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Southern Hospitality

Located in the heart of the Houston Heights lies a historically significant piece of architecture.

Article by Christa Eixman

Photography by Courtesy of The Heights Ironworks

Originally published in River Oaks Lifestyle

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Heights Ironworks includes three historic residences and a tile block and glass workshop at the corner of 15th and Yale Street. The stunning residences and two beautiful courtyards, along with the industrial chic studio, have been renovated into a magnificent space for hosting special events, with charming accommodations for overnight guests.

The Houston Heights became a prime area of interest for investors after the Great Hurricane of 1900. Settlers of Galveston Bay, suffering from a terrible yellow fever outbreak, began looking for land with higher elevations and fewer mosquitos. One of these investors was a man named Harvey Wheeler from Connecticut. Historical records indicate that Wheeler built the primary house at Heights Ironworks known as "Yale House" in 1903.

The property changed hands repeatedly until 1926, when Austro-Hungarian immigrant Augustus (Gus) Koschany and his wife Marie purchased the estate and retained it for the next five decades. Gus was an ironworker and wanted to move his welding and machine shop to his home. In 1936, he added a clay tile block and glass workshop to house his business next to the carriage house he'd built in the 1920s. Gus and Marie's children sold the property in 1978.

This historic tract in the heart of the Heights transferred hands several times before the current owners, Lowell Bezanis and Dr. Maria Gomez, purchased it in 2013. The couple have lived in the Heights for over two decades and are passionate about restoring old buildings; refurbishing several other residences in the Heights, including their own home which was built in 1909. 

"We are committed to preserving and extending the useful life of iconic and sometimes quirky, local structures in our neighborhood," says the couple. "Our hope is that Heights Ironworks adds to the sense of history, community, and pride we have felt over the years while living in the Heights."

The restoration took many years, but the Yale House, Carriage House, Ironworks, and most recently, The Little Bungalow have all been exquisitely renovated. The Little Bungalow, originally built in 1914, was purchased and remodeled in 2020. The tract of land it sits upon was once part of the original parent tract, so Heights Ironworks today is as it was over a hundred years ago when wells provided water supply and horses were seen on today's Yale Street. 

The venue is stunning. Maria and Lowell worked with local architects Rogers + Labarthe to realize a thoughtful, sympathetic restoration of the space. The former Ironworks, elegantly covered in ivy, currently serves as the venue's indoor area, complete with a caterers kitchen, ADA restrooms, and rows of large windows allowing natural light to pour in from the adjacent lawn. The beautiful inconsistency of tile blocks, mortar, and industrial windows, along with the exposed wooden beams and ceiling joists, make the space unique and inviting. 

The perfectly manicured courtyards, including the secluded Bungalow Courtyard accessed via a lush landscaped pathway, are lit up by hanging lights at night, creating a memorable and romantic atmosphere. 

The Heights Ironworks is ideal for weddings, parties, and reunions. It also offers boutique hotel-style rooms for up to 18 overnight guests.

For a celebration full of character, elegance, and historical charm, check out Heights Ironworks for your next event.

  • Photo by: AnniqueMarie Photography
  • Photo by: AnniqueMarie Photography