The Brady House’s Unique Musical Heritage

So, one of the things we loved about the Brady House when we walked inside was the “spectacularly in need of restoration” 1899 baby grand piano.  After finding out the piano came with the purchase of the house, we researched its history, and discovered that it is a Wissner.   The Wissner Piano Company was established by Otto Wissner in 1878. Their factories were located in Brooklyn, New York. Apparently, the pianos were some of the finest, most expensive pianos money could buy, but because of poor marketing, never achieved the world wide recognition they deserved. The company went out of business in about 1942 with the onset of World War 2.

While the piano isn’t original to the house, it was purchased by the previous owner, who just so happened to have rented the home to singer Carole King in 1979 when she was recording an album in Austin.  I like to think that she sat there and played the piano while belting out “I feel the earth…move…”  The piano is now undergoing restoration by Benke Piano, here in Austin, and we can’t wait until it comes back home!

1899 Wissner Baby Grand Piano


The joys in the middle of the messiness

We are in the midst of that “messy part” of construction that seems like it goes on forever, but as soon as its over, the house starts to really come together.  Electrical rough-in, plumbing rough-in, HVAC rough-in, insulation, etc…Nothing’s too pretty on the inside yet, but as soon as the sheetrock begins next week, the whole house transforms.

The exterior is a different story, though.  We’ve got the stucco brightened up with a fresh coat of white paint, the new slate-style shingle roof is going on, and the landscape cleanup is just starting.  The little things get us so excited.  Today, it was the porch ceiling.  One of the best parts of the Brady House is the 1,400+ sf of covered porches, and what’s a covered porch without a blue ceiling?!  Ours was just painted Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue, and it is perfect!  A light, airy blue-green that transports you straight to the spa.  Now, we just need a couple of porch swings and we will be set!Image

Construction Underway!


Beginning the Framing for Master


New Opening Between Dining and Kitchen


The new bathroom and walk-in closet for the guest suite


Clean slate for the kitchen

The construction has kicked off!  In the past 10 days, we have completed some minor interior demolition (particularly on the 2nd floor), framed in all 3.5 baths (somehow this 3000 sf house only had 1 bath), completed minor framing throughout, and started the electrical and plumbing rough-ins.   Red River Restorations, our favorite window restoration company, has also taken away the original windows and are in the process of meticulously restoring them to their original functionality.  All of the fixtures and tile have been ordered, and that kind of shopping makes us more excited than shopping for clothes!

That’s not to say it’s looking pretty yet, but the flow of the home is definitely starting to come together.