PaperCity Magazine

Round Top Summer 2023

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Page 34 of 67

E mit a sigh of relief: This is not a story about a developer's takeover of the Texas countryside. Nor is it a tale of an opulent rural ranch in a fancy subdivision. Sequestered deep within a forested spot in Austin County — the nearest hamlet is the 19th- century German-settled Round Top — is a home that makes a serene but bold argument against the entrenched but beautiful farmhouse culture of Round Top and environs. The hand-laid blocks of Lueders limestone and crenellated roofline speak to the medieval era that inspired this grand fortress — as much as they do about the tenacity and vision of the couple who built it. Christy Karll McWhorter and husband, Hal McWhorter, collaborated to create a work of architecture that's commanding and hushed — dual sensibilities that rarely coexist in home design. Married for nearly three decades, theirs is a union of art and practical know-how that comes together in this project, reflecting her nuanced visual aesthetics and his ability to solve any construction and building quandary while directing a crew of skilled artisans. The McWhorters' gift for aligning home design with preservation was highlighted in the March 2016 issue of PaperCity Houston, which featured their 1927-era Spanish Revival bungalow in Houston's Museum District. This country home couldn't be more different in terms of scale, materials, and ambition. Yet there's a reverence for place in both structures, a nod to other time periods as well as a sense of sanctuary. Hal is the grandson of a turn-of- the-century Texas Ranger, who's rarely seen on Houston's social circuit; Christy, an artist, is well-known in visual and philanthropic circles for her environmentally attuned paintings, BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON. PHOTOGRAPHY JACK THOMPSON. CHRISTY KARLL MCWHORTER AND HAL MCWHORTER'S PRIORY IN THE COUNTRY BBEY Opposite: A focal point of the kitchen is an antique fireplace installed by Houston stonemason, Steve Keith. 33

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