Edward Mandell House (1858-1938), heir of a wealthy Houston businessman, moved to Austin in 1885 to be at the center of state politics, his primary interest. He managed the successful campaigns of four Texas Governors and became an important figure in Democratic Party circles on the state and national levels. In 1912 he managed Woodrow Wilson's successful bid for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination. As an advisor to Wilson, he participated in international negotiations during and after World War I.
New York architect Frank Freeman designed an innovative shingle style home for House on this site in 1890. The rambling structure was raised on a stone foundation and full basement. A broad-roofed first floor gallery wrapped around three sides of the house, above which rested a second floor accented by rounded corners and inset balconies. A third floor existed within the massive roof structure, tying the house together with gabled dormers, turrets, and soaring stone chimneys.
Although House sold the home in 1914, it was the site of many important political meetings during his residence here. Despite efforts to save it, the structure was razed in 1967.