River Oaks, 2003

Curtis & Windham Architects
Project Type:
New Construction

Constructed in 2003, the goal was to make this house seem like it has existed for 80 years.

This house is considered by many to be their favorite house in River Oaks, and it will be garnering the same complements when it is 100 years old.

Classical architecture and solid construction make the house feel grounded.

The exterior is acid washed stucco over concrete block in the tradition of the great houses of the 20’s. The stucco is a cement matrix with a coarse “torpedo” sand. The sand is passed through a sieve to obtain just the right size grain. No color is added to the cement. The color of the stucco is derived from the color of the sand which is acid washed after it is applied to the block to reveal its color.

This process takes months of testing and application.


The cast stone elements of the exterior are produced with the same coarse sand as is used on the stucco. A specialty subcontractor was engaged to manufacture these elements. The houses of 20’s used cast concrete in a similar way. The custom milled cornice work (exterior trim) is cypress. All storm shutters are custom fit to each window opening and are operable allowing them to be used for storm protection.

The terra cotta field tile for the roof was salvaged from a 75 year old building in Birmingham, Alabama. The ridges and hips were designed by our architects and custom made by Ludowici, the oldest (130 years) terra cotta tile producer in the county.

The millwork, both in finish and construction, is comparable to fine furniture.

All moldings are classical vernacular but one of a kind design— each one milled with a custom made “knife”.

The Breakfast Room millwork is radiused as are the windows and exterior door. The windows and door are fabricated with radiused glass. Extra glass is provided for “attic stock” in case there is a need for replacement. The exterior shutters are also radiuses.