W.S. Gibbs Home impressive structure
The August 7 edition of the Item discusses the recent removal of the W.S. Gibbs house and the city's other structures designed by the Harry Payne:
Despite adjoining one of the city’s busiest streets, the home has long been receding into obscurity, shrouded by trees and ivy. Its obscurity is now complete: in the past month, it was dismantled.
Designed by renowned Houston architect Harry Payne, the home typified the Colonial Revival style: a symmetrical structure, a tall, slender design with side chimney, paired windows on either side of the door, and a side porch on the second story.
As it fades to complete obscurity, perhaps passersby will pause for a minute on 11th Street and reflect on the old Gibbs Home and hope that Harry Payne’s other homes meet a better fate.
Note: Five other structures designed by Harry Payne still survive in Huntsville, each of which, like the Gibbs Home, has contributed to the city’s landscape.
[In 1931] SHSU President Harry Estill employed Payne to design his retirement home. This revival-style bungalow still stands at 1614 University and now houses the Episcopal Student Union.
Payne’s crowning achievement was the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, built in 1936, the 100th anniversary of the Texas Revolution. The museum, modeled after Jefferson’s Monticello, maintains an imposing presence in the center of town, amidst Sam Houston Park between the historic avenues and Sam Houston State University, not far off the downtown square.