Historic West Austin mansion that burned Friday had unique and colorful past

Built in 1940, it was an icon of Greek revival architecture and recently housed two of Austin’s most famous philanthropists.

AUSTIN, Texas – The Long Estate – named after the Long family who occupied it for nearly three decades – is located at 2308 Woodlawn Blvd. The one that burned on Friday was one of the most famous in a neighborhood known for its classic “old Austin” architecture.

The nearly 12,000-square-foot house was an architectural icon in Austin’s “Old Enfield” neighborhood – simple and elegant, seen from the street, spacious and luxurious inside.

When it was offered to buyers a few years ago, Elite Auctions, the company that handled the sale, prepared a video tour that gave viewers a rare peek behind the door. It was an eight bedroom, 11 bath mansion, three elevators, and a large art gallery that took up the entire basement space.

RELATED: Fire Under Control in Former Long Estate

From 1991 to 2019, it was the home of philanthropists Joe and Teresa Long, after whom Austin’s hall for the performing arts, the Long Center, is named.

As the Longs shrunk and moved out, it went up for sale between $ 7.5 million and $ 8.5 million. The house eventually sold for an undisclosed amount and was empty and was in the process of renovating when the fire broke out early Friday morning.

Built in 1940 to a Greek rebirth-style design by renowned architect Charles C. Page, its unique aspect was invisible to the eye: it was built on a pillar and beam foundation with about 34 concrete pillars sunk deep into the structure on concrete beams – a technique normally reserved for large commercial buildings, according to Elite Auctions, which handled the last sale transaction.

It was 81 years old and built to last, but now the question is whether the mansion on Woodlawn Boulevard will survive the devastating blow.

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