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French Legation

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1842; 1880 additions; c. 1955 restoration. 802 San Marcos St.

The home of Alphonse de Saligny, French ambassador to the Republic of Texas, is one of the earliest surviving properties in the city. Saligny purchased the twenty-one-acre property from Anson Jones, fourth president of the republic, for $1,000. Its hilltop location east of the town afforded a milder climate than the moist lowlands along the Colorado River. Now operating as a house museum, the Greek Revival, central-hall house reflects the early vernacular trends of Central Texas, yet its paired porch columns are an unusual design element. Originally containing four rooms, a cellar, an attic, and a porch, the house was enlarged in 1880 with a dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. The attic was converted to a bedroom and the dormers added. In 1945 the State of Texas purchased the property and a restoration overseen by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas was completed in 1955. A meeting facility was later constructed at the rear of the property.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Gerald Moorhead et al.
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Citation

Gerald Moorhead et al., "French Legation", [Austin, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/TX-01-AU90.

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