House Tour: Historic Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas

Exterior of the Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
Shutterbug Studios
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    The Nelson-Crier House

    Exterior of the Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    Construction began on the Nelson-Crier House (also known as the The Woodbine Mansion) in 1895. It took almost five years to build, and by 1900 it was deemed complete. This historic home was commissioned by the Nelsons, who founded Round Rock, Texas, a suburban community about 15 miles north of Austin.

    The home and grounds sit on an entire city block amounting to 1.6 acres of land adjacent to Round Rock's quaint downtown area. This 7,828 square foot mansion has three stories consisting of 18...MORE rooms: eight bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one half bath, and six living areas. The surrounding grounds include the original barn with stable, a three-room guest or caretaker's house, pond, conservatory and windmill. It also boasts a basement, which is rare for Texas. 

    The outside of the home was renovated in 1931. The original Victorian facade was transformed to Classical Revival style, as seen in the photo here. The roof, with it's typical flat top and gables reflect its Victorian origin circa 1895. 

    As noted on the Texas Historical Commission's website, "In 1960, the mansion was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Eugene N. Goodrich. Mrs. Goodrich, the former Jean Lange Crier, Texas artist and antiques collector, directed an extensive refurbishing of the structure which was completed in 1968. During this eight-year undertaking, Mrs. Goodrich drew on her rich knowledge of Victorian color usage and interiors to assemble the outstanding collection of period furniture and accessories" as shown in the following photos. The couple named the house Woodbine, so it is now referenced as either the Nelson-Crier House or The Woodbine Mansion. The home was recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1973.

    The mansion, sans furniture, is for sale as of October, 2017. It is listed for $2.2 million.

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    Entryway of the Nelson-Crier House

    Entryway of Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    While not quite as grand as some Victorian mansions, the entryway of the Nelson-Crier House offers an impressive view of a beautiful staircase that spirals up to the second and third floors of the home. One of the numerous chandeliers lighting the property are located in this small-but-elegant vestibule. 

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    Parlor or Sitting Area

    Parlor in the Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    This sitting area, also known as a parlor in days gone by, is one of six living spaces in the Nelson-Crier House. This one boasts the original fireplace in addition to a crystal chandelier. The pinkish-red wallpaper and lavish drapery are period-appropriate for this type of Victorian space, as is the furniture.

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    Ballroom

    Ballroom in the Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    In Victorian homes of prominent families, it was quite common to have a large room that could serve as a ballroom, reception area or banquet room for large gatherings. Seating was typically arranged around the perimeter of the room when these spaces were used as ballrooms, as shown here. One can only imagine the grand occasions that were celebrated in a room like this more than 100 years ago.

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    Another Ballroom View

    Ballroom in the Nelson-Crier Home in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    This view shows the opposite end of the ballroom in the Nelson-Crier House with additional seating around the perimeter. The doorway leads to the music room shown below.

    This was an appropriate arrangement, so piano music could be heard by those dancing the night away in the ballroom during a Victorian soirée. Seating was amply available in either room for ladies and gents needing a break between waltzes.  

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    Music Room

    Music Room in the Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    Another one of the six living spaces in the Nelson-Crier House, this one is furnished as a music room, off the ballroom. Its decor coordinates beautifully with the ballroom with Victorian chairs, tables and cabinetry, along with lavish wallpaper and draperies. Amazing chandeliers and gorgeous fireplaces also adorn these rooms. 

    Long before television, and even before radio, it was common for families to gather to listen to live music. In homes large enough to dedicate a space for that purpose,...MORE like the one shown here, a piano was often the centerpiece of the room with comfortable seating for those enjoying the entertainment during Victorian Christmas celebrations as well as other times of the year. 

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    Dining Room

    Dining Room in Music Room in the Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    This period-appropriate dining room in the Nelson-Crier House has its own fireplace to keep diners cozy during meals served here. This dining area, likely used for family dinners or entertaining small groups of close friends, is equipped with side pieces of furniture for serving food and an impressive candelabra in the center of the table. 

    In addition to this lovely dining room with its elaborate crystal chandelier, the Nelson-Crier Home also has a sunroom-style breakfast area with the original...MORE wood burning heater. The ballroom in the home could also double as a banquet hall when needed for large gatherings of dinner guests. 

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    Sunroom

    Sunroom in the Nelson-Crier House in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    This bright sunroom flooded with natural light is outfitted with white wicker furniture just as it might have been more than a century ago. It also retains the original wood burning heater to warm the room during the occasional cold day during Texas winters.

    A similar sunroom off the kitchen with a wood heater serves as the breakfast area for this home as it stands now. The novelty of wood heaters like these make them a focal point to build around when decorating a historic home for modern...MORE living. 

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    Bedroom With Half Tester Bed

    One of the Numerous Bedrooms in the Nelson-Crier Mansion in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    The Nelson-Crier House boasts eight bedrooms. The one shown here is decorated with period-appropriate wallpaper and a lovely a half tester bed. This type of bed was a popular element in the Victorian bedroom. They have a fancy fabric lined half canopy (instead of four posts and a full fabric canopy) attached to the headboard that extends over the mattress.  

    Other common Victorian furniture styles seen in this photograph are marble-topped pieces and a méridienne (a type of daybed akin to a...MORE fainting couch) for lounging.

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    Bedroom With French Furnishings

    One of the Numerous Bedrooms (this one featuring French furniture) in the Nelson-Crier Mansion in Round Rock, Texas
    Shutterbug Studios - Round Rock, Texas

    Another of the eight bedrooms in the Nelson-Crier House, this one is decorated with French furnishings, including a bed embellished with gilded ormolu and coordinating marble-topped vanity. The cranberry glass lamp sitting on the vanity is also very typical for a home of this age. The decorative wall coverings and lavish drapery are also spot on for this 100 year-old  room.