By William McGarry and Melinda Schiera
Edward E. Zimmerman came to Texas in 1844, from Germany; settled here in 1854 with wife Regina Reinhard. Zimmerman built their first home located at 9019 Parkfield Dr., a small fachwerk-German style rock cabin on the bank of Little Walnut creek as a base for trading with local Native Americans, settlers, and travelers. The Zimmerman cabin was expanded over time with more rooms dedicated for a single purpose. One of those rooms was the post Office for Fiskville while he was the Postmaster.
The cabin is the only fachwerk structure in Travis County, and is the oldest remaining historic remnant of the community of Fiskville, our present day NACA. This temporary house was covered up with various additions. The west wall was discovered and preserved in the 1970s by the developer of our Quail Creek neighborhood when it was awarded City of Austin Historic Landmark.
For the past twenty years the west wall has been allowed to deteriorate such that it is in imminent danger of collapse which will allow the City to issue a demolition permit, forever harming our neighborhood. In June 2018 the current owner added new stucco to the wall and taken further actions which have exacerbated its condition.
Last month, the Austin Historic Landmark Commission with the City of Austin was requested to open a Demolition-by-Neglect investigation on the property. Demolition-by-Neglect is a process in the city code that’s intended to protect historically important buildings from becoming unsalvageable due to the neglect or inattention from its owner. The Zimmerman House is historically designated; therefore, the City of Austin’s Historic Landmark Commission will not allow for it to be demolished. Numerous tax incentives and restoration grants exist which will benefit all involved.
Hutson Gallagher, a local architectural firm that specializes in the restoration and repair of historic buildings has interest in restoring the home. The property owner has asked its rental tenant of over twenty years to vacate the home, and future plans are unknown.
The property owner was not able to be reached for comment yet, but the NACA community needs to have interest in the movement and preservation of this property.