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Commission seeks to preserve Tarrytown home

Thursday, December 18, 2014 by Elizabeth Pagano

On Monday, the Historic Landmark Commission pushed to preserve a Tarrytown house. Its owners would like to see it gone.

Though commissioners had the option of postponing the case to allow for more research, Commissioner Terri Myers instead urged her colleagues to “go for the gusto” and initiate historic zoning. That initiation passed unanimously.

The house, which was built in 1940, is located at 3201 Bowman Ave. It was once home to the Shelby family, a prominent family in Austin. It was also home to Lucille Weller, whom preservation officer Steve Sadowsky described as a “matron of the fine arts in Austin.”

The commission moved to initiate historic zoning based on the history of Weller and the architecture of the building. Leslie Wolfenden Guidry asked for more information about the history of Weller.

“It’s definitely worth investigating a little further,” said Sadowsky. “It’s not our run-of-the-mill type permit, where we’ve got somebody who lived a fairly simple life. I’m not sure what else we will find out there, but I’m willing to take another look.”

The current owners of the house are seeking a demolition permit in order to build a new residence on the lot. John Mayfield, who is the architect on the project, detailed the architecture of the house and why he felt it did not qualify for historic zoning.

Myers disagreed with his detailed assessment, saying he was “putting a kind of standard here that is not exactly what is required by the National Register.”

“In my opinion, this property would definitely be contributing in its neighborhood and is a wonderful example of a Tudor Revival House in Austin,” said Myers.

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