Now that the stucco facade that had encased the historic Byrne-Reed House since the 1970s has been removed and the decorative columns on its north facade have been disassembled, more and more historic features of the house emerge. A month after the major phase of demolition began, the house's transformation is so remarkable that passers-by have even stopped to take pictures.
As the contractor removes brick and concrete infill, the original first-and second-floor porches are exposed. The second-floor porch is visible in the above view of the building's north and east facades.
Below, part of the wood frame of the original sleeping porch on the building's south facade is visible. Large, wraparound, screened porches became popular in the early twentieth century, as they provided a cool spot to sleep or relax on hot summer nights.
The interior of the house is also undergoing a fascinating transformation as we restore the original first-floor plan. When complete, the first floor will feature gallery space as well as room for meetings, receptions, and other events. The second and third floors will house the Humanities Texas administrative offices and workspaces. Below, a view from the former grants workspace on the second floor looking onto the porch and beyond to the Capitol.
Humanities Texas is proud to take part in preserving Austin's architectural heritage. To learn more about the Byrne-Reed House, visit its page on our website.