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Dr. Edward Joseph Gillard House

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1848. FM 1011, 3 miles north of Liberty

Originally built on a rural site south of Liberty, this substantial Gulf Coast cottage was moved to the grounds of the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center and restored in 1980 by Austin architect Stephen Kubenka. Dr. Edward Joseph Gillard and his household, including slaves, came to the vicinity of Liberty in 1845 from central Louisiana with seven other Creole families to expand their cotton-growing and stock-raising operations. The Gillard House exhibits the Creole preference for French doors flanking the central entrance door. This made it possible to enter the front rooms from the veranda as well as from the interior hall, preserving a French Creole spatial arrangement that prevailed in Louisiana. The veranda wall is flush-boarded while other walls are faced with clapboards. The front doors and windows are framed with Grecian architraves.

Adjoining the Gillard House are two buildings moved to the Sam Houston Center from Liberty, the La Cour-Cameron-Norman House of 1883 and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of 1898 (2001 rehabilitation, Milton Bell of Beaumont). The three buildings sit on a one-hundred-and-ten-acre tract near the site of the original Atascocito settlement that was given to the State of Texas in 1973 by Liberty lawyer Price Daniel and his wife, Jean Houston Daniel, a great-great-granddaughter of Sam Houston, as the site for a historical archive and research center focusing on the old Liberty municipality. Price Daniel had served as U.S. senator from 1952 to 1956 and as governor of Texas from 1956 to 1962. The boxlike library (1977) by Paul G. Pressler of Austin sits between the historic buildings and the house the Daniels completed in 1984 (Joe Harris of Liberty, designer-builder), which duplicates the front of the Governor's Mansion in Austin ( AU4), with one-story, ranch house wings projecting from either side.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.
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Citation

Gerald Moorhead et al., "Dr. Edward Joseph Gillard House", [Liberty, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/TX-01-AT12.

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