Chateau Bellevue

For over thirty years, wedding ceremonies and receptions have been celebrated in several beautiful venues, such as the Evans Dining Room on the first floor, the courtyard, and the two parlors on the second floor. We can also host rehearsal dinners and bridesmaids’ luncheons in other unique areas of the mansion.

The elegant and spacious Chateau Room can host casual seating for up to 170 and to 190 with the courtyard. The lovely stone courtyard, with doors that open from the Chateau Room, increases the event capacity to 200 guests.

Please visit the Chateau Bellevue web site for more information.

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Stained Glass

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) announced in March 2011 that the organization would donate $3,000 to the Austin Woman’s Club (AWC), Stained Glass Window Restoration Project. Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of Thankful Hubbard Chapter, NSDAR, in Austin, Texas. The purpose of the grant was to repair and restore the most endangered beveled and stained glass original to the building. The AWC, North/Evans Chateau Bellevue, was built by Harvey and Catherine North in 1874. Noted Texas architect Alfred Giles designed modifications to the residence in the 1890s for prominent Texas businessman, politician and Medal of Honor winner, Ira Hobart Evans. The AWC, a 501(c)(3) organization, has owned and cared for the mansion since 1929.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution provides grant funding to support projects in local communities which promote the organization’s mission areas of historic preservation, education and patriotism. The Special Projects Grants program was started in 2010 as a way to assist communities in their efforts to preserve the past, enhance the present and invest in the future. With non-profit grants being scarce these days, the application process was competitive. The DAR receives hundreds of applications for funding each year. We are especially pleased that AWC received one of only three grants approved in the State of Texas out of a total of twenty-seven approved nationwide.

Regent Patricia Horridge sums up the long standing relationship of DAR and the Austin Woman’s Club in the following statement: “The Daughters of the American Revolution have had an ongoing relationship with Chateau Bellevue even before the Austin Woman’s Club purchased the home. Thankful Hubbard’s first chapter meeting—some 110 years ago—took place in the parlor where the chapter currently meets. Thankful Hubbard is a charter member of AWC and has patron membership status. In addition, the Capital Area Regents Council (CARC) luncheon meetings are held at the AWC. The Constitution Day Luncheon in September and George Washington Day Luncheon in February, hosted by Sons of the American Revolution, Children of the American Revolution and CARC, also are held at AWC. These luncheons are attended by DAR members and guests from the entire Austin area. Thankful Hubbard is proud of the heritage shared with the Austin Woman’s Club. We are committed to finding a way to assist AWC with the preservation of the building’s most endangered beveled and stained glass.”

Thankful Hubbard Chapter raised matching funds for this grant through the generous support of its chapter membership as well as donations from the Capital Area Regents Council and the affiliated chapters: Jacob’s Well of Wimberley; Robert Gilbert Livingston and Daniel Coleman of Georgetown; Austin Colony, Balcones and Andrew Carruthers chapters of Austin. To complete the project, Thankful Hubbard Historic Preservation Committee members designed and sold beautiful note cards of the windows to a variety of organizations throughout the area, raising a total of over $13,000 for the project.

Betty King, past-president of the Austin Woman’s Club said: “As we celebrate the 83rd year of our founding, we are especially grateful to our good friends in DAR for their support in many ways. This year the Chapter has underwritten the restoration of original stained glass windows which were installed by the Evans family in our Chateau Bellevue in l893. Because of their work the Daughters of the American Revolution have ensured that future generations will enjoy the beautiful work for many years.”

Support

For more information on the Austin Woman’s Club and Chateau Bellevue, contact us or call 512-472-1336.  To contribute to the ongoing efforts of preservation and restoration, please send your tax deductible contribution, made out to the Austin Woman’s Club, to the Austin Woman’s Club at 708 San Antonio, Austin, Texas 78701.

Preservation

The North/Evans Chateau was originally built in 1874 by the North family who came to Austin from France via New Orleans. The architect is unknown.

The second owner was William Pendleton Gaines, the publisher/editor of what later became the Austin American Statesman. The building was later remodeled extensively by its third owner, Ira Hobart Evans. Famous Gothic Victorian architect Albert Giles used crenellations borrowed from Victorian castles, graceful Romanesque stone arches and high terraces with massive buttressed retaining walls. The stairwell is intricately carved from curly pine wood (the tree is now extinct), and the stained glass windows were hand cut.

Ira Evans led black troops during the Civil War and was selected to serve as a member of Lincoln’s funeral cortege. After moving to Austin he was a generous donor and member of the Board of Tillotson College, and Huston-Tillotson named a building for him.

The building was purchased in 1929 by the Austin Woman’s Club and continues as the organization’s home today. The Woman’s Club offers an educational program and tours of the house for children as a way of engaging them in the city’s history.

The beautiful old building faces threats from several fronts: building and roof leaks that are eroding the original mortar, outdated electrical wiring, lack of fire alarms and evidence of wood rot.

