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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Historic Register Grows in Austin

The historic value of Austin has not been overlooked by the National Park Service. Six locations in Austin were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014, ranging from an architecturally significant home on Park Boulevard to the German American Ladies College on 11th Street.


The Cranfill Apartments on Cliff Street earned a spot on the register because they “display distinctive characteristics of midtwentieth-century modern design on a residential scale,” according to the register. The buildings were designed in 1958 by Harwell Hamilton Harris, who was dean of the School of Architecture of the University of Texas at Austin.


This house, built in 1876 at 1604 E. 11th Street, is significant as an example of a “vernacular, wood frame, Greek Revival residence in Austin as well as for its ties to local education,” the register reports. The building housed the German American Ladies College, a private all-girls day school, until 1881, when Austin’s public school system began.

Seaholm Power Plant

The Seaholm Power Plant was designed by the Kansas City engineering firm Burns & McDonnell and built in 1951. The Seaholm Plant is an “outstanding example of the Art Moderne architectural style,” the register says. The structure is constructed of site-cast concrete, and the firm paid close attention to massing, scaling, and detailing in its design.


The Lung family, a prominent Chinese immigrant family, lived in this house on Canterbury Street from 1917 to 1960. The Lungs were among the first Chinese families to settle in Austin, where they ran a successful restaurant business for more than 60 years. “The house clearly illustrates the level of success and respect this minority family achieved during a time period in which the community was not always welcoming to outsiders,” the register says.


This home, built in 1926, belonged to the Walsh family and sits on land previously occupied by their limestone business, which supplied the stone for the house. The house is an example of the Mission Revival Style as applied to a single-family residence. “Key character defining features include a curved, sculpted parapet which incorporates a blind quatrefoil window-like ornament; red tile roofs; a dominant porch with a corbel arch entry; wall ornament reminiscent of a blind arcade; multi-light windows; and thick masonry walls,” the register reports.


This home was built in 1929 by builders Davidson & English of San Antonio. “With fine detailing attributed to local craftsmen Peter Mansbendel and Fortunat Weigl, the Edgar H. Perry, Jr. House represents one of the most outstanding examples of the Tudor Revival style in Austin,” the register reads.

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