You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

What’s the next role for the historic Hirshfeld-Moore House?

Could Victorian compound become the linchpin for a historical tourism district?

A few weeks ago, Texas A&M University System workers moved out of the Hirshfeld-Moore House (1885) and Cottage (1873), a dandy Victorian compound on West Ninth Street between Lavaca and Guadalupe streets.

Occupying half of an urban block, it needs work. It isn’t in danger of demolition, so don’t ring the preservation alarms. But we are talking to experts about its past, present and possible future.

Although Austin probably doesn’t need another house museum, Hirshfeld-Moore, in some capacity, could serve as a linchpin for a walkable tourism district. Perhaps as a visitors’ center for that historical district?

In the immediate vicinity are the Governor’s Mansion (1854), Bremond Block (1860s-1890s), Chateau Bellevue (1874, redone 1894), Heman Sweatt Travis County Courthouse (1930) and Austin History Center (1933).

Within very easy walking distance are the Capitol Visitors Center (1856-57), Lundberg Bakery (1876), O. Henry Hall (1881), Driskill Hotel (1886), Texas State Capitol (1888), Littlefield Building (1910), Scarbrough Building (1910), Claudia Taylor Johnson Hall (1914), Paramount Theatre (1915), Stephen F. Austin Hotel (1924), Norwood Tower (1929), State Theater (1935), Federal Courthouse (1935), and Municipal Building (1937), to name just a few gems.

Some enthusiasts for late modernism might include the Faulk Central Library (1979), soon to change roles when its current functions move to the new Central Library in the Seaholm development. The big white structure will be part of an expanded Austin History Center, which for decades has been bursting at the seams of its graceful 1933 building.

Then perhaps that older structure — once also the Central Library — could finally give Austin a destination museum dedicated to local history, with permanent exhibits to go along with its excellent temporary ones.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Warm, dry conditions expected in Austin on Wednesday
Warm, dry conditions expected in Austin on Wednesday

Wednesday forecast for Austin: Forecasters are calling for a warm, dry day in Austin as temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-80s on Wednesday afternoon. According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday and Thursday are shaping up to be the hottest days of the week. At 6 a.m., temperatures in the Austin metro area were sitting at 56 degrees...
Rove to Trump: Lose the pettiness, stop whining, think big
Rove to Trump: Lose the pettiness, stop whining, think big

For an hour Monday night, Karl Rove regaled some 450 people at the Williamson County Republican Party Reagan Dinner at the Sheraton Georgetown with tales of William McKinley and his extraordinary but little remembered success as a Republican candidate for president and occupant of the White House. And then Rove brought the lessons of the 25th president...
EMS: Man shot, woman injured in southeastern Travis County
EMS: Man shot, woman injured in southeastern Travis County

10:55 p.m. update: A man was shot and a woman was injured in southeastern Travis County, officials said Tuesday night. Austin-Travis County EMS medics responded to reports of a shooting at the 8500 block of Linden Loop, EMS officials said. A STAR Flight helicopter took the man to University Medical Center Brackenridge with gunshot wounds not expected...
Nanny arrested after leaving toddlers in car
Nanny arrested after leaving toddlers in car

When 19-year-old nanny Leah Wilging pulled up to a Roswell grocery store about 2 p.m. on Feb 13, one of the two toddlers in her care had fallen asleep, she told police. Wilging decided to turn off the engine, lock the car and leave the children inside, according to a police report. Wilging told police she spent more time shopping at the store...
Oklahoma town abolishes dancing ban
Oklahoma town abolishes dancing ban

An old law that left folks feeling "Footloose" in Henryetta, Oklahoma, is set to be abolished. City officials abolished strict rules on dancing Tuesday after organizers had to cancel a Valentine's Day dance. Organizers said the law was overlooked for the past 50 years, but it was illegal to dance in some parts of the city. Two store...
More Stories