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AF House Building

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Photographs documenting Sneed House from the House Building collection. The Judge Sebron G. Sneed House (also, Sneed House and Comal Bluff) is a historic former limestone plantation house in Austin, Texas, commissioned by Judge Sebron Graham Sneed. It was likely designed by architect and general contractor, Abner Hugh Cook, co-owner of the sawmill where Sneed had purchased lumber for the construction of the house. Cook is most notable for designing the Texas Governor's Mansion in Austin.

18th-Street-W

Photographs documenting 1st Street East from the House Building collection

Photographs documenting the 1200 block of 2nd Street from the House Building collection

Photographs documenting 200 West 2nd Street from the House Building collection

Photographs documenting 400 and 401 West 2nd from the House Building collection (the J.P. Schneider and Bros. building). The structure is the only remaining historic building in the immediate vicinity and is today surrounded by Austin City Hall and the headquarters of Silicon Labs. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Photographs documenting the 100 block of East Sixth Street from the Austin House Building Files collection

The Flower Hill Urban Homestead Museum exists to celebrate an Austin founding family of civil servants the Smoot family. The Smoot family homestead grew from a four-room home with an outdoor kitchen, into a fourteen room, four hall, and four porch estate. Flower Hill flourished as a favorite place for relatives, artists, students, professors, and religious leaders, to live, study, and work. Central to the Smoot identity was a love of the arts, civic engagement, honesty, and hard work, and the family impressed these values upon their neighbors. The house was grandiose, but far from decadent, hardly was anything done away with without first being repurposed, and so behind Flower Hill’s cypress trunk column façade there fostered a resilient and creative spirit which helped shape the Austin culture we know and love today. O. Henry married in the parlor. A Nicola Amati violin was played on the front porch. Asher grew up to co-found the Austin American newspaper, and Lawrence worked for the Texas Supreme Court for 66 years, becoming the longest serving civil servant in Texas history. While, in the library, their father formed the Austin School of Theology, which since grew into Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Park-Blvd

Media documenting streets in Austin, Texas

Photographs documenting the Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School from the Austin Files collection. The Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School, a charity-sponsored institution for black children, was located on a hundred-acre tract on Bull Creek Road between 38th and 45th streets, about four miles northwest of the Austin business district. It was established as the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind Institute for Colored Youth in 1887 by the Eighteenth Legislature. A $50,000 appropriation was made to buy land and to construct appropriate buildings; the board of trustees included H. E. Shelley, J. T. Fulmore, and William M. Brown. Seventeen pupils and two teachers were present for the opening of the school on October 17, 1887. The initial campus consisted only of an eleven-room residence, but in 1888 a new two-story brick building was added to provide more classroom and dormitory space. In 1919 the school was placed under the jurisdiction of the newly created Board of Control. Various additions and renovations took place during the next several decades; by the 1940s the school had twelve brick buildings and one stone building, including dormitories, classrooms, hospital, superintendent's residence, and dining room. Instruction at the accredited high school emphasized training in trades and industries. Among the courses offered were manual labor, broom making, mattress making, shoemaking and repair, tailoring, cleaning and pressing, cooking, sewing, rug making, and other handicrafts. The hospital furnished surgical, medical, dental, and nursing services; specialists for eye, ear, nose, and throat ailments were employed part-time. Some poultry and farm products were raised each year for the home's own use. Texas School for the Deaf Administration Building Texas School for the Deaf Administration Building. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. Texas School for the Deaf Historical Marker Texas School for the Deaf Historical Marker. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. When the State Colored Orphans' Home was combined with the institute in 1943, the name of the facility was changed to Texas Blind, Deaf, and Orphan School. The school was moved to 601 Airport Boulevard, the former site of the Montopolis Drive-in Theater, in 1961, after the legislature appropriated $1.5 million for the construction of eleven buildings to accommodate the 1,208 students. The school was placed under the jurisdiction of the Texas Education Agency in 1965, and its name was changed to Texas Blind and Deaf School. It was combined with the Texas School for the Deaf later that year. The campus of the former Texas Blind and Deaf School served as the East Campus facility of the Texas School for the Deaf, and housed programs in early childhood and elementary education, as well as the department for multihandicapped deaf students. In 1989 the legislature appropriated money for the renovation of the School for the Deaf's South Campus, and plans were made to move all of the programs to the new facilities once the construction was completed. In the early 1990s no decision about the future use of the East Campus facility had been made.

Photographs documenting the Texas School for the Blind from the Austin Files collection. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired was established in Austin by the Sixth Texas Legislature on August 16, 1856, as the Asylum for the Blind, with five members of the board of trustees appointed by Gov. Elisha M. Pease. The first location of the school was the leased residence of Mr. W. L. Hill, west of the University of Texas on San Gabriel Street. That location is now the site of the Neill-Cochran House Museum. Dr. S. W. Baker, family doctor and close personal friend of Governor Pease, was the first superintendent. By 1857, three students were in attendance. Parents of the students paid tuition and expenses, but as needed, the tuition and expenses of the students were met by the school. The second location of the school was Block 71 of the area long known as Little Campus, now Heman Sweatt Campus, at the University of Texas. The main school building is now known as the Arno Nowotny Building. The cost of the new facilities was $12,390.00 and was completed in late 1857. In 1905 the legislature changed the name to Blind Institute, and in 1915 the name Texas School for the Blind was adopted. White, including Spanish-speaking, children between the ages of six and nineteen were admitted by direct application to the superintendent. A five dollar a week fee for incidentals was required of those able to pay; indigents were taken free of charge. By legislative provision there was no charge for board. In 1917 the institution was moved to its present location at 45th Street and Lamar Blvd, made possible by appropriations of the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth legislatures for the erection of buildings on the campus donated by citizens of Austin.

Photographs documenting the Millet Opera House from the Austin Files collection. The Millett Opera House, at 110 East Ninth Street, has been the home of The Austin Club since 1981. Built by city father Captain Charles F. Millett in 1878, the building was designed by leading architect Frederick E. Ruffini. When completed, the opera house was second in size and grandeur only to the Galveston Opera House. It had 800 moveable seats, balcony, private boxes and an exquisite hand-painted ceiling, a portion of which now hangs in the club’s House Conference Room. The Opera House had programs ranging from medicine shows to legislative sessions while the new Capitol was being constructed. It also hosted church services, political conventions, graduations, dances and recitals, as well as opera and theater productions. Notables who performed in front of its kerosene footlights include John L. Sullivan, Williams Jennings Bryan, John Phillip Sousa, Lily Langtry, Joseph Jefferson, James O’Neill and John Wilkes Booth’s brother, Edwin. In 1896 the building was converted to a skating rink and household storage space. Subsequent owners included the Knights of Columbus, who added the front portico in 1911. In 1940 the Austin Public Free Schools purchased the property. It was threatened with destruction in 1956 but survived when a prominent printing and office supply company took out a long term lease and restored much of the first floor.

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