AUSTIN, TEXAS.The Dorbandt House in Marble Falls and the Reynolds-Seaquist House in Mason are among the 12 sites that Preservation Texas, Inc. has named to its eleventh annual list of Texas’ Most Endangered Places.
Preservation Texas officials announced the selections outside the Texas State Capitol on May 20.
“The 2014 list is a diverse group of sites that reflect the range of preservation issues that historic places throughout the state are confronting,” said Evan Thompson, executive director of Preservation Texas. “The sites are cultural, architectural and historic icons that are at imminent risk of disappearing from the landscape. Local grassroots organizations have been working tirelessly in support of these sites. By including them on the 2014 list, we hope to rally Texans statewide to step up and save them by supporting job-creating investments in our state’s at-risk historic places.”
Historic preservation is a billion dollar industry in Texas. Historic sites named to the list of Texas’ Most Endangered Places represent some of the biggest opportunities to make a positive economic impact on local communities through preservation. Preservation Texas supports sites on its Most Endangered Places List providing technical assistance to identify preservation needs and set priorities, fund raising expertise, and assistance in fostering and building community partnerships.
DORBANDT HOUSE (c. 1855)
4554 N. US Highway 281
Marble Falls, Burnet County
Built for Danish pioneer Christian Dorbandt, this two-story limestone vernacular house is one of the most photographed houses in Texas. Fields of bluebonnets surround this important early Texas house which is suffering from the ravages of time. The historic context of this house is also being lost as surrounding fields are developed for commercial and industrial purposes.
Documentation and development of a preservation plan for the Dorbandt House, studied in context with other limestone structures in the region, will provide a direction for the future of this landmark on Highway 281. Through the hard work of preservationists in Texas, the Dorband House will one day bloom again as proudly as the bluebonnets that surround it.
REYNOLDS-SEAQUIST HOUSE (1891)
400 Broad Street
Mason, Mason County
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Reynolds-Seaquist House is a remarkable Victorian residence that is one of the best examples of Italianate architecture in the Texas Hill Country. Monumental in scale with 22 rooms, 15 fireplaces, a third-floor ballroom, wine cellar, and a water tower with shower room, it is an architectural landmark. Vacant and vulnerable, water, vagrants and Mother Nature threaten the long-term stability of this important Texas house.
Built in 1891 for E. M. Reynolds, a banker from New York, and located at 400 Broad Street, the house is evidence of the craftsmanship of local builder Richard Grosse. The asymmetrical sandstone mansion was further improved by its next owner, Oscar Seaquist, a Swedish bootmaker who came to Texas and eventually acquired the property in 1919. Featuring wrap-around porches, gables, turrets, alcoves, scroll-work, stained glass and towers, the house is pure architectural fantasy. Mason County is rallying to save the Reynolds-Seaquist House in hopes of restoring it to its former grandeur and opening it to the public for all to enjoy.
Sites named to the 2014 list are:
Abilene, Taylor County
Brinkley Davis House
Camp Logan / Hogg Bird Sanctuary
Houston, Harris County
Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County
Marble Falls, Burnet County
Jefferson Ordnance Magazine
Jefferson, Marion County
Lerma’s Nite Club
San Antonio, Bexar County
Mary Allen Seminary
Crockett, Houston County
O?ate Crossing/Hart’s Mill/Old Fort Bliss
El Paso, El Paso County
Pig Stand No. 41
Beaumont, Jefferson County
Port Isabel Yacht Club Hotel
Port Isabel, Cameron County
Mason, Mason County
Thompson noted that the sites included on the 2014 list reflect increased awareness of the importance of historic preservation in supporting landmarks in small communities. “Passion and determination in these communities are strong, but badly managed land use planning, coupled with a lack of financial resources and professional guidance present serious challenges,” he said.
Preservation Texas, Inc. is the advocate for preserving the historic resources of Texas. Founded in 1985, the nonprofit organization named its first list of endangered sites in 2004. Its Most Endangered Places program is funded in part by grants and sponsorships from across the state.
For more information on Texas’ Most Endangered Places, visit www.preservationtexas.org, or phone Preservation Texas, Inc. at 512-472-0102.