James Steely Historic Preservation Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
As Chief Historian for the Texas Historical Commission (THC) from 1998 through 2000, Jim Steely worked with citizens and organizations to preserve Texas' architectural, archeological and cultural landmarks. He also held an Adjunct Lecturer position at the University of Texas School of Architecture from 1997-2002.
In 1997 the University of Texas at Austin announced plans to demolish the Maxey House at 107 W. 27th Street, Austin, Texas, to make way for a parking garage. The 1909 house had once been the home of U.S. District Court Judge Thomas S. Maxey and his wife, Francis Campbell Maxey. In his position at the THC, Steely was involved in the effort to save the building and worked with local preservationists, All Saints Church and the University of Texas to find a solution. Although THC requested the University not disturb the house and instead redesign the garage, the University decided to sell it for a nominal price to someone who was willing to move the house. A local construction company owner bought the house and moved it to East 33rd and Duval. While the house was saved from destruction Steely was left "still pondering this issue of how much history is lost once the house is moved."
The former St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church located at 211 West Johanna St, Austin, Texas, now the home of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Austin and Travis County, was constructed in 1939 and is designed in the Mission Revival Style. In 2002, Lauren Broussard, as part of project for a course in Building Documentation at the University of Austin, School of Architecture, Historic Preservation Program taught by Steely, researched the property and completed an application for the National Register of Historic Places. The application was not submitted by request of the owner.
The collection contains materials pertaining to two historic properties located in Austin, Texas; the Maxey House and St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church (Boys and Girls Clubs of Austin and Travis County). The Maxey House records (1997-1999) consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, research files, reports, and photographs that document the Texas Historical Commission's efforts to save the Maxey House from being torn down to allow the University of Texas to build a parking garage. The correspondence provides insight into how preservationists and other interested parties worked together to try to save a historic landmark. The St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church materials (2002) include an oral history of parishioner Fred Rothberger, photographs of the property and a completed National Register of Historic Places Registration Form.
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James Steely Historic Preservation Papers (AR.2012.007). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2012/010
Donation Date: 2012
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012.
Detailed Description of the Collection