Until recently, the Byrne-Reed House, encased in a stucco shell, faced 15th Street. However, physical evidence and historic photos, such as the one below, show that the original entrance, shaded by beautiful arched porches, faced what is now Rio Grande Street. Now that the stucco facade has been removed, and the white paint covering the original brick has been cleaned away, the house's original orientation has become apparent.
The series of photographs on the right depicts the east facade's remarkable transformation over the past several months. Note the removal of the stucco facade and the reemergence of the house's elegant arched porches. The north facade has also been transformed. Note the disappearance of the decorative columns, which were added in the 1970s, and the reemergence of the frieze crowning the building.
We also discovered historic black and white tile in the east entrance vestibule and a fireplace in what was once the second-floor sitting room. It had been filled in with brick, which has since been removed. The reconstruction of the bay window on the house's south side, leading out to the second-floor sleeping porch can also be seen in these photos.
Humanities Texas is entering the final stages of its capital campaign supporting the restoration of the Byrne-Reed House. We are immensely grateful to the individuals and foundations who have contributed to this project and would appreciate any and all additional support. Your contributions will help us receive the full $1 million in matching funds from our NEH Challenge grant. If you would like to donate to the capital campaign, please mail contributions to:
1410 Rio Grande Street
Austin, TX 78701
To learn more about the Byrne-Reed House, visit the Byrne-Reed House page on our website.