Culture / Newsy

Hermann Park’s Historic Clubhouse Gets a $6 Million Makeover — Houston’s New Wedding Wonderland?

2,000 Trees Added to Property

BY // 12.05.20

From the very beginning when the Hermann Park Conservancy launched its highly fashionable “Hats in the Park” luncheon at the Historic Clubhouse two decades ago, guests began imagining the charming 1933 stucco hacienda as an ideal place for weddings, birthdays and other celebrations. Fast forward two decades and the clubhouse, now named Lott Hall and completely refurbished, is ready for hosting special events beginning in late January.

In fact, Lott Hall, named for Sherry and Tommy Lott who provided the lead gift of $2 million for the $6 million project, already has a wedding on the books for November 2021. One hopes that long before that a vaccine will have diluted COVID-19 fears.

Up until 1999, the Clubhouse served as the center for the Hermann Park Golf Course, which provides a verdant oak-shrouded backdrop to the building and its reimagined back garden. Once a simple grass-covered lawn, extensive landscaping and the addition of stone walkways and two stone plazas add to Lott Hall’s entertainment space.

Landscape architect Jack Ohly of New York-based Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates led that aspect that saw 2,000 plants and trees added to the property.

The renovation included the addition of an architecturally sympathetic porte-cochère, which so fits with the original design by Arthur Nutter that without careful examination, one would not discern the old from the new. Curtis & Windham Architects was responsible for the addition and sensitive renovations of the clubhouse which were strictly dictated by tax credit regulations.

Lott Hall
Architectural details of the renovation of the 1933 Historic Clubhouse, now known as Lott Hall. (Photo by Shelby Hodge)

While the construction phase of Lott Hall has taken about a year, conservancy president Doreen Stoller tells PaperCity that the planning took five years of working through the rigid requirements necessary to earn the 45 percent historic tax credit. Details on the renovation are available here.

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Hermann Park Conservancy members are invited on tours of the “new” facility this month and what they will find is a splendid renovation.

The Lott Hall entrance has been moved to the north where the porte-cochère opens into a formal foyer. Intricate beam work and antique chandeliers overhead, slate flooring beneath and the pristine stucco walls provide a warmly historic ambience to the spaces within.

The original loggia entry has been enclosed and is, at least temporarily, labeled the bride’s parlor while the former ladies locker room has been transformed into the bride’s dressing room. The much larger men’s locker room has been converted into a second entertainment hall opposite the great hall which features a fireplace and ornate iron chandeliers original to the downtown Esperson Building, which was built in 1927.

The conservancy website notes that Lott Hall can accommodate 150 seated guests at tables, and 250 guests for standing cocktail-style events. The space includes a catering preparation area, restrooms, personal spaces for the bridal party and private areas for vendors.

Reservations for Lott Hall can be requested here. The conservancy expects to realize $500,000 in rental fees over the course of a year.

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