The Maverick Carter Carriage House, also constructed in 1893, unfortunately burned in a fire circa 1940. During the blaze, the carriage door(s) collapsed along with the entire front (north wall) façade. However, three original first floor brick walls survived and were kept intact in subsequent rebuilding efforts. From the 1968 to 2000 the carriage house had been encased with white lattice until efforts were made to reconstruct a second floor. The second floor reconstruction in 2000 did not faithfully reproduce the likely original design and was made prior to efforts to research and draw prints or elevations. However, David Carter signed off on the reconstruction end result as “close enough to what it looked like” under the constraints. That is, the reconstruction effort occurred during the occupation and use of the building by Buñeulos. Thus, construction occurred by encapsulating the first floor and floating the second floor above on poles and beams thereby allowing continuous business activities below. Only until the 2015 – 2018 restoration were efforts made to restore the interior and research the exterior.
No photograph fully captures the front façade with the carriage doors, however, partial images have been found. These images indicate a shed dormer on both the east and west sides, two skylights to the rear, and an elaborate wall dormer with double windows. The wall dormer rises above what appears to be a single carriage door to the front (north wall) view. The carriage door, in turn, is centered between two decorative first floor arched windows. It is believed that after c.1912 the “carriage house” became the “auto house” and underwent transformation to better accommodate automotive vehicles. The installation of two garage doors replaced the single carriage door. Fire Insurance Maps seem to indicate the addition of stairs on the west exterior wall, thus it could be inferred the interior stairs were removed to make room for additional parking. It follows that the two decorative first floor windows were removed when the north wall was altered to make room for two vehicles. Discrepancies found between the 1896 and 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps further lend proof to these findings. The old concrete floor, with the original drain, holds hints of the first wall and centered single carriage door through the line of mortar from the demolished wall. The A few aerial photographs from 1926 also show the side and rear of the carriage house, with its unusual polygon footprint. Interviews with David and Frank Carter further inform the existence of two rooms on the second floor. As is typical in small carriage houses, one second floor room was used as a sleeping quarters while the other was used as a hay loft with an accompanying floor cutout and hay drop. The Carter boys could not confirm the existence of any first floor tack rooms or horse stall locations as they knew it only as their garage for a Model T and seven passenger Packard driven by William Stevens, the driver then living in the second floor. Aline and H.C. Carter never learned how to drive after the transition from horses and the limited need for transportation given the two mostly walked to area locations.
The main entrance door was subsequently used to house a restroom circa 1920, with old pipe added both upstairs and on the first floor. Presumably these replaced the bath house shown on the Fire Insurance Maps. Later in 1968, David cut open the northeast segmental arched window to make a small door for his buñeulos business. It has since become a Dutch door. Aside from the north wall and cut window, the shell of the first floor stands as the original design.
The 2018 restoration project of the first floor included the duplication of the surviving window and door trim revealed from behind the commercial kitchen wall cladding. Copies were made according to the design and dimensions of the two surviving window frames, wood lintels, and quarter rounds found from the small segmental arched bathroom window and east wall middle segmental arched window. The latter also had the original long leaf pine window casings. The main door retained its original door frame though had significant termite damage. Though not as grand or large as other fine carriage houses, other surviving carriage houses from Giles and Ayres were researched and used as instruction. Hardware which matched the house in either the third floor or basement were also sought. The Stanley ribbed t-strap hinges mirror the utility doors of the basement, and the Patented Feb. 11 1890 Eastlake hinges and pulls mirror the hardware of the third floor. These same hardware fixtures are common to other similarly dated carriage houses. To pay tribute to its origin as a horse barn, horse ties and antique equestrian hooks were mounted to the wall. Additionally, a hay drop from the second floor hay loft was cut into the ceiling above. The wood ceiling itself is a new addition in entirety. Beadboard line the north walls and bathroom and ceiling. An alternative design tongue and groove board line the restroom interior, with a nod to the wainscoting found in the main house restrooms. These boards were unused reclaimed wood boards from the 2003 restoration of the 1894 Goliad County Courthouse, another Giles design.* The new mahogany wood doors and windows were influenced by the main house interior doors as well as the designs seen in other prominent carriage houses. A Dutch door was added in the place of the cut window to reference the dual uses it eventually performed. As for the two large cypress garage doors, these were added twenty years earlier during the construction of the second floor. Unfortunately the stamped concrete driveway ramps, which were exposed during renovation, had to be poured over again for leveling purposes. They remain intact in their subsurface state. Future scaled prints and drawings are underway to provide a more accurate idea of the building on paper, with the hope of bringing a faithfully drawn conceptual design of the original historic structure.
*Attributed to former firm partner and architect Henri E. M. Guindon.