The Contemporary Austin at Laguna Gloria
Laguna Gloria was the home of businesswoman and philanthropist Clara Driscoll. This 1916 Italianate-style villa on the shores of Lake Austin was the original home of the Austin Museum of Art and still houses some of its collections. The building is now one of two sites of The Contemporary Austin. The land that includes the property was originally owned by Stephen F. Austin, who in 1832 (seven years before Austin was founded) wrote that he wished to build a home there. This never came to pass. In 1914 the property was purchased by Hal Sevier, editor of the Austin American, with his new wife Clara Driscoll. They completed their villa two years later, inspired by a honeymoon visit to Lake Como in Italy. Clara, an avid gardener, spent many years planting native and foreign plants around the site and designing the terraced gardens that remain to this day. In 1943 Driscoll donated the homesite to be used as a city museum.
Backstory and Context
Public drop-in tours of Laguna Gloria, the Driscoll Villa, and historic gardens are held every Saturday and Sunday at 1PM.