Grooms Addition Conservancy Records
An Inventory of the Collection
The Grooms Addition Conservancy was originally formed in the early 2000s as the Grooms Addition Local Historic District Committee in order to preserve historic homes in the Grooms Addition, the largest subdivision of the North University neighborhood in Austin, TX. The area is named for Judge Alfred Grooms, who, in the 1840s, established a homestead on one hundred acres of land to the north of land owned by Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas.
During the 1980s, as Austin began growing, developers saw many opportunities to build student apartments in the University of Texas neighborhoods, including North University. As a result, there were an increasing number of requests for demolition permits in the neighborhood, requests that the North University Neighborhood Association (NUNA) fought but could not win, because much of the area had been zoned for intense multi-family and commercial use in the 1940s.
After a failed attempt to roll back zoning in the neighborhood to current use, NUNA first attempted to preserve the neighborhood through the city of Austin's Historic Landmark ordinance, which required that each threatened structure be proved to be a landmark. Following the demolition of a full block of the neighborhood, NUNA attempted to seek Local Historic District designation for the neighborhood, but no progress was made on this front. Following the demolition of the Pressler compound in the neighborhood, a historic-preservation officer for the city recommended that NUNA again seek Local Historic Designation status by preparing a separate application for each part of the North University neighborhood.
The Grooms Addition Local Historic District was thus formed, and it prepared an application that was submitted to the City Historic Preservation Department for a preliminary review but no consistent comments on how to proceed or what to amend in the document were forthcoming.
When it became apparent that there was to be no progress on the application, the Grooms Addition Local Historic District committee abandoned the application process and, in 2012, became the Grooms Addition Conservancy, which documents the area by recording images of the homes and the stories of their occupants.
Source: "Neighborhood History," at http://nunaaustin.org/history (accessed on March 12, 2014)
The collection is made up of 3 series: Administrative, History and Historic Landmark Documentation.
The Administrative series (2011) includes one document, which states the goals and lists the members of the Conservancy.
The History series (1872-2010) includes multiple maps, dating from 1872 through 2010, of Austin and the Grooms Addition, as well as photographs and a map of structures in the area that have been demolished, and maps and photographs of streetscapes in the area.
The Historic Landmark Documentation series (2009-2011), which makes up the bulk of the collection, is composed of photographs of various homes in the Grooms addition, as well as two documents-a "Building Information" sheet and a "Historic Structures Survey" sheet-that relate to the Conservancy's attempts to have those homes declared as historic landmarks. For some properties, there are additional materials, including maps, drawings, handwritten notes, brochures and advertisements, and clippings. Each home is designated by a number (1-231), and several folders throughout the series include copies of a map that identifies by number where each home was in the Grooms Addition. There are digitized versions of the photographs and documents documenting each property available. (Note: there are no photographs of one property in the collection: 3207 Grooms.)
One property, 408 E. 33rd, is documented in much greater depth than the others. The documentation for this property, which was described in a 2010 letter from Carol Journeay, co-chair of the Grooms Addition Historic Committee, to David Sullivan, chair of the Austin Planning Commission, as "the only known board and batten house in Grooms Addition," includes handwritten notes, correspondence, Austin City Council agendas, maps, and drawings. Each of the 3 folders for this property is subdivided by subject-matter tabs: (1) for the first folder, "Support for Demo," "Opposition for Demo," "City Council," "It Was There All Along," "Recognized Style," "Folklore," "Demolitions," and "Planning Commission"; (2) for the second folder, "P.C.H. [Planning Commission Hearing] 7/13/10," "Landmark Commission," "Original Exhibits," "Research I," "Research II," and "Demolition II"; (3) for the third folder, "8/26/10 City Council," "7/27/10 Planning Commission," and "7/13/10."
Also included is an oral history interview conducted on July 26, 2010 by Carol Journeay with Jane Marshall (1920-2013), former owner of 300 Moore Boulevard (property # 191).
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.
Grooms Addition Conservancy Records (AR.2011.038). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2003/001
Donation Date: 2011
Processing, finding aid, and encoding by Roger Simon, February-March 2014.
The collection includes PDF versions of the photographs and documents in the Historic Landmark Documentation series which are located N:\Archives\Archival Collections\AR.2011.038. Discuss with archivist for access.
The original mp3 files of the oral history interview with Jane Marshall are archived with the Oral History digital files - recording no. 3178.
Detailed Description of the Collection