Learn If These Walls Could Talk – The Legend of Edgar “Commodore” Perry
Walking these halls each day, I’m always taken in by the attention to authentic historical detail that greets me at every turn – from the incredible Mediterranean-style architecture and design to artful décor and landscaping that all pay homage to the estate’s rich past and the vision of its original owner, Edgar Howard “Commodore” Perry.
During a golfing outing at what is now the Hancock Golf Course, a gravel pit across the street caught Perry’s eye and he imagined the development of a welcoming showplace estate where he and his wife Lutie would gather with family and friends and entertain guests. The secluded property, perched on the edge of the city at the time of its construction, was billed as a country estate and a tribute to Perry’s deep love for and belief in Austin.
Born in Caldwell, Texas, northeast of Austin, Perry moved to the city in 1904 where he furthered his flourishing career in the cotton business and opened his own firm in 1910, amassing his fortune through cotton distribution across Europe. It was in Austin where friends also jokingly dubbed him with his legendary nickname – Commodore – after his boat washed away during a flood on Lake Austin.
Following his retirement from the cotton business, Perry’s determination to develop Austin’s potential as one of the best places to live saw him appointed as head of the Austin Housing Authority – one of the first of its kind in the country. He was also responsible for the development of numerous buildings throughout the city, including the Perry-Brooks office building, which are now condos in Central Austin, and the beloved west Austin Highland Park neighborhood.
Known as lively and energetic hosts, the Perry’s were known for entertaining a variety of Austin’s leading civic and business leaders and their legendary stamp and influence on Austin lives on today. Just like the many memories that Commodore Perry and Lutie created with their family and friends at their estate, our reimagined urban retreat offers a new chance to welcome guests from around the world to do the same.