Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mrs. Hall's Cottages

I owned the house at 405 E. 10th St. (bottom photo) for seven years, but I never had any idea that the three small cottages around the corner from my house had any connection to it. The women who did the historical research for this year's Preservation Georgetown Home Tour discovered that these three cottages were built in 1929 by the owner of my former house (Mrs. Lee A. Hall) to serve as rental income. In the early days, the cottages were most likely rented by students attending Southwestern University. The cottage on the right is among the houses featured on this year's home tour. The current owner has done a wonderful job restoring the old cottage, and it is now available for rent on Air B&B. The tiny back  yard is particularly delightful.

Home tour researchers also discovered many other details about Mrs. Hall. She was born Martha Lee Armstrong in Taylor in 1885. In 1911, she married John Temple Hall, who was a carpenter. Her only child, Mabel Lee, was born in 1914, and her husband died in 1919.

Mrs. Hall never remarried. She worked as a bookkeeper at First National Bank (which now houses the Williamson Museum), and eventually rose to become vice president of the bank -- quite an accomplishment for a woman in those days! Mrs. Hall lived in the house at 405 E. 10th St. until her death in February 1958. In 1957, she was named Georgetown's Businesswoman of the Year, when she was 72. She was a lifelong member of First Methodist Church in Georgetown. 

Mabel Lee Hall attended Southwestern and then The University of Texas, and ended up marrying a physicist she met at UT. During WWII, Mabel worked in the office of the British Information Service at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

West Side Story

A new developer appears to be buying up lots on the west side of downtown, tearing down the old houses, and putting up new ones.

Site of Proposed Condos

A developer is hoping to put eight condominium units on this piece of property at the corner of Maple and 13th streets - and keep the historic house that is currently on the property. The project was supposed to go before HARC Jan. 24 but was pulled at the last minute. Stay tuned!


It is sad to see the cute little chapel where we got married being overshadowed by this new construction. The new building also is going to block the view of the historic courthouse from the southeast side of downtown.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Nice Surprise

I had just about given up hope that the Louis P. Imhoff House at 208 S. Austin Ave. would ever be fixed up. But all of a sudden we saw evidence of progress last week. And this morning when we rode by, it had been completely transformed!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Hidden History

When city workers removed the stucco from the side of this building on Main Street, they were surprised to discover writing underneath it. Behind the scaffolding at the top left, you can see the words "After Every Meal," which is apparently part of a circta-1950 advertisement for Wrigley's gum. While it is very disappointing that we are losing the mural below that was painted on this building (it is still visible in this photo), it is neat that the building will have another piece of history showing on it.

Before and After

Here are some photos of an amazing transformation. It was four years in the making, but look at the makeover this house on Austin Avenue got!