A new chapter
A nearly 50-year-old Texas mansion with a storied history just sold for a record-setting price.
It is the Austin-area home where Pulitzer Prize-winning author James Michener researched and wrote his epic novel Texas in the early 1980s. The book was published in 1985.
Darin Walker, an agent with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin, says the 5,651-square-foot home on Mount Bonnell fetched $3.925 million, slightly below the list price of $3.995 million. According to Walker, the sale price is the highest ever recorded for an “older” home on Mount Bonnell, meaning one built at least 20 years earlier and needing some TLC.
Aside from boasting first-rate views of Lake Austin and the Texas Hill Country, the mansion comes with quite a tale.
Three years before Texas was released, then-Texas Gov. Bill Clements urged Michener to relocate to Austin to pen the novel. Michener rented the mansion from Jack Taylor, a University of Texas professor, for $1 a year. The home, built in 1972 and remodeled in 2005, is at 3506 Mount Bonnell Rd.
Features of the home include:
- Five bedrooms
- Five bathrooms
- Two half-bathrooms
- 2,500-bottle, temperature-controlled wine cellar
- Resort-style pool and spa
- Waterfall flowing into second pool surrounded by sunbathing deck suspended over Lake Austin
- Media room
- Two-car attached garage
“Mount Bonnell has been an Austin landmark since the 1850s, but what sets this home apart is its unique position farther south from Covert Park,” Walker said when the mansion went on the market this spring. “The home sits farther out over the cliff and captures views of a sweeping bend in Lake Austin, allowing you to see so much more and from every living space throughout the house.”