Inside Pearland's Mystery Mansion

Categories: Surreal Estate

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On the east side of the house, just off the foyer, construction had begun on a commercial (and we do mean commercial) kitchen. All the charm of a high school cafeteria...

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Further down the main hall we reach the first of three staircases. All three staircases are oddly hidden -- two of them within what look like regular rooms and the third one at the very end of the long hall, adjacent to an industrial-looking elevator.

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At the rear of the house is an indoor swimming pool and hot tub. The ceilings in here are two stories high, which would give the indoor pool an airy feel if there were any windows or doors that opened to the outside.

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50 comments
oyj2
oyj2

It is May 1, 2013, are the houses still there? Any recent news on them?

pyjac
pyjac

An orphanage maybe?  A shelter for homeless kids......I have oftened wondered about this place....It gives me the creeps, kinda.

diceroller
diceroller

Justin505;  wondering if you didn't mind sharing your photo's?

justin505
justin505

 

Back in 2005 I went inside the house as well. I got around 88 pictures and this place was creepy as! How come you don't have many pictures of the pool or Sauna or the 3 little cult shacks on the east side? What the hell were they intended for? From looking at your pictures it looks like the house is still a work in progress. The entry way was nowhere near finished when I was in there. How did you gain entry to this place? I left a door and 2 windows open but if work was done on the house and you went 4 years later I'm sure they would of locked them up by then. After what was to be Hurricane Rita hit Houston this place was boarded up pretty good, but if there is power going to the house it looks like it is for sure a work in progress. The rear of the house had no brick when I was there. Just a very odd fixture in west Pearland.

Sbh
Sbh

The large house looks like something out of a  bad horror movie, like maybe this pediatrician  planned on implanting children with a chip that would make them zombie over to the house at a certain point in their life and live out the rest of their lives  there and he had these windowless bedroom set up for observation rooms. The common areas like the pool back media room would be torture rooms. He would eventually get his rewards on his own time from the sheer pleasure of watching what he had created. Meanwhile the smaller of the two mansions would be his residence where he would greet friends and family and no one the wiser of what was going on next door ewwww scary someone should make a super B flick movie with these 

Hca
Hca

I am reminded of the old Todville mansion in Seabrook.  Also, the west wall used to be finished.  Hurricane Ike was kind enough to remove it.  

Dptkr33
Dptkr33

I wouldn't call it a mansion. Such a poor quality. Paper made house.

Arana0830
Arana0830

Recently I have seen the lights on, and moving truck coming out of the house. I wonder whats going on?

Djalibi
Djalibi

i think he threw secret raves, that second picture looks like a dj booth above doorway , lol 

may
may

This Dr. Watkins is a distant relative and family background originated in Walker County TX. One of his relatives just passed away in the Houston area, which is why I googled his, or rather his grandfather (I think) Kimble Watkins name and found a lot of good stuff about the family as a whole, but not so good here for this particular member. I met him once, a few years back, when I was in Houston caring for my father. That family, as well as connecting families, goes back to the 1850's in Walker County, as far as I can tell, when the slaveholders were relocating to hold on to their slaves. Walker county has a great presence on the net. Though it was a tough place for ex-slaves there are remnants of my family still there. Many of the old black families left there and scattered all over the place seeking a place to live free. They found a modicum, but not what they hoped for. I even found a few in Rock Springs, Wyoming. I am from the older generations. My folk started to relocate back in the '30s when I was in first grade. Many of Walker County Black families relocated to the San Francisco Bay area (before the Bay Bridge was completed) and here in Los Angeles. I found them all over the place, in Utah, deserts, you name it. There used to be a lot of Watkins' here in LA, but the older ones have died out. My great aunt married Johnny Watkins back in the 1800s and some from that family still reside here in Los Angeles.

Pearlandvb
Pearlandvb

Here's another idea: there used to be (maybe still is) a religious group (I would call it a cult, but perhaps it's just a very enthusiastic church group) called The Rock. They have bought a lot of land in Rosharon. Weird group, mainly African Americans, many professionals and highly educated. Charismatic leader who uprooted them all from the Austin area and moved to the Alvin area, then to Rosharon. (I heard that the leader was called to stamp out racism, in which case Alvin was an excellent choice of location.) Now they all appear to subsist on public handouts (perhaps "bleeding the beast", like the FLDS). If Dr. Watkins has a residence in Rosharon, he may be a member of The Rock and he may have built the behemoths with the intention of having the cult, er, church, move in there. Perhaps the church has disbanded? Perhaps the utility bills were going to be too high? Maybe he left the church? The Rock used to have a big billboard in Alvin, haven't heard from them lately.

john montague
john montague

This is so obviously a commercial medical facility it's unreal. The guy probably could not fund the whole project, or more than likely, he had a problem with expected licensing and his partnership had to fold. Check to see who is paying the taxes on it if you must know, then check the planning and permits to see exactly who applied for and paid for everything. The garages are another giveaway.

Imelda
Imelda

Thank you so much Katherine for covering this story. I live in Pearland have have driven by these houses many many times and always wondered about this.

Fascinating!!

