Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987 Page: 12
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Restoration, Creativity, and Craftsmanship at the
by Lamar Lentz
The Clayton House was the first historic structure moved to Festival Hill. The one-story U-shaped
country house was built near La Grange for Louis S. Homuth.
C^ahe Festival-Institute of the
_ James Dick Foundation is a nationally
recognized educational institution,
not only for the quality of its programs
in the study and performance of
classical music but also for its attractive
rural setting and the adaptive use it has
made of historic structures for its primary
buildings. The Festival-Institute was
founded by American concert pianist
James Dick in 1971. It is dedicated to
providing opportunities for the intensive
study and performance of solo, chamber,
orchestral, and vocal music by gifted
young musicians from across the United
States and abroad. The original six-acre
campus, known locally as the site of the
Taylor's Woods, has grown to more than
eighty acres in a parklike setting in the
heart of Fayette County, centered in the
triangle formed by Austin, Houston, and
San Antonio. Bluebonnets, paintbrush,
crimson clover, ancient live oaks, and
pecan trees dominate the natural beauty
of the campus, located less than a mile
from the historic town of Round Top.
The Festival-Institute has received
much local and national attention for its
programs in music, as well as for the restoration
of several historic Victorian
structures moved to the site. The American
Association for State and Local History
awarded the Festival-Institute a certificate
of commendation in 1980 for its
adaptive use of historic structures, which
include the William Lockhart Clayton
House, the Menke House Conference
Center, and the David W. Guion Room
and William C. Wiederhold Library in
the Festival Concert Hall. These two
buildings and two specially designed
rooms inspired by their example illustrate
an exciting, creative use of historic structures
and, specifically, the process of
creating modern structures that harmonize
with original buildings, establishing
a convincing sense of place.
During the restoration of the Clayton
and Menke homes the Festival-Institute
has been careful to incorporate important
architectural artifacts from buildings that
have been lost, while also training local
craftsmen in detailed woodworking using
designs that both create an atmosphere
and suggest the educational and cultural
goals of the project. The structures have
been furnished in styles not only appro
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987, periodical, Spring 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45438/m1/12/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.