The house does not have a precise style. It is somewhat Georgian, somewhat Southern Plantation, somewhat Regional Texas. The house was influenced by the houses in Natchez, Mississippi built in the mid 1800’s at the height of the Cotton Boom.
The house is 3-story. It has approximately 12,500 sq. ft. under roof with approximately 8,200 sq. ft. air conditioned. Each floor has a separate air conditioning system. The house has a four-car garage with attic storage above. The house has 7-dormers and 4-dominate chimneys with 6 fireplaces. The entire second floor porch has a concrete floor.
The design concept of the house was to keep it one-room deep so that each room would have windows on 3-sides and views from front, side, and rear where possible. The quality of natural light in each room is superb. The house was elevated some 30” off the ground for the old look. The house was designed and insulated so that the second and third floors could be closed, then opened when needed.
The roof on the Main house is Buckingham Virginia non-fading slate. This slate is the Rolls Royce of slates. This slate came from the same quarry that Thomas Jefferson used in the building at the University of Virginia. The slate was nailed with solid copper nails. Flashing is copper and lead. Roof should easily last 300 years.
David Shiflet, an Austin architect who was born and raised in Rains County, designed and supervised, on site, the building of the house. He has built homes for Larry Gatlin and other Celebrities before building this house and retiring to Emory. Apparently Emory was too peaceful because he moved back to Austin after the main house was built. A very, very successful Dallas businessman purchased the house as a surprise birthday gift for his wife. They used the house to get away from the city. During this time they had 4- secondary residents (one in France) and a primary residence in Dallas. They owned the house for 4-years.