Sam Bell Maxey House (c. 1868)
812 South Church Street, Paris, Lamar Co.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, National Register of Historic Places
CONSERVATION MERIT AWARD
Owner: Texas Historical Commission | Architect: Quimby McCoy Preservation Architecture, LLP
The conservation of the Sam Bell Maxey House in Paris, Texas is the continuation of work started in the 1980 with the original restoration by Klein, Bell & Hoffman of Austin. The current conservationists conducted this project with an attitude of respect and appreciation for their thorough and invaluable initial work.
Built as an Italianate High Gothic style home for Sam Bell Maxey, Mexican War veteran, Confederate General and US Senator; the Maxey family lived here for nearly 100 years. The house is wood balloon frame construction, with lap siding and shingle roofing. The interior includes the family’s furnishings- including artwork, papers, and household items. A significant restoration was completed in 1980 to create a house museum. The recent
conservation project involved extensive repairs but maintained nearly all of the historic materials. The quality of the original materials and conservation methods enabled the team to repair rather than replace. Cypress window sashes were repaired and reglazed using the original glass. A decorative leaded glass transom was reconstructed. Shutters, painted shut for years, were disassembled and reassembled using repaired parts and replacement pegs. Today, the shutters are fully functioning, often used by the staff to control heat gain into the interior. On the interior, mechanical and fire protection systems were installed, with care to minimize their impact on the historic fabric.
The conservation of the Sam Bell Maxey House represents the legacy of past preservationists, and a reminds us that our efforts rely on future preservationists to continue the work that we have started.