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O. Henry Museum, Austin

O. Henry Museum, Austin

This historic, little Victorian cottage in Downtown Austin is the former home of famous American writer William Sydney Porter, better known by his pen-name O. Henry. The cottage is a simplified version of the Eastlake Style of architecture and was built in 1886. Porter rented it between 1893 and 1895 together with his wife, Athol, and daughter, Margaret, before they moved to Houston, where Porter began writing full-time for the Houston Post. Though primarily associated with his home state of North Carolina, O. Henry set 42 of his stories in Texas.

The residence remained a rental property until 1930 when it was to be demolished to construct a warehouse. In January 1934, a committee representing the Colonial Dames, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Daughters of 1812, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Daughters of the Confederacy submitted a proposal to the Austin City Council, that if the city would accept the house as a donation from the Austin Rotary Club and relocate it, the women's organizations would work to restore the house and open it as a "shrine."

The City of Austin had the house moved from its original location at 308 East 4th Street to its current address at Brush Square, 409 East 5th Street, following which it was restored and opened as a museum in 1934. The many period pieces on display here include some of the Porter's furniture and personal belongings, books, manuscripts and photographs of his life in Austin. The structure underwent further restoration in 1994–95 with a renewed roof and the replacement of four brick chimneys lost in 1934.

The Porter house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 18, 1973. Presently known as the O. Henry Museum, it houses the annual O. Henry Pun-Off, a spoken pun competition, traditionally held the first weekend in May.

Operation hours:
Wednesday - Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Austin, Texas within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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O. Henry Museum on Map

Sight Name: O. Henry Museum
Sight Location: Austin, USA
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Austin, Texas

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