Preservation Austin always takes an imaginative approach to its its annual homes tour. In recent years, we’ve been privy to the pleasures of experiencing some of Austin’s most notable homes—not necessarily the grandest or most well-known, but often the most distinctive and representative, organized around specific time periods, neighborhoods, and stylistic themes.
In past years, the nonprofit dedicated to “Saving the Good Stuff” in Austin’s built environment has invited us for up-close views of the city’s showy Victorian specimens, its midcentury-modern legends, its postwar bungalows, and more, with deep dives into the histories of a wide range of neighborhoods, from East Austin’s Robertson Hill/Guadalupe areas to diverse spaces in South Austin’s Bouldin Creek.
This year, the nonprofit’s 27th annual fundraising tour takes a specific type of home design as its focus. “The Art of the Craftsman Style,” which takes place Saturday, April 27, looks at the impact of the Arts and Crafts Movement’s impact in Austin.
Presented in coordination with the Harry Ransom Center exhibition The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America currently on view, the tour offers ticket holders access to seven exemplary Craftsman-style homes from an architectural era that is one of the most cherished, preserved, and reproduced throughout the country. The histories available on the tour offer a glimpse of Craftsman-style life in the early 20th century, as well a exploring the creative updates and additions that have allowed their adaptation to contemporary living.
In anticipation of the event, here are some examples of the stops that will be on the tour (descriptions and photos courtesy of Preservation Austin).
West Ninth Street (1916, Old West Austin)
This classic Old West Austin bungalow and City of Austin Landmark retains its original windows, doors, and hardware; butler’s pantry and fireplace; built-in bookshelves with leaded glass doors; and gorgeous wooden roof beams. The current owners removed drywall to reveal longleaf pine shiplap, renovated the second floor into bedrooms and children’s play space, and preserved its original cabinets in the updated kitchen.
East 16th Street (c. 1920, moved 1954, Chestnut)
This 2017 Preservation Merit Award winner features its original built-in sideboard, exposed shiplap walls and ceilings, and formal pocket doors. Architect-owner Erica Keast Heroy designed its gorgeous rear addition and master suite. The Young family, owners of East Austin’s Hillside Drugstore (now Hillside Farmacy), purchased the house at a University of Texas auction in 1954 and moved it here from its original location at Trinity and 23rd Streets.
Avenue D (1912, Hyde Park)
This elegant bungalow in the Hyde Park Local Historic District shows an American Foursquare design with Craftsman-style influences, including diamond-sashed windows, Doric columns, and original light fixtures. The interior displays the current owners’ meticulous eye towards restoration and their gorgeous collection of period furnishings and art. Additional features include a kitchen remodel/addition by Clayton & Little, a lush Arts and Crafts-inspired garden, and interior redesign by The Renner Project.
Terrace Street (1928, Travis Heights)
This 1928 bungalow characterizes the historic middle-class housing of Travis Heights’ Blue Bonnet Hills section. The current owners embarked on a 600-square-foot master suite addition with Duckworth Custom Homes, completed in 2016. The project features extensive reclaimed materials, complementing the original home’s scale and original teardrop siding, windows, floors, and working fireplace. A spacious new screened porch features gorgeous encaustic tile imported from Nablus, West Bank. A full landscape redesign by Murray Legge Architect is underway.
Duval Street (1929, Hyde Park)
This picturesque bungalow with Tudor Revival-style flair stands in the Shadow Lawn Addition, listed in the National Register of Historic Places and part of the Hyde Park Local Historic District. Historic features range from original roof tile, imported from Belgium, to push-button light switches. Echoes of a midcentury remodel include pink bathroom tile and yellow tile countertops. The breakfast room features original peacock wallpaper, and the owners have spotted over fifty species of birds in their beautiful organic garden.
Wheeler Street, (1916, Aldridge Place)
This stately home in the Aldridge Place Local Historic District features flared rooflines, deep eaves, and massive roof brackets. Architect Leslie Iredell designed this house, along with its twin next door, in 1914. By the 1980s, the house was vacant and in near-ruin before the current owner transformed it from a teardown into a 1987 Preservation Merit Award winner. Paul Lamb Architects designed a historically-sensitive remodel in 2002. Today the house features an incredible 54 historic windows, along with a modern kitchen and swimming pool.
Treadwell Street (1936, Zilker)
Harmony Grogan, principal of Pluck Architecture, purchased this working-class bungalow in 2009. Its late Craftsman era design includes a bracketed entrance awning, extensive longleaf pine trim throughout, and the original brick hearth. Room-by-room updates include gorgeous new built-ins, in keeping with the Craftsman style ethic; a new kitchen and attic office; and exposed shiplap. Additional historic features include original teardrop siding, wooden window screens, and hardwood floors.