The Neill-Cochran House Museum hosts a variety of programs for the public highlighting the history of the structure, its notable designer, the numerous occupants and uses that constitute its social history, and the place of the Neill-Cochran House in the history of Texas. In addition to classroom tours, we offer fun learning opportunities for children, college and graduate students, and adults.
The Fourth-Grade Program
This historic landmark is the subject of The Story of the Neill-Cochran House, a student enrichment unit for fourth graders. A five-session multimedia curriculum tells the story of the House through its families, individuals, and events important to Austin and Texas history. This second edition (Â© 2004) was developed by NSCDA-Texas in collaboration with the Elementary Grades Social Studies Department of Austin Independent School District. Each elementary school library in the district has a boxed curriculum kit in its catalog, and the unit is available online. The curriculum kit comprises:
- a 16-minute video tour of the House
- a curriculum guide for the teacher offering text, pictures, activities, and assessment for four class sessions
- a student booklet for duplication
- a CD of 20 images
- reservation instructions and directions
The students are prepared for the tour with information on 19th- and early 20th-century architecture, decorative arts, Austin history, and Texas heritage, as well as a discussion of “museum manners.” The field trip is followed by writing exercises and other activities.
The curriculum is designed to be accurate, interesting, and easy to use. It meets all current instructional standards and guidelines of the State of Texas, including lesson correlation to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Tested in the classroom, it receives consistent praise from students, teachers, and parents.
Teachers and administrators in all schools and districts are warmly invited to contact the House for further information, curriculum kits, and tour reservations.Â Below are guidelines and information needed to reserve your tour date.
Field trip must be scheduled two (2) weeks in advance by printing and submitting this form. The museum is open to the public Tuesday â€“ Saturday, and school trips may be scheduled on any of these days. A class will be divided into groups of no more than 10 students each; please bring one adult chaperone per group. Allow 90 minutes for the actual tour of the NCHM. Admission is $1.00 per student; chaperones and teachers are admitted free of charge. The first floor of the NCHM is wheelchair-accessible. Restroom facilities are limited. Picnic area and restrooms are available at nearby Pease Park.
Private School and Homeschool Tours
Student tours are not limited to fourth-graders studying Texas history. The Neill-Cochran House Museum welcomes students of all ages, including fifth-grade Civil War students, seventh-grade Texas history students, and high schoolers studying American History or Interior Design. Teachers from public and private schools and parents engaged in homeschooling may express specific areas of interest for the focus of their individualized tours. Reservations may be made with this form or by calling (512) 478-2335.
The Neill-Cochran House Museum takes every opportunity to introduce children to Greek Revival architecture, decorative arts, and social history and interaction.Â In fulfilling this education mission, weâ€™ve found that mixing business with pleasure is the best recipe for success â€“ in other words, learning and having fun go well together.Â Our community members are important to us, and ensuring that we continue to enjoy a constituency, itâ€™s important to embrace the next generation of preservationists. We invite all with children in their lives to bring them for a visit or a class.
Current and past programs include:
- Easter Egg Design Contest & Dye-O-Rama
- The Artful Eye of Abner Cook
- Historic Games People Played
- Minding Your Manners
- Hunt for Historic Haunts
- Gingerbread House-Raising
Please see the calendar section of our website for more information.
Scout and Camp Fire Tours
The Neill-Cochran House Museum invites members of Girl Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America, and Camp Fire USA to visit the House. Tours can be adapted to any age group and many special interests for these young people.Â When troop leaders make reservations, they will receive information packets to prepare their charges for the field trip.
Austin is fortunate to be within close proximity to many parks, with campsites ranging from primitive to those with cabins. For information on overnight stays after your tour of the Neill-Cochran House Museum, see the Texas Outside website at www.texasoutside.com/austinparks.htm.
The Neill-Cochran House Museum is currently designing a heritage patch for members of GSA, BSA, and CF/USA that will be available with your visit. The cost of the field trip is $1.00 for students and chaperons.
The Neill-Cochran House Museum is conveniently located in the heart of Austin with The University of Texas at Austin right down the street and Austin Community College and St. Edwards University not much farther away.Â Down the road are Concordia University Texas, Southwestern University, Texas State University, and Baylor University.Â The museum welcomes students who choose the NCHM for internships or projects related to its architecture, history, collections, archives, library, or preservation.Â For a list of recent projects, please click here.
The operation of the NCHM is supported by the Friends of the Neill-Cochran House Museum, which is open to the public for membership.Â A popular Friends benefit is participation on the annual study tours organized by Dr. Karen Pope, Baylor University Allbritton Professor of Art History, and Karen Bluethman of Heart of Texas Tours.Â These trips emerse travelers in the history and culture of Americaâ€™s great cities since they include visits to historic sites and houses along with art and heritage museums.Â Since 2005, Friends have enjoyed
- Chicago: Art & the Artful House
- Franklin & Philadelphia
- Historic Virginia Homes & Gardens
- Great Houses of the Hudson River.
- Baltimore & Annapolis: Art & History Around the Chesapeake
- Hidden Treasures: Women and the Arts in Washington, D.C.