On A Shady Acre Near Downtown Austin
The Neill-Cochran House sits on just under one of its original 17 ½ acres, shaded now by pecan and oak trees. As the preservationists of one of the very few antebellum buildings open to the public in Austin, we invite you to retreat from the rush and constant change of the city and reflect on an architecture, style, and space from the Austin most of us have never known.
Why We’re Here
When the Neill-Cochran House was built in 1855, Austin was a small but booming capital city of about 3,000 people, nearly a third of which were enslaved. One of the ten oldest buildings remaining in Austin and an important example of Greek Revival architecture, we make the cultural, economic, and architectural history visible and tangible. Whether by looking at the hollow wooden columns, the rubble limestone walls raised by enslaved artisans, the modern streets built on original property lines, or the 19th and 20th century furnishings, we offer the most authentic experience of Austin’s first century available. How did Austin become the city is now? What happened 160 years ago that shapes our daily lives today? We offer part of the answer.
What We Do
We are open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm to 4pm. We also offer guided tours by prior appointment (contact us for details). By considering the visual and historical information available in the house and its furnishings, we interpret broadly across the aesthetics of 19th and early 20th American design, the individual lives of the house’s residents, and the socioeconomic history of the region through the 1950s. Our collections page highlights objects and furnishings of special interest and importance. In addition to our collection, we maintain multiple exhibits on permanent and rotating display highlighting areas of interest in local history and decorative arts.
We especially welcome school, homeschool, and group tours by appointment. We can accommodate groups up to 100 individuals – see our group tours page for more information.
Finally, we also invite you to join us to delve deeper into the history of Austin, of Texas, and of the United States at our annual and ongoing programming. Our Modern Times series, Free Sundays, or Making History workshops each offer unique opportunities for thinking through aspects of architectural history, technology, politics, sociology, art & design, and domestic life.
Whether you have a keen eye for the proportionality and symmetry of the Greek Revival style or you’re not sure you could ever tell the difference between Doric and Ionian orders, our staff and docents are at your service and welcome questions of all kinds.