1712 Van Buren Avenue

Built in 1955-56 for Julia McClellan and her husband James D. McClellan. The couple may have been near retirement, as were several other couples who built houses in this upscale suburb. When the city directory first included the house in 1957, it gave no occupation for Mr. McClellan and¬†showed Mrs. McClellan working as a teacher Northwest Junior High School located on Beatties Ford Road. By 1961 Mrs. McClellan was listed as “widow.”



Ranch style house, one-story tall in red brick. Its massing is unusual for a Ranch house: it has the low hip roof often found on Ranch houses, but the main block of the house is unusually deep, giving an almost square footprint. There is a front wing with a gable roof.  The double-hung sash windows at the front of the house are grouped to add horizontal emphasis: two pairs of two windows, then a group of three in the living room. There is a small front stoop with no roof, an expression of the minimalism favored in Ranch style dwellings.

Note that dwellings exist only on this north side of Van Buren Avenue. Houses on the south side were demolished or moved about 1968 to allow construction of the Northwest (Brookshire) Freeway. Today the Freeway’s tree-covered embankment rises above the Avenue.

Building permits

Date issued: September 16, 1955
Owner: James D. McClellan
Contractor: E.O. Clarkson
Estimated Cost:
Other permit info: build residence

First appeared in city directory

1957 – James D. McClellan & Julia.
He: No occupation listed.
She: Teacher, Northwest Jr High School

1961 city directory — Mrs. Julia McClellan, widow of James.

1981 city directory — Walter A. Hunter, Jr