John W. McKelvey House

Year Built – 1949

Architect: Cocke, Bowman & York

McKelvey Residence, Harlingen TX: John York was one of the most prominent mid-century architects in the Valley.  His work displayed a will and thoughtfulness that was unparalleled among his peers.  As can be expected, the years had not been kind to 1909 South Parkwood.  While the original built-up beam cantilevers and glazing of the living room were visible, many of the exterior interstitial spaces had been appropriated as hasty additions.  Much of our renovation consisted of subtraction of these in-fills when possible, elsewhere they were altered with modern details.  Though John York surely would’ve admonished us to clear away with the old to maintain the steady march of progress, surely polishing his gem has greater worth by maintaining the legacy of the great work accomplished in those optimistic times.  Making this architectural language appealing to today’s neighbors and visitors hopefully sets a new paradigm of preserving these valuable places instead of the unsympathetic interventions that are currently the norm.

A complete restoration of this house was designed by Megamorphosis Design Inc. of Harlingen, Texas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *