The Austin History Center's mission is to procure, preserve, present and provide the historical records that make up Austin's unique story.
The story of Chateau Bellevue starts with Harvey and Catherine North in 1874. The Norths were new comers to Austin when construction began. It didn’t take long for Austin society to realize that the Norths were rich and cosmopolitan. Before coming to Austin, Harvey North was a merchant in New Orleans. He took his family on long visits to Europe, giving credence to the idea that Bellevue’s castle imagery evoked European castles.
By 1876, North’s fortunes in Austin real estate began to falter. Just two years after building “Bellevue Place”, it was up for sale. Catherine North finally sold the mansion to Augusta Gaines and William Pendleton in 1881. And for only half the amount it cost the Norths to build.
In 1892, Major Ira Evans bought Bellevue Place and turned the home into a castle, with the help of noted Texas architect, Alfred Giles. Ira Evans served as the youngest speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. He was a leader in trying to secure education for newly freed slaves in Texas and helped to establish and fund the new Tillotson College, later to become Huston-Tillotson College. He served as chairman of the Board for the newly formed Austin National Bank and his beautiful home was the founding location for many social and civic groups, most notably the Texas Historical Commission.
Today the house is lovingly maintained and preserved by the members of the Austin Woman’s Club, keeping many of the features and amenities reminiscent of the late 1800s. The beautifully restored Chateau Bellevue offers a classic setting to host any event. The brick patio is the perfect spot for picturesque outdoor ceremonies and dining experience. Inside, a spacious ballroom with majestic chandeliers lends itself to endless dining and dancing. Whether you're considering a seated dinner, cocktail party, or wedding, this historic home will add elegance and charm to your event.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Big Man via Flickr