The Texas Hill Country just outside of Fredericksburg, TX, is rich in stone architecture. Many historic homes and buildings that were built at least a century ago still stand today. Among them is the Knopp School House and former teacher’s residence, which was recently converted into a private residence and guest house for a family that relocated from California. While the school house is made of Basfe Block - poured concrete that looks like a stone product - the teacher’s residence was originally built with native Texas limestone.
Gladwin explained that the homeowners moved to Texas from California with their two sons. While they liked the historic stonework of the structures, they also desired a contemporary flair.
“The goal was working with an antique building with contemporary wings,” she said. “The clients liked contemporary tile work. There was a lot of combination of rustic and sophistication [for the interior design].”
To expand the two-story limestone structure that was originally the teacher’s residence, additional space was added to the home. This includes a kitchen, dining room, master suite with a loft, a cylinder-shaped powder room, a laundry room, a craft room, a screened porch with a fireplace and a pizza oven and a child’s bedroom with a bath and a veranda.
The limestone was also used for the fireplace and pizza oven that is a focal point of the screened porch. Moreover, a large limestone slab forms a tabletop in the space. The thick rough-cut large piece of stone further contributes to the rustic elegance of the home.
Finding new stoneWhen renovating the historic limestone structure, architect Jon Pankratz of Fredericksburg, TX, intended to keep the existing vernacular intact, while adding building elements that are sympathetic but not overstated. “The school house is highly identifiable to the area,” he said. “Many people living in the community have attended school there. I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers.”
According to Pankratz, the original limestone pieces used for the teacher’s residence are between 12 and 14 inches thick, and the stone was quarried in the local vicinity. “We couldn’t match the stone effect, so we decided to find a quarry closest to the building site itself,” he said. “We found one only a couple of miles away. It is a stone with a blend to it, which helped us blend the old stone and introduce the new stone.”
Sidebar: Private residenceFredericksburg, TX
Owners: Jim and Victoria Brown
Builder: Durst Homes, Inc., Fredericksburg, TX
Architect: Jon Pankratz, Fredericksburg, TX
Stone Supplier: Fredericksburg Stone, Fredericksburg, TX
Interior Tile Supplier: R. Gladwin I Design - tile, Kerrville, TX
Interior Tile Installer: Mike Childs