construction of the parking structure partially submerged. Woodway Glen building has also retained its architectural beauty, even though new colors have been recently implemented. This building has also been converted to condominiums.

601 Ripplecreek

Ripple Creek

Apartment Tower
602 Ripplecreek

1964-1965 McBride Apartment Tower
The unique Apartment Tower was designed with 2 units of 1600 sq. ft. per floor, Unfortunately, this Tower was never constructed due to a recession in 1964. This Tower would have been the first high rise apartment building condominium in Houston, Texas, with only two units per floor.

1964-1966 Kerry Glen
Kerry Glen is a parcel of property of 180 units adjacent to the Second Baptist Church, purchased from John Blaffer, whose father was one of the founders of Humble Oil.
Kerry Glen Units varied from 1200 sq. ft. to 2,400 sq. ft. Also, buildings adjacent to Buffalo Bayou utilized the sloping terrain for pre-cat submerged parking and with elevators where appropriate.

The influence of the below Woodway Glen Project also initiated the townhouse concept, and garden home condominium units in the 1970s by other builders and developers and through the present time of high rise construction. Our project of Woodway Glen is the embryo of the design and construction of multi-family developments, extended into today's time with new variations.

Woodway Glen: This building looks as good today as it did when completed in 1965.

1965-1967 Snowmass Ski Area
I once again received the good fortune of living in Aspen, Colorado, to work with Frtiz Benedict on the Snowmass Ski Area and other projects. (See website of James A. Architect - Colorado.)

Snowmass Ski Area

1967-1969 Norfolk, Virginia
An architect from Norfolk, Virginia, who was skiing in Aspen recruited me in Aspen to join his firm in Norfolk to work on the Norfolk Cultural & Convention Center; and Norfolk Yacht and Country Club.

1969-1971 U.S.A.I.D.
Guatemala-U.S. agency of international development regional office of Central America and Panama. Conducted development reviews for Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, British Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. (See MayanCollection.com.)

Images of Tikal and Seibal, Guatemala, from "Impressions of an Odyssey" (1969-1973)

1971-1974 Cashel Forest - Townhomes - Cottages - Garden Homes
Woodway Glen led the way to another new multi-family F.M. 1960 development of 58 acres concept known as Cashel Forest in 1970 by the McBride father and son team and was constructed by Texas Traditional Homes, their company. This project consisted of affordable housing combining contemporary planning wit the heritage style traditions of Texas. This development concept utilized 1800 sq. ft. to 3,000 sq. ft. units of three construction types; connected units on 30 ft. wide lots; detached units on 35 ft. wide lots; and garden patio units on 40 ft. wide lots.

In 1972, the National Homebuilders Convention selected Texas Traditional Homes in Cashel Forest for the National Homebuilders' Tour. (See TexasTraditionalHomes-Inc.com.)

After my return from Indonesia and California, I returned to Texas to work with The Leyendecker Group on two condominium projects.

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