This 10,800 square foot home was built in 1928 on a 10 acre estate by E.H. Perry and his wife, the former Lutie Pryor. Mr. Perry was born in 1876 in Caldwell, Texas and graduated from Baylor University. He started in the cotton buying business in Taylor, Texas. This central Texas cotton was then sold to Europe prior to World War I. He made his fortune in Europe and is quoted to say “….am going to spend it in Austin to make this city a nicer place to live.” Mr. Perry quit the cotton business in 1929 and went on to head the Austin Housing Authority. He also built other structures as the Commodore Perry Hotel, Perry-Brooks Office Building and helped developed the Highland Park Neighborhood.
While Mr. Perry played golf at the former Austin Country Club, now Hancock Golf Course, he noticed the gravel pit across the street. He purchased the 10 acre site and hired prominent Dallas architect, Henry (Hal) Bowers Thomson, to design a showplace in a Mediterranean villa style. In its prime, the 1928 mansion had a guest house, swimming pool, bowling alley, green house, six-car garage, a formal hillside garden with a marble fountain, sunken garden with mirror pool, and sundial. Waller Creek, that was once damned, that flows along the west end of the property and has an arched bridge across it.
Both the front and rear of the house have an equally beautiful presentation. The front greets you with numerous arches entering a long open-air porch called a loggia. Once in the front entrance, a long hallway opens into all the major rooms of the lower floor. To the right as you enter, is the living room with a large limestone fireplace and then through ornate iron doorways is the solarium on the east end of the house. To the left of the front entrance, is the walnut-paneled formal dining room opening into the breakfast room and kitchen. There is an oval shaped library located on the lower east area balanced by an oval spiral staircase room on the lower west side.
The carved corbels are attributed to Swiss woodcarver Peter Mansbendel.