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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Abilene in Taylor County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Site of Guitar Mansion

 
 
Site of Guitar Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
1. Site of Guitar Mansion Marker
Inscription. John and Laura Hudson Guitar of Missouri moved to Abilene in 1898. John was already a wealthy businessman who owned a number of cotton gins and cotton oil mills throughout Texas, most in towns served by the Texas & Pacific Railroad. He held large farming and ranching interests as well as lucrative Abilene real estate. Laura was a prominent member of Abilene’s social and civic organizations and the First Christian Church.
     The Guitars bought property on this site in 1905 and hired an architectural firm from Kansas City, Missouri, to design their new home. Guitar employees erected a Grand Mission-style house with Spanish influences at a total cost of $75,000 in 1910. An arcade of concrete arches beneath an elaborate parapet adorned the front of the house.
     The five-bedroom mansion and carriage house faced the railroad, and the grounds encompassed half a city block. The edifice featured many high decorative details such as crystal and stained glass windows and fine wood and marble interiors. Innovative elements included security lights, intercoms, door bells, a heating system and a bowling alley with an early pin setter.
     The Guitars reared eight children in the house, a showplace of Abilene society and a significant addition to the city’s architectural wealth. John died in 1936, and after Laura’s death in 1948
Site of Guitar Mansion Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
2. Site of Guitar Mansion Marker
the house remained vacant. Vandalism and deterioration prompted the couple’s heirs to raze the house in 1964. Pieces of the structure, including a stone griffin holding a guitar, were placed in both museum and private collections in Abilene.
 
Erected 1999 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12217.)
 
Location. 32° 27.001′ N, 99° 44.36′ W. Marker is in Abilene, Texas, in Taylor County. Marker is at the intersection of N. 1st Street and Beech Street, on the right when traveling west on N. 1st Street. Touch for map. Marker is at northwest corner of intersection. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1502 N. 1st St, Abilene TX 79601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Weather Bureau Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Laughter Undertaking Co. (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Bankhead Highway (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Abilene's First School (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Hotel Grace (approx. 0.3 miles away); Texas & Pacific Railroad Depot (approx. 0.3 miles away); Abilene Reporter-News (approx. 0.3 miles away); Hotel Wooten (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Abilene.
 
Also see . . .
Site of Guitar Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
3. Site of Guitar Mansion
View to northwest across N. 1st St
Site now occupied by the Ministry of Counseling of the First Baptist Church
 Photograph of Guitar Mansion. From The Portal to Texas History website. (Submitted on July 19, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Notable Places
 
View to West Along N. 1st Street image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
4. View to West Along N. 1st Street
Marker is on north (right) side of street
View to East Along N. 1st Street image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, July 19, 2015
5. View to East Along N. 1st Street
Mark is at northwest corner of N. 1st St and Beech St
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 19, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 185 times since then and 64 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on July 19, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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