PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston May 2023

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T w w o y e a r s a g o , C o d y Fitzsimmons got a tip f ro m a f r i e n d a b o u t a s p e c i a l t o w n h o u s e coming on the market in Houston's Memorial neighborhood. Designed by late modernist architect Preston Bolton, the house would likely be snapped up even before it was listed. Fitzsimmons walked in, took a few steps, and dialed his husband, Christopher Scott. "Oh my God, get here immediately — it's the house," he exclaimed. Their offer didn't turn out the main living areas and bedrooms make the house a p p e a r m o r e s p a c i o u s than its 2,500 square feet. Secluded from the street and with no windows to speak of, the house is private and cocooning. "You feel like you could be anywhere, Houston or Europe," Fitzsimmons says. Bolton — who died in 2011 at age 91 — was as passionate about the arts as he was about architecture, often designing houses ideal for displaying collections. Throughout the '50s, he partnered with architect H o w a r d B a r n s t o n e o n designs for rectilinear, flat- roofed buildings inspired by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe, garnering their firm national attention. Bolton went out on his own in 1961, carving a remarkable career well into the 21st century that encompassed much more than architecture. He was also a civic leader and a p a t ro n i n s t r u m e n t a l i n g r o w i n g H o u s t o n 's important arts scene, as well as an early president o f t h e C o n t e m p o r a r y Arts Association, now the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Question the Status Quo Bewitching as they are, these interiors are not for the faint of heart. Fitzsimmons and Scott chose the furniture for its unconventional aesthetic appeal rather than comfort or functionality, and their art is often provocative, sometimes startling, and occasionally d i s t u r b i n g . " We a re p u s h i n g t h e boundaries of what is acceptable in a domestic space," says 35-year-old Scott. "The house reflects our interests and who we are as a whole. Being adventurous with interior design is something you want to think about in a deeper, harmonious way if you are going to put art in your home." Most of their furnishings are Italian and have come from small European auction houses, where it's easier to find rare and uncommon pieces that are unique enough to hold their own in rooms brimming with exciting art. They to be the highest, but the owners — a pair of art collectors — liked the idea of selling the house to fellow connoisseurs. Fitzsimmons is an art advisor and Scott is an attorney by day, and together they've amassed an audacious array of paintings, photographs, and sculptures just crying out for the right interiors. Completed in 1969, the flat-roof brick townhouse in the leafy area west of downtown has a gallery-like appeal, with original white terrazzo floors and endless wall space for hanging art. Skylights drench the interiors with diffused light, and multiple atriums in 52

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