Preservation Texas
Preservation Texas, the statewide partner for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is a primary advocate for preserving historic resources in Texas. Texas Most Endangered Places elevates the cause of historic preservation and increases the capacity of local groups and individuals to preserve the historic resources in their communities. Since its establishment in 2003, Preservation Texas has identified seventy-two historic places and five thematic listings.

More Information
For more information on the Austin Woman’s Club and Chateau Bellevue, email events@austinwc.or or call 512-472-1336. To contribute to the ongoing efforts of preservation and restoration, please send your tax deductible contribution, made out to the Austin Woman’s Club, to the Austin Woman’s Club at 708 San Antonio, Austin, Texas 78701.

Thank you for visiting the Austin Woman’s Club

Chateau Bellevue

For over thirty years, wedding ceremonies and receptions have been celebrated in our beautiful ballroom and courtyard. We can also host intimate rehearsal dinners and bridesmaids’ luncheons in the historic Evans Dining Room.

The elegant and spacious Chateau Ballroom can host casual seating for up to 150. The lovely stone courtyard, with doors that open from the Chateau Ballroom, increases the event capacity to 170 guests.

Please visit the Chateau Bellevue web site for more information.

Chateau Bellevue History
The North-Evans Chateau, first known as Bellevue Place, was built by Harvey and Catherine North in 1874. The architect of the original structure is not known.

Before coming to Austin, Harvey North was a merchant in New Orleans. He took his family on long visits to Europe, giving credence to the idea that Bellevue Place’s castle imagery evoked European castles. By 1876, North’s fortunes in Austin real estate began to falter. Just two years after building the mansion, it was for sale. After several unsuccessful attempts to sell the building, Catherine North finally sold Bellevue Place to Augusta and William Gaines. Gaines was the owner and editor of the Daily Democrat- Statesman They purchased the mansion in 1884, for only half the amount it cost the North’s to build. Ownership of Bellevue Place passed back to the Catherine North.

In 1892, Major Ira Evans bought Bellevue Place and turned the home into a showplace, with the help of Alfred Giles, a prominent Gothic Victorian architect.

Ira Evans served as the youngest speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. He was a leader in trying to secure education for newly freed slaves in Texas and helped to establish and fund the new Tillotson College, later to become Huston-Tillotson College. He served as chairman of the Board for the newly formed Austin National Bank and his beautiful home was the founding location for many social and civic groups, most notably the Texas Historical Commission.

Starting with the North’s wooden porch (replaced by limestone in the 1920s), Giles extended the home toward the west with a series of graceful rusticated limestone arches. He fortified the rooftops with crenellations and added a side entrance of exquisitely carved limestone.

Today the house is lovingly maintained and preserved by the members of the Austin Woman’s Club. Features and amenities from the late 1800s include:

Stately stone porches with lovely carved ornamentation
Delicate hand-carved cherry wood grills and paneled Texas pine wainscoting
Lovely drawing rooms, furnished with antique Louis XV and Louis XVI period furniture and Persian rugs
Massive hand-carved Texas curly pine doors
Ornate hand-cut and stained glass windows
Original light fixtures and crystal chandeliers
Charming fire places of marble, carved wood, and European tile.

AWC Events

The Austin Women’s Club holds special events and fundraisers to raise money for the preservation of the building.

AWC Programs
Please check our calendar or programs page for the club’s weekly speaker schedule.

Austin Woman’s Club

Thank you for visiting the Austin Woman’s Club Web site. Since our founding in 1929, our mission to promote the study of literary, civic, patriotic ,artistic and other cultural subjects has been expanded to preserve the historical and architectural heritage of the North-Evans Chateau (also known as Chateau Bellevue), a designated national, state, and local landmark, and to serve the public through community service including educational, civic and social activities.

In 2008 the Austin Woman’s Club voted to emphasize a focus on serving the community and the public through conducting and supporting—

1. educational and charitable activities and programs for women, including the study of literary, civic, patriotic, artistic and cultural subjects

2. appreciation, restoration and preservation of important landmarks of the community’s historical and architectural heritage, including the North-Evans Chateau, and

3. other educational, civic, and cultural and social activities that improve conditions and opportunities for women, provide a means for women to engage in philanthropic service, encourage leadership, and advance the spirit of service and understanding, all so as to enhance the quality of life in the Austin community.

Education & Tours

Education is a core component of the Austin Woman’s Club’s mission to serve the community and our members. To enhance our education mission, we developed the Chateau Bellevue Tour – guided by docents and supported by two accompanying publications: Discovering the Treasurers of Chateau Bellevue and the teacher’s companion manual Windows, A Guide to Discovering the Treasures of Chateau Bellevue, which engages and inspires younger visitors to “live history” in the late 1800s.

Developed and written by Dr. Jenefred Davies, retired professor of Teacher Education at Huston-Tillotson College, Discovering the Treasurers of Chateau Bellevue meets the educational goals.

Discovering the Treasurers of Chateau Bellevue is included with the admission price of the tour. (See below). The teacher’s manual, may be downloaded free and includes more information on the learning objectives and how to schedule a tour.

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