Jasper N. Preston, architect, was born in Jasper County, New York, in 1832. When he was a boy his family moved to Lansing, Michigan, where he studied architecture in a local office and worked as a draftsman. About 1875 he moved to Austin, one of the first professional architects to do so. During the ten or eleven years that he practiced in Texas he designed two important buildings-the three-story Venetian Gothic palazzo for the Walter Tips Hardware Company (1877) on Congress Avenue, now restored and adapted as the headquarters of the Franklin Savings Association; and the Driskill Hotel (1886), a Richardsonian Romanesque structure on Sixth Street, which has also been restored and is still in use as a hotel. Preston also designed the rather stark, mansard-roofed Allen Hall (1881, razed) for Tillotson Institute (now Huston-Tillotson College). The J. W. Driskill house (1881, razed) was the largest and most elaborate of the houses he designed in Austin. By 1883 he had taken his son, S. A. J. Preston, into partnership, and their firm was also listed in the San Antonio directories at that time. In 1886 both Preston and his son moved to Los Angeles.
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Roxanne Williamson, Victorian Architecture in Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1967). Henry F. and Elsie R. Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (Los Angeles: New Age, 1956).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Preston, Jasper N.,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 26, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
May 1, 1995