This Is Bull

This Is Bull

This is the Castleman-Bull house on Red River Street in Downtown Austin.   Located just east of the Convention Center, most of us have driven past this curious property at some point in recent years.

It currently serves no purpose except as a popular spectacle of wonder for the hungover Moonshine brunch crowd. The blighted chain link fence and “keep out” signs hint at something ominous, but daring us to to get close as possible. I’ve always found it to be creepy in the coolest way possible.  Time for some urban exploration!

The house is not original to its current location, and was transplanted to this parcel of city land.  Without knowing its history you can determine this from its location on the east side of the 200 block of Red River Street, while the address nailed to the porch says “308”.

The original location of the house was 308 E 7th Street (corner of San Jacinto and E 7th Streets) and stood in the way of St. David’s church expansion. St. David’s – which acquired the house in 1963 and later donated the house to the City if they would move it.  According to the Heritage Society, the house was moved on February 17th, 2001.

We all know what happens to homes donated to the City of Austin.

What did I find?

Remnants of a mid-century dropped-grid ceiling which masked dramatic high ceilings.  Oddly placed walls erected next to the stair bannister. A legacy staircase to a non-existent basement. A lead glass transom windo. Potentially gorgeous hardwood floors, windows, and doors.

Here’s some interior photos! This wasn’t the complete house, and from the rear you can see it was attached to another structure. I suppose that’s where the bathrooms were (?) because they weren’t to be found in the remaining structure.

You can read more about the Castleman-Bull house at the Heritage Society website (here and here)

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About Jude Galligan

Jude Galligan, REALTOR, Principal of TOWERS Realty and publisher of Downtown Austin Blog (aka. "DAB"), spends his time matching remarkable people with remarkable properties in Austin’s urban core. A resident owner in downtown Austin, Jude has served on the Board of the Downtown Austin Alliance (DAA) and the City of Austin Downtown Commission. Contact Jude.

Comments

  1. avatar joe barentine says:

    If you want to talk about Austin boondoogles, try that which was once a wonderful home on the bluff of Stafford on I 35. The Austin Historic Commission allowed it to be “removed” for some sort of high tower. That never happened and the disassembled house 30 years later sits a ruin. .

  2. The city is planning to convert this building into Convention Center offices and some sort of an event space. So far, all they appear to have done is to put on a new roof to protect the building. I believe there may be some money coming in for this project from the developers who are currently constructing the Farimont, but don’t have confirmation of that.

  3. avatar Renae French says:

    Yes thank you for the pictures. I live in Houston and have always wanted to go see the house. I do ancestry and the house belonged to some of mine. My mom was a Castleman.

  4. avatar Camille cook says:

    Beautiful shots of a true time capsule here in austin. What are the plans for it? Maybe the new “Bull Bar”!

  5. avatar Camille cook says:

    Is it for sale?

  6. Good research. Love the detail of the woodwork.

    But why is TCAD pegging the land value at $398k? Because of the floodplain?

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