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Block 77:

Dillingham House

708 Rio Grande pic

This house at 708 Rio Grande dates to the late 1910's.  It was the longtime home of the families of Brice L. Dillingham Sr. and his son Brice Jr., both of whom managed the Dillinghams store at 610 Congress ("Austin's Greatest Shoe Store").

In 1981 the house was remodeled by Bert Pence, a commercial real estate broker and investor, to house his offices and others. 

The 1981 remodeling was seen as a milestone for 7th & Rio Grande, as other businesses had recently remodeled all three other corners at this intersection. To the north, the Nichols House had become the corporate headquarters of the Night Hawk Restaurants, owned by Lela Jane Akin Tintsman; to the northeast, the Boswell House had become Peggy Brown's The Abbey Marriage Chapel; and to the east, the Sayers House had become the home of Ray Hall Advertising Agency.

Sources:  Austin City Directories, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library (store slogan is from the1929 Directory); "Dillingham Revamp Finishes Restoration," Austin Citizen, April 22, 1981, pg. 2C (copy in clipping file for 708 Rio Grande, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library).

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