Completed in 1894, The W.H. Stark House is a perfectly restored 15- room mansion in Orange, Texas, that was inhabited by the W.H. Stark family from 1894-1936. The three-story wood frame structure is constructed of cypress and longleaf yellow pine, a unique choice for the Southeast Texas area. The Victorian home – with its many gables, galleries and distinctive windowed turret – shows the influences of several architectural styles, most notably the Queen Anne style. The Stark House remained closed from 1936 until 1971, at which time a 10-year interior and exterior restoration process was commenced. In 1981, the House was opened to the public for guided tours. Further renovation was required after minor damage caused by Hurricane Rita in 2005.
Today, the 14,000 square-foot Stark House appears much as it did in the 1920s, filled with antique rugs, original textiles, custom-made Victorian furniture, silver, cut glass and antique porcelain. South of the main house is the original Carriage House, where two floors of collections amassed by the Stark family are displayed. This collection consists of American Brilliant Period cut glass, pressed and pattern glass, milk glass, porcelains, bronze and oriental objects, as well as other 18th and 19th century decorative accessories. Swiss woodcarver Peter Mansbendel carved multiple items for Lutcher Stark. These included two bedroom suites one in mahogany and the other in walnut with Wedgwood inserts (shown below) and an old newel post (that featured Stark’s likeness) from the old main building at UT where LH Stark was on the board of Regents.
The W.H. Stark House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark by the Texas Historical Commission.
Please visit thier website at whstarkhouse.org
Content and photos used with permission, WH Stark House, Stark Museum of Art