Carrington-Covert House
The Carrington-Covert House is a historic commerce building in downtown Austin, Texas; it serves as the headquarters of the Texas Historical Commission. It was built in 1857, less than 20 years after Austin was founded, making it one of the few surviving pre-Civil War structures in the city. The building has served many purposes and from 1903 to 1936 was the home of the Covert family, which opened the first car dealership in central Texas in 1909 and still owns several local dealerships. The building is located at 1511 Colorado Street. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The Carrington-Covert House was turned over to the Texas Historical Commission to serve as the agency's headquarters in 1971.

Texas Historical Commission Marker Text
Leonidas D. Carrington (1816”“1897) and his wife, Martha Hill Carrington (1824”“1859) came to Austin from Mississippi in 1852. He began to accumulate real estate and on Sept. 15, 1853, bought this block from James M. W. Hall, Austin hotelman, and ten days later opened a mercantile store on Congress Avenue. In 1856 Carrington hired John Brandon, a local architect-contractor, to build on this site a vernacular Greek revival home, constructed of rough limestone ashlar. The house was completed in the spring of 1857. The property was purchased by M. L. Hemphill in 1870 and by the John Fields family in 1881. Fields leased the building, 1893”“98, to the "Texas Eyes, Ear and Throat Hospital," directed by Dr. Henry L. Hilgartner (1868”“1937), and in 1903, sold this site to Frank M. Covert (1865”“1938), the head of a prominent Austin family, who lived here until 1936. Later owners rented the structure as a boarding house, residence, and nursery until it was purchased by the State of Texas in 1968. The Texas Historical Commission restored the house in 1972. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-1962

Building Activity

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