Architecture, Midcentury Modern, Stylish Properties Outside of St. Louis

Architectural Gem in Texas Hill Country Designed By Frank Lloyd Wright Apprentice, John Covert Watson

Article originally posted by Mansion Global

The Retreat at Lick Creek Lodge, a compound in Texas Hill Country where stars such as Kinky Friedman, Billy Joe Shaver, Pat Green, and The Flatlanders have given benefit and private performances for hundreds of fans through the years, has just hit the market for $17.5 million.

The roughly 30-acre architectural waterfront compound, located in Spicewood, just outside of Austin, Texas, and off the Pedernales River, was listed Tuesday by Susan Barringer of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty. The seller, according to property records, is John H. McCall, the former owner of the beauty supply company Armstrong McCall.

“The lodge truly is a space for art, whether that’s poetry readings, concerts, or space to display art,” Ms. Barringer said, adding that the cork-covered walls enhance the acoustics. “The main living area is like a concert hall; it has an upper level and cushioned seats that are like stadium seating.”

She noted that the two covered carports and the area over the Lick Creek, from which the compound gets its name, also make good performance spaces.

Custom-built between 1998 and 2001, the main lodge and the caretaker and storage building were designed by award-winning Austin architect John Covert Watson, who, in the 1950s, was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. Austin-based Peter Dick Architect collaborated on the project.

The structures, which follow Wright’s principles of “organic architecture,” are made of desert masonry, redwood, and glass walls capped by a structural insulated panel and steel roof systems. From above, they look like the fanning out of a deck of cards.

The main lodge, which is reached via a meandering path through the landscape, “consists of 12 equal slices of an 82-foot circle, imaginatively roofed with a combination of hyperbolic parabolas, a 12-sided Kalwall skylight, and conventional membrane and gravel cladding,” according to the website of Peter Dick Architect.

“It’s very peaceful,” Ms. Barringer said. “Even though there are walls of windows, they don’t look like glass. It feels like you’re running into nature.”

The main lodge, which is 12,002 square feet, has a skylight ceiling in the foyer and media hall, four bedrooms, two of which open to patios, six full bathrooms, and one-half bathroom. The caretaker’s building has two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and one-half bathroom.

The property includes a waterfall that pours into a grotto and the negative-edge pool, wrapped by a wooden deck, is backstopped by a limestone cliff.

Ms. Barringer said that starting in 1994, the seller bought the first of the four lots that comprise the property. He continued to purchase properties as they became available and combined them to create The Retreat at Lick Creek Lodge.

She said that Spicewood is the ideal location for the lodge because “it’s where Austin musicians can afford to live, so you’re surrounded by incredible artists. You can hear them playing music in the hills.”

The Retreat at Lick Creek Lodge is near Poodies Hilltop Roadhouse, a bar and grub pub that features live country music. “You never know which well-known artist you’ll run into there,” Ms. Barringer said.

Mr. McCall, who is known as the Shampoo King of Dripping Springs, is quite a colorful character. A one-time lawyer and the subject of the 2000 documentary “The Shampoo King,” he also makes an appearance as a character of the same name in his friend Kinky Friedman’s 2001 detective novel, “Steppin’ on a Rainbow.”

In 2018, he was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame for his contributions to the arts.

Mr. McCall could not be reached for comment.

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