A historic home can inspire today’s builders in many ways. But it’s rare that someone is so enamoured with a place that she creates an exact replica some 450 miles away.
But that’s just what Bettie Girling did.
“Mrs. Girling loved Elms Court in Natchez, Mississippi,” said agent Drew Tate of Tate Property. “So she had it recreated here in Austin.”
Girling and her husband, Robert, were longtime Austin, Texas, residents and the founders of Girling Health Care, Inc. in Austin, a home-health care company, according to Mr. Tate. He died in 2013, and she passed away in 2016.
Now, their seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom home, completed in 1984, is on the market for $3.25 million. Listed last week, the house has just over 8,000 square feet of space and is on three lots, Mr. Tate said.
Elms Court, a Greek-Revival style home built in 1836, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977. It was the one-time home of Ayres P. Merrill, U.S. Minister to Belgium under President Ulysses S. Grant. The iron was thought to have been brought from Belgium, according to the Library of Congress.
“I’ve been told it’s a very close replica,” Mr. Tate said.
Just like the original, the Austin home has intricate wrought-iron framing full-length porches on both the lower and upper floors—perfect places for guests and residents to sip afternoon cocktails.
Inside, the foyer has a grand staircase and several reception areas. The formal living room and dining room both have wood-burning fireplaces.
There are long-leaf pine floors throughout the home, Mr. Tate said, as well as oversized windows that provide views of the landscaped grounds. There are French doors in several rooms to let the summer breezes in.
On the main floor, there is also a large eat-in kitchen with a gas range, pantry and Sub-Zero appliances, according to the listing. There’s also a dining room, and three of the bedrooms, including the master, are on the main floor. There are four additional bedrooms on the second level.
Other details include high ceilings, cedar closets, built-in shelving and a safe, the listing said. One thing the 1836 abode did not have, but this one does: an elevator.
Outside there is a formal garden in the back, as well as a sport court in the side yard and a pool with a hot tub.
The story was first reported by Curbed Austin.
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