A new chapter
Stunning West Austin mansion with novel history books record sale price
A nearly 50-year-old Mount Bonnell mansion with a storied history just sold for a record-setting price.
Darin Walker, an agent with Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin, says the 5,651-square-foot home 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. At the home, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist James Michener researched and wrote his epic novel Texas in the early 1980s. The more than 1,000-page book was published in 1985.
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.
At age 90, Michener died in 1997 in Austin and was buried at Austin Memorial Park Cemetery, which is in North Austin. Michener was UT’s Jack G. Taylor Centennial Professor Emeritus.
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.”