Built in 1929, the English manor-style house for more than a decade was home to William Pettus Hobby, Texas’ 27th governor and longtime owner of the Houston Post. Designed by noted Houston architect Harry D. Payne and boasting a floor plan of more than 6,300 square feet, the house was an early gem of the Braeswood subdivision, itself meant to be a tonier-than-thou challenge to upscale River Oaks. To create a sense of what life in the mansion was like in the 1930s, Atkins has furnished the house with period pieces. Hobby family photos of the former governor with his young son and daughter are arrayed in the cherry-paneled office.
Featuring a grand entry hall and cavernous living and dining rooms, the home was designed for entertaining. Many of the Hobby family’s neighbors were newly rich oil men, and lavish entertaining, Atkins said, was de rigeur.
‘It was a corporate house,’ Atkins said. ‘Now, CEOs play golf. Back then, they and their wives entertained. It was face-to-face hand-shaking business.'”