Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, the Limerick-Frazier House in Austin, Texas, is a modified l-plan house with a century-long connection to African American history. The house was built in 1876 by Anglo immigrant stonemason Joseph Limerick and purchased in 1905 by African American Professor John W. Frazier. Professor Frazier was a successful educator. In 1886 Frazier secured a teaching position at Victoria, Texas where he taught for fourteen years before he was appointed to teach mathematics at the new campus of Samuel Huston College, now Huston-Tillotson College, in Austin in 1900. While at Samuel Huston College, Frazier worked closely with the school’s President to develop the college and served the institution for twenty-eight years.
Throughout his career in education Professor Frazier, like many African Americans during this era, were faced with legal and systematic segregation of most public spaces and resources. Schools, restaurants, hotels, were some of the segregated spaces that many African American people were excluded from or offered limited services. Throughout the early half of the 20th century a large demographic shift forced many African American Texans to move into East Austin neighborhoods. As the production of automobiles became more accessible to African American families, traveling further distances became an exciting but equally challenging experience. During the 1930s and to the early 1960s, Professor Frazier and his wife Mrs. Laura Allman Frazier operated their home as lodging for African American students and travelers who were excluded from white-owned hotels in Austin during the Jim Crow era. The Frazier House was listed in travel guides as lodgings for "Negroes" in both the Chauffeur's Travelers Bureau Official Information of Places for Recreation and Accommodation for Negroes book, as well as the Negro Motorist Green Book under the name of Mrs. J.W. Frazier. The Limerick-Frazier House is a rare surviving example of the lodging accommodations in Texas for many African American travelers through the mid-20th century.
Link to Limerick-Frazier House file.
Architecture, Ethnic Heritage/Black
Listed in the National Register – Reference number 05000238
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Last updated: August 9, 2021