The Astin House was built in 1924 for Roger Q. and Nina Heard Astin in Bryan, Texas. It was designed by architect Hal B. Thomson, designer of many of Texas’s finest homes, including many in Dallas’s Highland Park.
The Georgian Revival home has 96 windows and 16 sets of French doors. It also has the original slate roof and many original fixtures and detail, including fine craftsmanship in wood, stone, and iron.. A paragon of the grand nineteen-twenties style, this architectural gem has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Astin family was a prominent Bryan family who owned Rivermist, a cotton plantation. Nina Heard Astin came from a prestigious background in McKinney, Texas. Nina’s husband, Roger Astin died at age 39, leaving her widowed with 2 small children, John Heard Astin and Nina Bess Astin. Neither of the Astin children had children, so there were no heirs to the Astin estate. Nina Heard Astin, who was well known for her generosity and community involvement, outlived both of her children and bequeathed her estate to this community in the form of the Nina Heard Astin and Nina Bess Astin charitable trust. The trust continues to support several of Mrs. Astin’s favorite organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, as well as scholarships and other causes.
The beautiful stone and woodcarvings throughout were executed by Peter Mansbendel. The overmantel which was beautifully executed takes its styling from the great Grinling Gibbons of England. Gibbons is largely considered one of the greatest woodcarver that’s ever lived. This work is very similar to what you might see in the Petworth house or other prominent estate homes in England. The ironwork is attributed to Harry Potter of Potter Iron works from Dallas. Potter often worked for architect and builder Hal B. Thomson on these large homes.
Today the Astin house is a beautifully redecorated bed and breakfast where many weddings and parties are held in Bryan, Texas. Please check their website www.astinmansion.com