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.

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old building faces threats from several fronts: building and roof leaks that are eroding the original mortar, outdated electrical wiring, lack of fire alarms and evidence of wood rot.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