|Woodburn House on its original site in 1979 before its move and restoration.|
Woodburn House History
(Excerpt taken from Nomination to National Register of Historic Places)
Woodburn House was built in 1909 by John Headspeth for Francis Wagner. Headspeth was a builder in Austin for over forty years and is credited with building many 19th and early 20th century structures.
Woodburn House is unusual for its time and place. The house is in the tradition of the grand plantation homes of the Old South. Its magnificent two story wrap-around porches with Doric columns allude to Greek Revival Styles, but the high pitched roof, gables and furniture spindles on the porch recall more ornamental Victorian architecture.
The interior gives the appearance of the craftsman style departure from ornate Victorian woodwork. The original dark woodwork has simple planes and columns, pocket doors and built-in cabinetry. The 11-foot ceilings give an open, spacious feel to the entire house.
Frank and Bettie Hamilton Woodburn moved into the house in 1920 with their three daughters. The daughter of Andrew Jackson Hamilton, the provisional governor of Texas during the Reconstruction Era, Bettie is credited with writing many of his speeches. The Woodburn family resided in the house until 1973. The Woodburn daughters never married nor had children.
A Fight for Survival
The property suffered many years of neglect. In 1976, it was purchased by a neighborhood church, which sought to demolish the house to make way for additional facilities.
Though the house was in severe disrepair, neighbors realized the importance of preserving Woodburn House in the neighborhood. It was the last remaining house with double wrap portches in a neighborhood that had had many. Negotiations between the church and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association resulted in its restoration after the relocation of the house to its current location on the northeast corner of Avenue D and 44th Street in February 1980.
|Woodburn House being moved from its original site on the northeast corner of 40th Street and Avenue F.|
These photos reveal Woodburn House being moved from its original location on the northeast corner of 40th Street and Avenue F to its new location.
While the house historically faced south, site conditions and mature trees at the new location resulted in its reorientation to face west. Relocation within the historic district to a similar lot with mature street trees preserved the house's integrity of setting and feeling.
|Woodburn House on its new foundation at the new location at 4401 Avenue D.|