Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Angleton Ant Farm House: A Texas Mod Building in Ruins

Before finding out about the 24 Hours of LeMons in Angleton, TX, this small community south of Houston was on my radar for a completely different reason. Artist Paul Villinski brought not only his Emergency Response Trailer to Rice Art Gallery, but a collection of books from his personal library. Most revolved around homes, personal structures, architecture on a small scale. One book in particular struck a chord, at first because it annoyed me so much. Tiny, cramped text, a mishmash of building techniques through history and places, all manner and quality of photography, looking like a book from 1973 would look. Like most things that bother, it got under my skin and as I kept rereading I really grew to like it. A lot. And as I was reading about one home, I realized it was not too far from Houston.

HOC.ext, originally uploaded by edsel2007.

It was called "The House of the Century," but 26 years have been unkind to the unique building. Built by Ant Farm, the architecture collective originated many of their creations in Texas, including this one and the well-known Cadillac Ranch.  Undated photos from NarrowLarry's visit to the house show it's now flood-damaged conditions.

Architect, Ant Farm collaberator and University of Houston grad Richard Jost narrates the following YouTube videos, detailing the history of the building and his involvement with it, all with extensive photos. 

"House of the Century Construction" (1972)- Part 1

"House of the Century Construction" (1972)- Part 2

"House of the Century Construction" (1972)- Part 3

"House of the Century Construction" (1972)- Part 4

"The Mojo Relic" - video of the House of the Century ruins.
With music and Aztek temples in begining.

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