Roll your mouse over the bay window on the left and click on ‘Menke Parlor One’ to tour inside
In 1978, this residence was moved fifty miles from Hempstead, Texas and renovated to serve as a faculty residence, conference and teaching center and main food service facility. Now, the Menke House sits amidst the herb and flower beds of the Susan Clayton McAshan Gardens near the Roman ruins and the Italian and English stone bridges.
The Menke family came to Texas in the 1830s first settling in Bellville and later moving to Hempstead. In the 1970s the Menke family decided that they would like their original 1902 ranch home moved to Festival Hill. Festival Hill did not have the means for such an undertaking and the Menke family banded together and moved the house here themselves.
Our workshop created the striking Gothic revival staircase prominent in the entrance hall. A good portion of it is oak. The staircase curves up to the second level, which did not originally exist to a second floor sitting room which features a large inlaid Star of Texas ceiling.
The four connecting rooms on the first floor, which run the entire length of the house to the left of the entry are the Hoblitzelle parlors. These rooms are used for teaching, recital programs, seminars, meetings and parties. They can be divided by beautiful, eleven-foot, floor-to-ceiling cypress doors which were originally in the late nineteenth century Gidding family townhouse in nearby Brenham. Each of these for parlors has an intricately designed Jacobean revival ceiling in which are over 3,000 pieces of wood. The geometric designs represent the four elements: earth, air, fire and water.
The six-light chandelier, which hangs from the twenty-five foot ceiling, is from an old church in Brenham, Texas. The Gothic arches are from a confessional out of a church in Aberdeen, Scotland. The enormous etched glass window, selected for its compatibility with the pane in the front door, is from Glasgow, Scotland.