The white stucco finishes, planar walls, and flat-roofed profiles of the Shorthand House radiate assurance in the 1930s neighborhood of Southgate, which adjoins the Rice University campus. Menil planned the house as a rectangular bar, with east-facing windows overlooking a side courtyard shielded from the street by a one-story garage. Framed by the live oak trees lining University Boulevard, the house stands out from neighboring houses, without diminishing them, because of its radiant proportions. The nickname “Shorthand” refers to Menil's ingenious interior plan, which enables spaces to be partitioned or conjoined.
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