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Block 151:

Allen-Williams House

Allen-Williams House This Queen Anne house at 1206 San Antonio was designed in 1907 by local architect George A. Endress, who later became the first resident architect at the University of Texas.

The first owner and occupant of the house was George W. Allen, one of the most prominent Austin attorneys of his time. Mr. Allen argued landmark cases before both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court, and served as a special judge on the Texas Supreme Court and the Courts of Civil and Criminal Appeals.  After he passed away in 1911, his widow, Sue Allen, remained in the house till 1920.

From 1920 to 1946, the house was the home of William T. and Nannie E. Williams. Mr. Williams was a state legislator, assistant attorney general for Texas, city attorney for Austin during World War II, and a judge. Their children, who grew up in the house, served the public as well: the oldest daughter, Nan Williams Bray, was a civic leader who served on the Austin School Board from 1954 to 1965, and her brother W.T. Williams served as city attorney.

In 1947 the house was bought by Mrs. Hattie Ratcliff, the widow of E.C. Ratcliff.  By 1954 Mrs. Ratcliff was offering furnished apartments here.

In the 1970s the house was converted to office space.  For a number of years it housed the law offices of Lloyd Doggett, who served as a state senator and Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and who now serves in Congress.

In 1999-2000 the property was zoned historic, and its owner, the Texas Association of Counties, agreed to renovate the house into a residential unit.  The TAC has since renovated the building's exterior.  The neighborhood is still waiting on the TAC to fulfill its agreement to convert the house back to residential use.

References: "George W. Allen Dead," Austin Statesman, June 21, 1911; Frank Johnson, ed., A History of Texas and Texans (Vol. V, 1914), pp.2604-05; see also materials associated with 1999-2000 historic zoning case.

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