Heritage, Summer 2004 Page: 20
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Left, the home's library features an ornate ceiling; right, the dining room's rich woodwork creates a sense of elegance.
Revival style; Ionic portico, coupled columns, and monumental
stairs of Beaux-Arts Classicism; and selected details related to the
The architects designed the approximately 10,000 square-foot
house on four levels. On the basement level, they situated the billiard
room and utilitarian spaces such as the laundry, fruit room,
and boiler room. The main hall, living and dining rooms, sun
porch, Palm Room, library, and kitchen occupied the first floor.
Above, the second-floor design included five bedrooms, four
bathrooms, and a sleeping porch, while the smaller third floor
consisted of a bath, linen and trunk rooms, and three rooms that
served as servants' bedrooms and as storerooms. The house was
not simply divided room-by-room and floor-by-floor, however; it
was separated functionally as well. Most of the front rooms of the
house were public and well-finished with mahogany and oak
woodwork, expensive carpets, and wall treatments. The rear service
area, used by the Landergin servants, was finished in pine
woodwork, inexpensive Wilton-style carpeting, and simple,
painted canvas-over-plaster wall and ceiling finish.
Besides this functional division of space, the design of the
house featured a number of distinctive details. At the rear of the
building an exterior stairway led to a small door which, when
opened, gave access to the back of the tin-lined refrigerator located
in the butler's pantry. The iceman climbed these stairs regularly
as he made his deliveries to the Landergin household. The residence
was also notable for its elevator that serviced all four levels.
Patented at the time that the house was built, the original
motor still operates the Otis elevator. Likewise, the original boiler,
converted from coal to gas, continues to heat the large house,
which was originally equipped not only with a built-in vacuum
system, but also with a hidden storage cabinet concealed by the
dining room paneling. The building also featured an interesting
lighting plan: at the time of construction, the Landergin house
was piped both for gas and wired for electricity. However, in each
room, one fixture was gas operated, just in case the electrical system
While a complete set of architectural drawings document
how the building was constructed, eight interior photographs
testify to how the Landergin residence was furnished in 1915.
Oral history sources state further that the Landergin interiors
were filled with furniture purchased from the Robert Keith
Furniture Company of Kansas City.(5) Included among the furnishings
supplied by this retail home furnishings store, established
in 1873, was a very fine American Empire bedroom set
resembling those manufactured by the William A. Berkey
Furniture Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan.(6) George
Hunzinger & Son Furniture Company of New York manufactured
the Landergin's sun porch furniture, also purchased from
the Keith Company. It was probably the Kansas City firm,
instead of Pat Landergin's wife and daughter, that supplied the
decorator's touch, such as the coordinated bird's-eye maple
woodwork and the bird's-eye maple bedroom set executed in
the Art Nouveau style. Although no records of the purchases
survive in the family's papers, and the material of the Kansas
City furniture company was destroyed in 1946, early photographs
do document the original interiors of the Landergin
The Landergins continued to prosper in the years after the
completion of their home, but by the late 1920s, a depressed cattle
market and the failure to find oil and gas on Landergin land
HERITA GE SUMMER 2004
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2004, periodical, Summer 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45373/m1/20/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.