University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

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Architect Alfred C. Finn of Houston drew the plans for this scaled-down replica of the American White House for oil executive Ross S. Sterling. Completed in 1927 on the residential "Gold Coast" stretching from La Porte to Morgan's Point, it stood as a landmark on the Houston Ship Channel. By night its roof deck commanded a view of the lighted industrial plants in this region.

Layers of stone, concrete, air space, and plastered lath form the thick exterior walls. Deeply sunken foundations and huge beams running the length of the structure give it hurricane resistance.

With 21,000 square feet of floor space, this was known as the largest private residence in Texas at the time it was built. It has seven fireplaces, 15 baths, 34 rooms-- including a dining room seating 300 guests. Silver and gold inlaid sconces, fine cared woods, and Tiffany chandeliers form some of the adornments. There were elaborate facilities for recreation and for efficient housekeeping. Sterling and his wife Maude Abbie (Gage) had several children.

Ross Sterling was governor of Texas 1931-1933. In 1946 he donated his mansion to a civic club and it was used as a juvenile home until 1961.

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Comments (2)

jcolburn on March 26, 2009

This is John P. McGovern Commons-Garage 15. Belongs to Texas Medical Center. MDA is behind it.

i_am_jim on March 31, 2009

You're correct, but if you notice the name at the top of the building it's University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center which is the title of the picture. I decided not to create confusion by trying to explain it was a fancy parking garage, not the actual hospital.

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Photo taken in Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX, USA

Photo details

  • Uploaded on February 16, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by i_am_jim