Rocky
Rocky

He seems to manufacture/distribute some kind of (skin care?) products under the company names U W Products and Wesby Products? U W Products is listed as the owner of the clinic on S Post Oak.

I too would love to know the rest of the story, Katherine, this little peek is incredibly bizarrely fascinating.

Kuda Labranche
Kuda Labranche

Story checks out about the doctor; that's pretty much what I was told.

I've actually been IN this "house". Totally bizarre layout, with 10 foot wide central corridor and rows and rows of very large "bedrooms" down each side. Mostly unfinished; the electrical rough-in and sheetrock was just getting started. Some exterior damage from IKE. Pretty poor construction quality, especially in trim and the limited finishes that have been installed.

The really bizarre thing is that there are bathrooms along the exterior walls, leaving most of the large interior spaces windowless.

There is also a huge enclosed unfinished swimming pool at the rear.

Currently being considered for a complete remodel and conversion to an assisted living facility. It's gonna take a LOT of work but it is possible/feasible if they apply enough cash.

Doug
Doug

12/12/2008 - ON DECEMBER 12, 2008, THE BOARD AND DR. WATKINS ENTERED INTO A THREE-YEAR AGREED ORDER OF PUBLIC REPRIMAND REQUIRING THAT DR. WATKINS PRACTICE BE MONITORED BY A PHYSICIAN MONITOR AND THAT, WITHIN ONE YEAR, HE TAKE AND PASS THE TEXAS MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE EXAMINATION WITHIN THREE ATTEMPTS. THE ACTION WAS BASED ON DR. WATKINS' FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH BOARD RULES RELATING TO PAIN MANAGEMENT PRACTICE; NONTHERAPEUTIC PRESCRIBING; A REPEATED PRACTICE OF IMPROPERLY PRESCRIBING FOR PERSONS WHO HE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WERE ABUSERS OF SUCH DRUGS; AND A PATTERN OF PRESCRIBING SUCH DRUGS WITHOUT FIRST ESTABLISHING A PROPER PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PATIENTS.

Rocky
Rocky

So the bigger one has essentially stalled construction for some time, but it's still got electricity powering the lights? Weird.

The smaller one -- Dr Watkins still owns it...but nobody lives there either?

There's virtually no information about this fella or these houses on the internets either...weird.

E
E

The Stevens and Pruett Ranch is about 2 miles further west on CR59.

Kevin
Kevin

Dr. Watkins? The same Dr. Watkins mentioned as a Houston Press 2008 "Best Radio Talk Host"? Small world ...

Pearlander
Pearlander

I always thought this was the abandoned Stevens & Pruett Ranch for boys & animals. There's even a sign (or used to be) on 288 for it.

Kim
Kim

I was curious about those houses last year and called the church across the street from them. The lady there told me that the doctor built one for his home and the other for either a rehab or home for the mentally disabled. She wasn't sure. It's obvious it was for some sort of medicle treatment. Nonetheless, I'd like to know more. Looks like more reporting could have made the story more like the usual Houston Press reads.

C
C

thank you HP!! We live across the street and ask ourselves every freakin day what the ** is up with the mansions.. I only knew that a Dr. owned the property but nothing more..being a scaredy cat-i honestly wish they'd go down.. Being in the mental health field, i agree with some of the other bloggers; why would anyone want/suggest such a creepy building for MH or such facilities.. ughh.. anywho.. the mystery continues.. but thanx for the dirt!

Nancy, Bess & George
Nancy, Bess & George

ooohhhhh...i love mysteries like this....the kind where nobody has been hurt, and it is just a guessing game that we may never know the solution to...it is even more intriguing to follow the link and go to the site showing pix of the mini-version of this empty nest.....but doggone it SOMEONE knows...someone who worked on these buildings, furnished the one etc....it would require a large number of people to pull off putting these structures together...not all of them are discreet....SOMEBODY SPILL THE BEANS PLEASE!!! What harm could there be??? But for those who prefer the mystery, please at least give a spolier alert first!!

Katharine
Katharine

Brooke--

The houses you're talking about are part of Shiloh, a treatment center for children with emotional and behavioral problems. I have a good friend who works there. These two mansions have nothing to do with Shiloh; they were built as residences, not as anything else.

Brooke Browne
Brooke Browne

I used to live in Manvel for 10 years, leaving right before these were built. When we moved, there were a few smaller 'compound' like houses about 4 miles apart and we were told they were schools for delinquent boys. We'd see them hanging out in the front every once in a while. I would assume this was part of the same school or rehab?

melissa
melissa

In the last picture, you can see handrails that are similar to a hospital. This construction had to be some sort of medical/rehab facility. Which is the rumor I've been hearing for years (I live in that area).

Hugh Jass
Hugh Jass

Well, I heard from a friend of a retired carpenter that knew the landlady of the guy that was related to two people who happened to be in the same grocery store as the Doctor one time that Watkins got rich forwarding emails. Guess Microsoft actually *was* paying for all that.

Who knew.

marmer
marmer

Google Earth shows the larger house there by Dec. 30, 2002, but the adjoining lot is vacant. The smaller house is there on Jan. 25, 2004. Can't pinpoint it any more precisely than that.

marmer
marmer

Rep. Al Edwards introduced a resolution honoring Dr. Watkins in the Texas House this past spring. Here is the text: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/t...

