Texas Heritage, Winter 1985

The Neill-Cochran House, Austin, (Circa 1853). An excellent example of the Greek Revival style and like the Governor's Mansion is the work of Architect,

Abner Cook. Rather than brick, this house is constructed of limestone. The native masonry provided a
of Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Photographer, Todd Webb.

foil for the six white Doric columns. Photo courtesy

free-standing, fluted columns carrying
an entablature in a trabeated structural
system that is relatively correct in
its form and proportions as a recreation
of an ancient Greek classical
ordering of the parts of a design. Because
the marble columns and entablature
of the ancient prototype are
rendered in wood in the Greek Revival,
the style is occasionally described as
Carpenter Classic.
The Neill-Cochran House is fronted by
a portico with six columns that rise
two-stories high. The columns have
simple capitals, the forms of which
belong to the Doric Order, which was
the most spartan of the three architectural
orders developed by the ancient
Greeks. The columns are regularly
24

spaced with formal symmetry about a
classical void at the center, which is on
axis with the main entrance to the
house. All of the windows are also
regularly positioned so that each one is
aligned with the center of an interval
between the columns. The fenestration
has a prevailing sense of order because
all of the openings are clearly aligned
both horizontally and vertically. Every
part of the design is a simple, geometric
shape. The columns are cylinders,
and the windows are rectangles.
The design is classical because it is coherent
with every part having a specific
relationship with every other part and
with the whole. There is a prevailing
sense of control and order in the distribution
of each geometric part within
the geometric form of the complete

building. The feeling of control is enhanced
by the fact that nothing is in
excess. Neither the vertical nor the
horizontal elements dominate because
they are proportioned to establish a
sense of harmonic balance between
them. As a result, a feeling of repose
and serenity permeates every aspect
of the design. In addition, the NeillCochran
House has a dignity and monumentality
that is achieved by the relative
simplicity of the design with
its avoidance of complexities and
proliferation.
Despite its noble character, the NeillCochran
House is basically in plan
very similar to the Gano Log House.
The porch of the dog-trot house has
become a monumental portico. The

Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Winter 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45443/. Accessed July 12, 2014.