Historic Austin homes to be moved, demolished

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on July 23, 2013 at 6:51 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 23 at 7:25 AM

AUSTIN -- The Austin Landmark Commission has secured a deal to preserve a group of historic homes in East Austin.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas bought the set of homes on San Marcos Street near East 8th Street last December. They want to use the land to build a museum.

The project came to a halt last month when the Historic Preservation Commission asked the group to renovate the homes instead of tearing them down.

“They were built by Anglos. Anglos lived there for a little while. African Americans, Mexican Americans also lived there. So it really tells the story of the development of that section of Austin and collectively as a group they really tell an interesting chapter,” said Historic Preservation Officer Steve Sadowsky.

Monday evening the Historic Landmark Commission settled on an agreement between both sides. The commission is allowing the Daughters to relocate two of the homes and tear down one of them.

Some residents who live nearby are worried about losing part of the district’s century-old history.

"It's important to the future of Austin to keep what's old around as much as we could,” said East Austin resident John McCollum. “It's not just the history of the city. It's the history of the U.S."

The home that will be demolished is believed to have been built in 1904. Before the Daughters can tear it down, they must first complete what's called a "documentation package" for the Austin History Center. It includes taking photos and making a sketch plan of the home.

As for the two homes that will be relocated, they've been sold to another owner. That owner plans to move the homes just outside of Austin and then open them up for renting.

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