French Legation Museum

Austin, Texas
National Register of Historic Places, Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, State Archeological Landmark
“John is able to communicate with lay people regarding the nature of the problems and needs for old structures. This alone is a critical asset of Volz & Associates”.
Gayla Lawson, Grants Committee Chair, French Legation Museum

Built between 1840 and 1842 for French Chargé d’Affaires, Alphonse Dubois to the Republic of Texas, the French Legation is the oldest residence in Austin. After Dubois' departure, the property was sold to Catholic Father Odin before it was fully complete. The State of Texas acquired the property in 1956 and appointed the Daughters of the Republic of Texas as custodians. They opened the house as a museum in 1956. In 2017, the Texas Legislature transferred the Legation to the Texas Historical Commission.

Volz & Associates prepared a Historic Structures Report in 1997, and has provided architectural services for multiple phases of work. In 2012, the sagging floor structure was structurally reinforced and stabilized with new piers. The wood shake roof was replaced, which allowed the deflecting original roof timbers to be reinforced with new steel framing. In 2014, we provided services to repair deteriorated wood framing and siding. Most recently, working with History Behind the Scenes, we provided architectural and historic interiors services for an Interpretive Master Plan.

Visit Site →

  • French Legation Exterior
  • porch framing
  • roof framing
  • framing close up
  • French Legation stairs
  • Porch above
  • stencil
  • French Legation hardware

Key Issues

• Structural repairs for wood framing and foundation

• Conservation of original wood framing at the entry porch

• New wood shake roof

• New lightning protection system

• Removal of non-historic attic walls to prevent further settlement

• Interpretive Master Planning