National Register Survey
Containing more than 1,300 survey documents completed between 1969 and 1976, this database reports sites from all over the state, with concentrations in Bexar, Comal, El Paso, Galveston, Hood, Johnson, Travis, and Val Verde Counties. A wide variety of properties are represented, including numerous residences and commercial buildings, railroad depots, churches, theaters, courthouses, and many other types.
Data from this survey can be located in a county search under neighborhood surveys in the county of interest and is identifiable by the prefix "NRS5" in the site serial number.
What will I find?
Each document includes identifying information: site serial number, property name and address, county, city/rural designation, and U.S. Geological Survey quadrant number. Also included, when available, are architect/builder, owner, period, and construction date; designations of theme and style; a brief narrative description; and statement of significance.
Also listed are designations for National Register, National Historic Landmark, Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, Historic American Building Survey, Historic American Engineering Record, and other designations; original and present uses; physical condition, including altered/unaltered notation; brief details on wall and roof construction, relationship to surroundings, and acreage/boundary description; bibliographic data; informant's name; recorder's name, date, and photographic data.
- Owner, though usually used to designate current owner, frequently lists original owner's name.
- Period is frequently designated with abbreviations (see glossary).
- Theme and style are sometimes used interchangeably, and are also frequently indicated with abbreviations (see glossary).
- Significance, when given, is frequently brief and often relates to architectural significance, but, for some sites, detailed historical or biographical information may also be included.
How can I use it?
The material in this database is likely to be useful to students and teachers of architecture or local history, particularly in the communities of Austin, Cleburne, Del Rio, El Paso, Galveston, Granbury, New Braunfels, and San Antonio.
Properties surveyed in Austin (Travis Co.) range from the University of Texas area south to the downtown hub and include numerous turn-of-the-century homes, many of which have been converted since for commercial purposes. In addition, turn-of-the-century and early twentieth century homes, churches, and public buildings in and near Cleburne and Alvarado (Johnson Co.) are recorded here. The early commercial and residential development of Del Rio (Val Verde Co.) is also chronicled, with many structures dating from the 1880s and 90s and even including the remains of an 1868 gristmill.
Structures surveyed in the central business district of El Paso (El Paso Co.) date from Victorian times and later, and include hotels, theaters, and railroad stations. The numerous Victorian cottages surveyed in Galveston (Galveston Co.) may be of particular architectural significance. Data on sites in Granbury (Hood Co.) includes numerous commercial buildings from the 1890s and early twentieth century, such as the former Fort Worth and Rio Grande railway depot and freight house (now owned by Santa Fe Railroad).
In New Braunfels (Comal Co.), numerous farmhouses along the Old Austin to San Antonio Road are of architectural and historical interest, as are the cotton mill structures at the site of the present-day Wursthalle, where this old German community celebrates its annual Wurstfest. Numerous residences near the La Villita area of San Antonio (Bexar Co.) are also included in this database.
Genealogists with family links in the communities surveyed may perhaps find valuable information here as well.
What else should I know?
As with almost any large database, the data included here was recorded at different times by different individuals and agencies, so the documents vary widely in detailing, consistent use of categories, and completeness. For example, documents in this database from Bexar Co. are noticeably lacking in completeness and detail.
In addition, since the survey format relied heavily on narrative physical description of properties, those interested in architecture may sometimes be disappointed in the lack of detail on individual buildings.