|| A. C. Erwin, owner and developer of Corpus Christi's elite Oak Park subdivision, probably had this house built about the time Oak Park opened in 1929. Designed by local architect N. W. Hardy of the firm of Hardy and Curan, this became the home of Russian Jewish immigrants Ed and Sadie Grossman, who purchased it in 1931. Ed Grossman was part owner of Grossman Brothers Department Store, The Carmel Corporation, a Corpus Christi shopping center, and a real estate business. The Grossmans both were active in Corpus Christi social and religious affairs. Ed Grossman was a founder and the first president of Corpus Christi's Temple Beth El, and Sadie was the founder of several Jewish women's organizations.
Tom and Virginia (Deaver) Graham purchased the property from the Grossmans in 1935. A native Texan and the son of a circuit-riding Methodist minister and his wife, Tom Graham was president of the Tom Graham Oil Company. By the 1940s his companies operated more than 200 oil and gas wells with production in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The Grahams also were active in Corpus Christi civic and social affairs. Tom Graham died of a heart attack in the house in 1948; Virginia Graham sold the property in 1955.
The house boasts mission-influenced arched gateways and parapets, but the structure most markedly exhibits quintessential Spanish colonial revival and Mediterranean features, including the stucco finish, hipped tile roof and arched columned porches. The house and vegetation-rich landscape are integrated to create several intimate exterior spaces, which is a coveted attribute of the Mediterranean style.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1999