The 1886, Second Empire style John Bremond house on the corner of Seventh and Guadalupe in downtown Austin is the one most outstanding of all of the buildings in the empire style and is a graceful and exuberant example of Texas Victorian architecture. Its crested mansard roof has elaborate dormers, polychrome slate shingles, and concave bracketed curves on the front gable. The cast-iron work on the wrap-around gallery is outstanding. This house and several of the others were built by George Fiegel. All the buildings within the Bremond Block are beautifully maintained. The building in now owned by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.
John Bremond, Jr., one of two Bremond brothers who oversaw construction of the block of family homes, had his mansion built for $49,000. At that time, a nice family home could be built for about $6,000. The success of the family’s banking and mercantile businesses bought exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. One example of this is seen in the intricate wrought-iron decoration that surrounds the first- and second-floor wrap-around porches.
Inside, this five-bedroom home is full of fine plaster archways and carved black-walnut woodwork. Refinishing the wood required hand stripping, and as many as six coats of remover were needed to strip away the old finish. The wood throughout the house is now refinished with natural oil to allow the grain to show through. The end post at the base of the first-floor banister once had a gas light on top with a figurine of a small boy playing a violin.
The fireplace mantles on the first floor are attributed to noted Swiss woodcarver Peter Mansbendel.