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Dilley-Tinnin Home 1879 - 1220 Austin Avenue




A two-story frame Italianate residence with off-center campanile type tower and wide bracketed eaves and a low pitched hip roof. The house is square in plan with a two- story bay window at the west side and an ell at the east rear. There is a two-story rear wing. The windows are segmentally arched in straight architraves and have arched shutters. The third story of the tower is marked by a wide intermediate cornice and the windows are arcaded, three to a side, and treated as a belvedere. The brackets at the eaves are closely spaced modillions and there is low iron cresting and a weathervane finial on the tower. There is an attached one-story front porch with bracketed cornice. The columns on the porch are known to be later additions, and it is assumed that the porch has also been altered. The second story window in the tower is floor length and probably led to a balcony. In addition, it is likely that there were wooden arch brackets in keeping with the Italianate style of the rest of the building.

The Tinnen House is one of the few true frame Italianate residences surviving in Texas. The style was not able to attract many Texans away from the Greek Reviva1 mode, and where it exists it came very late and usually only as wide bracketed eaves and porch ornament. The asymetrical type tower of the Tinnen House and the arched windows are thus unusual. It is probable that the front porch has been stripped of arched brackets and a balustrade, and known that the columns are larger than the original ones. The house is located on one acre of land near the business district of Georgetown. The land was purchased by Clarence Dilley for $250 on October 7, 1879. Previous owners have been John S. Knight, Simon Gaus, James J. Dimmitt, and J. Y. Neiblan. Dilley was a lumberman, and the wood in the house he built is white cypress from Louisiana. He built the home for his bride, but when she died, he left Georgetown.

The house was sold for $4,500 to John Tinnen in 1883. Records of dates are vague but the house was left vacant for twenty-five years. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Dodson purchased the Tinnen House in 1963, and have replumbed and rewired the residence, but have made few structural changes.



Mr. and Mrs. Earl Dodson, owners. Interview, May 29, 1970.

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