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Joseph Zorn House, “Sebastopol”

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c. 1850; 1988 restoration. 704 Zorn St.
  • (Photograph by Gerald Moorhead)

Highly unusual and advanced in its construction, the house was built by Colonel Joshua W. Young using limecrete, an early form of poured-in-place concrete. The use of this material was of interest to Frederick Law Olmsted, who commented in A Journey Through Texas (1859) on the material's durability and low cost. By the end of the nineteenth century, more than ninety limecrete structures had been built in Seguin. The T plan of the house places the main room at the base of the T, which is flanked on three sides by porches. The most unusual feature of the design is the panlike roof, which may have served as a collecting basin for rainwater. The choice of the name for the house is still a mystery. Named after its later owner Joseph Zorn, who served as mayor of Sequin from 1890 to 1910, the house is open to the public under the jurisdiction of the Texas Historical Commission.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Joseph Zorn House, “Sebastopol”", [Seguin, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 189-190.

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