In the text it refers to "the late Katie E. Watkins" as well as Dr. Watkins' four children and several grand and great-grand children.

Veromi.net shows Ulysses Watkins associated with a lot of different businesses and shows a "Katie Ethel Watkins" and addresses in Manvel, Missouri City, and Rosharon.

According to the Chron, Katie Ethel Watkins passed away at the end of August, 2007.

POS
POS

I know a guy who went to church with the doctor's wife. He told me, which he was supposedly told by Mrs. Watkins was that Dr. and Mrs. Watkins built the 1st house and then she found out that Dr. Watkins had an affair with a younger woman and that this woman was pregnant with Dr. Watkins child. At this point, Mrs. Watkins said she didn't want the house anymore becuase it was "too big". So she built the one next door, which is still huge. Next, the mistress goes into labor to have the love child and dies during the delivery. So Dr. and Mrs. Watkins are now raising the baby. They eventually abandoned that house and live in Rosharan. It all sounds so bizarre, but this guy swears that's the story straight from Mrs. Watkins. It's hard to believe until I realize these are the same people who built such crazy home. Who knows?

Katharine
Katharine

P--

Yes, if windows were added, efforts were made to landscape and improve the area in general and the house was completed. I obviously didn't mean in its current condition. Take a few deep breaths and step away from the keyboard, dude. Jesus.

Los
Los

Sweet! They should finish building and then the houses would be like the creepy mansion from the first Resident Evil video game!

P
P

"not at all difficult to picture these two buildings on this serene piece of land housing elderly or assisted care patients one day." -- SERIOUSLY?? You want to live there when you're old? Or you want your parents living there, or ANYONE you know or care about? I don't think so. I find that comment commpletely insensitive and offensive.

Jeff
Jeff

That's just freaky and awesome or awesomely freaky if you prefer.

Jen Mathis
Jen Mathis

What's wrong with just seeing the pictures? Knowing everything takes the fun out of it. Once you "know everything," all that's left is "huh, so that's that," and there's nothing left to it.

This way, there's still a mystery to ponder.

The More You (Don't) Know...[cue music]

borednow
borednow

That's some mighty fine detective work there, Lou. Thanks for...whatever that was. This is "journalism"? Houston Press, I'm done with you.

nate
nate

While I like the Mormon theory, it appears Dr. Watkins attended Howard University, which is a historically black university. I won't get into what Mormons have thought of African Americans in the past, you can look that up yourself. Besides that, it also appears that Dr. Watkins is a practicing Catholic.

Shilcutt, that is just the worst sort of tease. "hahaha, I know something, and you dont. Oh, and I cant tell you." Next time, dont even hint that you know the real reason if you cant spill it. Tease is not a compliment...

Brad
Brad

If you look at Google hybrid (satellite) map these two monstrosities look more like industrial warehouses than homes. Just because they were originally declared as residences doesn't mean that was their intended purpose. I see them being demolished before anyone actually finishes them or considers living in them. What depressing buildings!

Mary
Mary

What jumps immediately to my mind is the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints church (FLDS). This looks a lot like the one raided recently in El Dorado, Texas. And the indoor pool doesn't look that big to me, but it looks like the windowless "baptismal pool" we saw in the El Dorado house. In any event, in this condition, it looks downright sinister.

Katharine
Katharine

Marmer--

Wish I could spill. But rest assured: Both houses were originally built as residences, not for commercial or institutional purposes. :)

marmer
marmer

"What became of the house after Dr. Watkins abandoned it and went on to build the halfling mansion next door isn't a matter of public record, suffice to say it's a bizarre story of its own that deserves to be told one day."

Well, yeah! What a tease! Spill it!

Seriously, if you look at the pictures of the other one, it seems pretty clear what the intended purpose must have been. Private rehab/detox. Garages so the client cars can be hidden, way out in a rural area (especially so mid-90s, when these were begun), small windows for security and privacy (and to deter escape), institutional size kitchen, break room for staff, giant pool, industrial dropped ceilings with generic hotel-style furnishings. I can't think of any other reason for those "features."

David
David

Thanks for the coverage... we drive by those about 2-3 times a month and always speculate WTF they look like inside and what their original purpose might have been for. I'd like to see more backstory if possible in a future issue.

Rebecca
Rebecca

Great story and pics. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm off to *pick up* some cheap marble flooring ...

amy
amy

Cool story and pictures, thanks. Suprised the place hasn't been looted. Pearland keeps it classy.

P
P

Hum anyone remember the Chicken Ranch?

EdT.
EdT.

Maybe we can turn them into a tourist attraction... sort of our own version of the Winchester Mystery House!

~EdT.

Jen Mathis
Jen Mathis

"what architect conceived of this monstrosity as a residence..."

My guess? Not an architect. A Home Builder.

tonia_bivens
tonia_bivens

@oyj2 Yes, they are still there and they look exactly the same! Nothing has changed at all. 

guest
guest

this is the most perfect place for a rave. windowless giant room with a stage, and lots of bed rooms

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