Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Restoration Project

This bungalow at the corner of Ash and 15th Streets recently changed hands after being in the same family for several decades and receiving very little maintenance. The new owners are planning an extensive renovation project which will include the addition of a second floor. I had the opportunity to see this house when it was on the market and it has a lot of potential! Much of the original woodwork inside is still in its original condition.

A Victorian Lady Gets Restored

This beautiful house at 1304 Elm Street was one of three built on this block of Elm Street in 1895 by the Belford Lumber Company, which was the pre-eminent builder in Georgetown from the 1870s to the 1920s. The house was on the market for several years but no one was willing to take on such a large restoration project. Finally, local contractor Larry Crabb decided to restore the house himself and then resell it. The transformation in just a very short period of time has been amazing!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Up for Demolition

This house at the corner of 5th and Pine Streets was recently purchased by a new owner and that owner went before HARC Oct. 27 for approval to demolish the house. HARC faces a tough decision on this one - the house has historical significance because its original owner was the bookkeeper for the Griffith Lumber Company, which built many of Georgetown's historic homes. But the house was remodeled extensively by a previous owner, who apparently added a second story to raise parakeets! The new owner hopes to build a new craftsman-style house in its place.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Being Remodeled

This 1920 house at the corner of Myrtle and 5th Streets has new owners and they are planning some extensive changes to it, including a new addition on the north side, and a wrap-around porch on the west and south sides.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Slated for demolition

An Austin couple has purchased this property at 401 E. 7th St. as well as the adjacent vacant lot at the corner of Elm and 7th Streets. They plan to demolish this house and use both lots to build a new house. HARC approved demolition of this non-historic house at its July 28 meeting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Coming Soon

Some lucky person was able to obtain this lot at the corner of Walnut and 4th Streets to build a new house in Old Town. Let's hope they build something that fits into Old Town!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Adding On

From my back yard I can see the new addition to this house at the corner of 9th and Ash Streets going up.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Future office space?

After several years of unsuccessfully trying to sell this house at 409 E. University Ave., the owners petitioned the city to change it from residential to office. However, after the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-1 against the rezoning at its June 7 meeting, the owners have indefinitely "pulled" the zoning change request.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Restoration Project

It looks like someone has taken on the challenge of restoring this house at the south end of Olive Street.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Under New Ownership

Someone has taken on the challenge of restoring this house in the 300 block of University. So many of the old houses along University have been lost, it is nice to see one being saved.

Down to the Shell

This house in the 900 block of Walnut Street has sat vacant for several years. Now it appears that renovation work is in full swing. The house has been stripped down to the shell and a new addition and garage are being added.

Friday, March 25, 2011


The transformation is complete on the house at 17th and Main Streets, which was originally featured here in November 2010 (bottom photo).

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Near the Square

Several properties near the downtown square are undergoing renovation. Someone purchased an old warehouse building on Myrtle Street (bottom) and is fixing it up nicely. A small bungalow on Rock Street was also gutted recently and had a new driveway put in (top photos). Ironically, both buildings have a similar mustard yellow color!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Barcus House

A few weeks ago I met the new owners of the Barcus House at the corner of 11th and Ash Streets. This house is called the Barcus House because one of its first owners was J. Samuel Barcus, who served as president of Southwestern University from 1924-1928. The new owners are doing several things to restore the house, including straightening the garage (see photo below) and restoring the windows in the house to their original size.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Inappropriate additions?

This little house on Hutto Road used to be really cute, with a small dormer window above the door. In a quest to get more space, the new owners have put on an addition that is totally out of context with the house's architectural style. This isn't the only home on Hutto Road that has suffered this fate. Just up the street is a newer home with what many people consider to be a very inappropriate addition in the rear. Under new rules recently passed by City Council, additions will not be permitted on the front of houses in Old Town without approval from HARC.

Demolition by Neglect

This house at 707 E. 13th St. has been an eyesore to neighbors for 15 years. What is particularly sad is the fact that the owner lives in Georgetown but has not bothered to visit the property for five years. So when he applied to HARC for permission to demolish the house, HARC denied the request due to the fact that the it was an obvious case of demolition by neglect. Unfortunately, the owner will eventually get to demolish it - all he has to do is wait 175 days and then HARC has to approve his request for demolition. Under a proposal now before City Council, property owners who are guilty of demolition by neglect would have to wait a year before they are allowed to tear down houses in Old Town. Photos of two houses just around the corner from this house show what it might look like if it had been properly maintained.

Moving to Jonah

The Historic and Architectural Review Commission (HARC) has approved plans to move this house at 1809 Main St. to Jonah. Apparently this won't be the first time it has been moved. It was originally located at Fort Hood. The property owner plans to replace this house with a new one that is 2,500 square feet. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tracing the Life of Jesse Daniel Ames

Many people know that women's suffrage advocate Jesse Daniel Ames lived in the yellow house on Church Street (second photo from the top) because there is a historical marker in front of it. What people may not know is that there is another house in Georgetown with ties to Ames.

The beautiful Victorian house at 705 E. 3rd St. was Ames' childhood home. Fifteen years ago it was so run down that many people thought it should be torn down. But George and Barbara Meyer were up to the task and lovingly restored it.

Barbara Meyer told this story several times in recent months as various city boards considered changes to the city's Unified Development Code (UDC) that would make it harder for people to demolish historic houses in Old Town. With the help of concerned citizens like the Meyers, the City Council approved the tougher restrictions at its first reading on Jan. 25.

Also shown in this post is a photo of what Ames' house on Church Street looked like when the current owners, Michele and Herb Ledebohm, bought it in 2004.

And finally, I have posted a photo of Jesse Daniel Ames' grave in the IOOF Cemetery behind Southwestern University. She is buried there along with her parents and her youngest daughter. Southwestern University historian Bill Jones helped me find the gravesite.