Colonel Andrew J. Zilker built the home in 1926 for his son, A. J. Zilker, Jr. and his new daughter-in-law, Isabell in the Aldridge Place neighborhood of Austin. Architecture is attributed to Hugo Khuene. Since the Zilker family home, once located at 301 E. Second St., at San Jacinto, was demolished, this home is the only remaining building in Austin connected to Andrew J. Zilker, Sr. Born in 1858, Zilker, Sr. came to Austin as a young man in 1876 with fifty cents in his pocket. He began earning money in Austin by washing dishes inlocal restaurants. Soon he landed work in an ice factory on the river for $1.25 a day, and within three months hewas leasing the plant himself. His ice business spread throughout Texas, and he became one of Austin’s earliest millionaires.
We know his name best for the park that is the heart of Austin’s recreational spaces. Zilker gave the property for that park to the city with the condition that an endowment be created for “manual training” in the public schools. The resulting endowment helped to create shop and home economics classes within the Austin schools. Zilker park is now home to the now famous “Austin City Limit” and SXSW festivals annually. The park also encompasses Barton Springs with its cold natural swimming pool.
The house has many classic features of the Georgian/Colonial Revival style. While architecturally interesting,and located in a neighborhood rich in history, the greatest significance of this home is it’s connection to the Zilker family, and it’s patriarch, Colonel Andrew Jackson Zilker.
The special architectural features of the home include a Mansbendel carved crown molding in the main living room with a pine cone and pine needle motif. Mansbendlal probably installed the pine paneling and built-in cabinets in the room. There is also Weigl ironwork in the home in the form of hindges and a latern.