In 1883, the same year the University of Texas opened, Scottish immigrant John T. Allan built the Victorian mansion now known as The Allan House. Allan, known as the “Father of Industrial Education in Texas,” was an attorney, public servant, and philanthropist. Initially Allan’s residence, The Allan House was later used as a girls’ school and boarding home. After Allan’s passing in 1888, he bequeathed The Allan House to the City of Austin with a request that the city establish an industrial school to teach the practical use of tools and scientific principles. In September 1886, as a result of his benefaction, a manual-training department was established at Austin High School. John T. Allan High School was named for him and opened in 1900. In 1936, a memorial to Allan was erected at John T. Allan High School (now the Austin Community College Rio Grande campus) in remembrance of his vision and generosity.
In 1905, Thomas E. Thrasher purchased The Allan House from the school board and it became known as The Allan-Thrasher House. The home was later inherited by his only unmarried child, Lois Deats Thrasher. Miss Thrasher, who lived to be over 100 years of age, resided in The Allan-Thrasher House until her death in 1992. During the 94 years that the house was owned by the Thrashers, it was often host to relatives who came for holidays, to spend summers, and to live while attending The University of Texas. After Miss Thrasher passed away the house stood empty for several years. On December 31, 1999, Daniel Ross, an attorney and longtime Austin businessman, purchased The Allan House.
Determined to restore the elegant building to its previous splendor, he oversaw a complete renovation that maintained the home’s historic beauty, while updating it with modern conveniences. Mr. Ross considers himself to be a steward of the home and its history. He is ever mindful that The Allan House is now one of approximately one hundred houses in Austin that are 130 or more years old, a last vestige of times past, and an architecture disappearing among the towering buildings of downtown Austin. As the most beautiful historic wedding venue Texas has to offer, The Allan House is brimming with character and vintage charm. Mr. Ross’s mission is to preserve the home’s integrity and elegance while keeping it alive as a useful and vital part of the Austin community.
Since The Allan House opened as an event center in 2000, it has garnered recognition as one of the top historic wedding venues Texas has to offer. It has been host to countless weddings, receptions, anniversary parties, holiday celebrations, charity galas, and political fundraisers. The house is at its most beautiful when it is filled with the goodwill of people who are gathered to promote a worthy cause or celebrate a loved one’s good fortune and happiness. We are honored to be a part of the meaningful moments in our guests’ lives and strive to be an effortless part of the happy memories created here. Nothing could please us more than to become a part of your family’s tradition as your favorite location for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvahs, and other joyous occasions.