Via Chron

The 59-year-old Reggie Van Lee created this place ,so his family could live together. The idea was hatched years ago when he was a student at MIT in Boston. One of many brushes with celebrity throughout his life, Van Lee and Caroline Kennedy had a mutual friend, and she invited the two to visit Hyannis Port one weekend. He was a sophomore in college – not long out of the protective shell of his tight-knit family in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood – and he was awestruck. Someday, he told himself, he wanted to build a place to share with his sisters and his parents. It took a while, but he did. His dream has come full circle. His sister Tommye Szafarz knew all along that it could someday happen. Their parents were aging and needed help, then their sister Eva Watkins became ill, and someone said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we were all in one place?” “When Reginald starts a project, everyone knows at some point it will come to fruition,” she said. “Once he sets his mind on a project, it is going to happen.” Today, he and his three sisters and brother-in-law share a one-level, 20,000-square-foot home on land in Wharton that was purchased by their great-grandmother Susan Freeman Jones Jefferson in 1899.


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