A Trip Back in Time to the Wild West (Campus)

By Sarah Pressley West Campus is a treasure trove of historic homes. The space Longhorns use to party, play, study and sleep holds a historic past. Many of those who worked to shape Austin and the University of Texas at Austin into what it is today, including Robert Lee Moore and Dr. E.P. Schoch, resided and created history in West Campus. West Campus has grown from their foundation and holds remnants of that past today.

 

612 West 22nd St. The Burt House Among the previous owners of this historic home are John McDonald, mayor of Austin from 1889 to '95, and C.H. Page Jr., a member of the State’s first board of examiners in architecture. Page designed hundreds of buildings throughout Texas and other states.

 

 

611 West 22nd St. The Kenney House Martin McHenry Kenney, captain of the 21st Texas Calvary during the Civil War and a Texas Ranger, was one of the original owners of this home. Kenney represented Austin County in the Texas legislator from 1892-94.

 

 

2212 Rio Grande St. The White-Springfield House The house was built between 1909-10, also by C.H.Page, for Dr. Montgomery Lewis White and Mary Belle Nelson White.

 

 

2212 Nueces St. The Gerhard-Schoch House Original owner P.H.Gerhard ran a local hardware company. The next owner of the home, Dr. E.P.Schoch born in Germany, became the first University of Texas at Austin graduate in civil engineering. Schoch later became a UT professor, directed and played in the University Orchestra and organized the Longhorn Band, whose original instruments he purchased from pawn shops.

 

 

2303 Rio Grande St. The Kuehne-Moore House Robert Lee Moore and his wife Margaret moved into this home in 1922. Moore, a UT professor, is still considered to have made some of the most significant developments in modern math.

 

 

2310 San Gabriel St. The Neill-Cochran House Washington Hill commissioned this home for himself and his wife in the mid 1800s, when the site was over two miles from Austin. However, toward the completion of the house, the Hills ran out of funds, despite having sold three slaves to attempt to pay for the finishing of the home. In 1856, Hill leased the property to the State of Texas as a temporary home for the Texas Asylum for the Blind. After the Civil War, a new owner leased the home to the U.S. Government as a hospital for federal troops. The government did not pay for the lease or the damage done to the home, so the building was sold to Andrew Neill. In 1958, the Neill family sold the home to The Colonial Dames of America, who have preserved the home as a museum.

 

 

1908 Cliff St. The Patterson House Raymond Everett, UT professor of freehand drawing and architectural history, designed this building in 1923 for Dr. John T. Patterson and his wife Alice. Patterson helped to found the zoology department and is the namesake of Patterson Hall. The two-story home has seen few changes over the years, and aside from the new roof, virtually all of the materials in the home are original.

 

 

2402 San Gabriel St. Franzetti Store Building Situated in the heart of Wheatville, the first African American community in Austin after the Civil War, the Franzetti Store building was home to Jacob Fontaine and his family beginning in 1875. The building housed the First (Colored) Baptist Church in Austin in 1867, started by Fontaine. The next year, Fontaine began publishing the first newspaper under black ownership in Austin, the Gold Dollar, out of this building. Aside from delivering news and providing education, the Gold Dollar helped freed slaves locate lost relatives. The building was later a grocery, laundry, book and medicine store.