2006 Decatur

In the 1896 Sanborn map an ell-wing cottage on lot 5 faces Decatur at 2006 Decatur.  The Bammel family, who owned lot 5 and the adjoining corner lot (lot 6) and who built a new house on the corner in 1907, probably moved the existing house on lot 5 to the far west side of the lot to increase the space between it and their fine new house on the corner.  They rotated it 90 degrees, removed the porch and ell-wing, and built a new room and front porch on the east side.  Structural and stylistic evidence indicates that that house on lot 5 is very old, maybe from the 1860's.  B. A Riesner, who bought lot 5 in 1880, probably moved an existing house from somewhere onto the lot in the 1880's to be a tenant house.

Mr. Riesner began his storied career as a wagon maker and later became one of the city’s largest structural steel contractors.  He served as the alderman of the Fourth Ward North who led the drive to have the neighborhood designated as the Sixth Ward, a separate ward, and was the chairman of one of the local Selective Service Boards in Houston during World War I.  The house at 2006 Decatur received notoriety in 1887 when Mr. Riesner fatally shot his brother-in-law during a domestic dispute.  After a sensational court trial, where curiosity seekers from all over the town descended on the backyard to witness the site of the murder, Mr. Riesner was acquitted on grounds of self-defense.

The house at 2006 Decatur had been vacant for a long time when it was declared a dangerous building in 2010.  It was saved from collapse and demolition in 2015 by three Sixth Ward residents, Lee Roeder, Phil Neisel, and Chuck Stava.  It was once again rotated by 90 degrees to face Decatur as before, a porch was built, and the exterior and interior were meticulously restored.


Made 31 Oct 1973 for appraisal purposes.  Courtesy Harris Co. Archives.

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