William G. and Shirley Swenson Home
Marker No: 16526
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Plate
Geographic: 32° 28.174′ N, 99° 44.462′ W
Texas Historic Landmark
National Register of Historic Places
Location: 1726 Swenson Street, Abilene
Marker Text: This two-story brick home was designed by abilene architect William P. Preston for the family of William Gray and Shirley (McCollum) Swenson, and was completed ca. 1910. Swenson was a first generation Swedish-American, and he was a lifelong entrepreneur and businessman in Abilene. He held leadership positions at Citizens National Bank from the time of its founding in 1902 until the 1960s and also presided over Abilene Light and the Abilene Ice Company. Swenson worked to establish and served on the boards of both the Abilene and Northern Railroad and the Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific Railroad. His real estate projects included the Mims Building (1926) and the Hilton Hotel (1927). The Swensons were founding members of St. Paul Methodist Church, and they raised their four children in this home.
The house’s original cypress siding was covered with buff brick veneer in 1928, exterior cypress columns were replaced with brick columns, and the wood shake roof was converted to clay tile. Also during this renovation, a porch on the south side was enclosed and a second floor sunroom was added.
The home features the broad overhangs and long, horizontal lines indicative of the prairie architectural style. Mission-style elements include quatrefoil windows and a curved dormer over the front entrance. After the deaths of W.G. Swenson in 1969 and Shirley Swenson in 1974, ownership of the house remained in the Swenson family until 1986, when it was donated to the Abilene Preservation League. (2010)