Belle of the Ball
The history of the Taylor Mansion Estate and Crystal Ballroom is as storied as Texas, with past owners ranging from a 19th century Chicago developer to a modern-day Delta Airlines pilot. Now, a new chapter prepares to unfold as the 140-year-old estate hits the market for the first time in a generation.
Nestled in the quaint Central Texas town of Taylor, the original home was built by Chicagoan John Hoxie as a vacation property. Over the years, the original 5,000-acre estate has slowly been pared down, with the remaining 10 acres eventually purchased by James and Louise Qualls in 1978.
Today, the Qualls' son Terry and his wife, Terri, live on the property and run the popular wedding and event venue, which hosts between 20-25 events every year. With Terry recently retiring from his job as an airline pilot, the family is relocating to the Alabama Gulf Coast, and listing the property at 2109 E. Fourth St. for $1.899 million. Dave Murray, a broker with DMTX Realty Group, is representing the seller.
In addition to the 10-acre plot (it's worth noting additional acreage is available), other amenities include:
- A 4,442-square-foot Victorian mansion, built in 1878, with 5 bedroom and 3 bathrooms
- Additional 1,886-square-foot residence with high-end finishes, 3 bedrooms, and 3 bathrooms
- Crystal ballroom with glass roof and commercial kitchen
- Manicured gardens complete with fire pit
- Large pavilion with more than 100 person capacity
- Resort-style pool area with cabana, baby pool, and spa
- Expansive patios
Though the home underwent renovations in 1910 and 1978, much of the original charm was kept intact. Among the features are original crown molding and stained glass crowned entryway arches.
In 2007, Terry and Terri launched the Victorian Mansion as an event venue. Seemingly on the forefront of Central Texas' rise as a wedding destination, the estate has long served as backdrop for fabulous affairs. Beginning in the late 1800s, Hoxie would travel from Chicago to Taylor to host sensational parties for Central Texas society.
While running a bustling event business is certainly fun, Terri says her favorite part of living on the estate isn't the hustle and bustle, but rather its idyllic setting.
"We love tranquil evenings right before sunset," she says. "Its like everything around turns off and the beauty of quiet and nature is around. Also, the mornings are beautiful to be awoken by the birds chirping. When our daughters were babies and toddlers it was like a Disney princess movie where they were awoken by the birds singing."