Porter House named landmark

Date released: 06/06/04

KYLE - The childhood home of author Katherine Anne Porter has been designated a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The building, built in 1880, was Porter's home from 1892-1901 and now serves as the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center operated by the Texas State University-San Marcos English Department.

"It is outstanding that a town the size of Kyle would have a landmark that is both a national literary landmark and listed on the national registry of historic places," said Lila Knight, president of Hays County Preservation Associates. "There can be no doubt in anyone's mind that Katherine Anne Porter is a significant Texas literary author."

The designation is granted by the National Parks Service, and is considered the nation's honor roll of historic places, explained Knight. Initial documentation was submitted to the Texas Historical Commission approximately 18 months ago, which forwarded the nomination to the State Board of Review, where 12 experts in such fields as history, archaeology and architecture reviewed the merits of the Porter House. Once they were convinced of the merits of the nomination, they sent it on to Washington, D.C. for final approval. Sites can be listed for local, state or national significance, and the Porter House qualified at the national level due to its association with Porter and its late-1800s architecture. Restoration of the Porter House was completed in April 2000. Texas State leases the house as part of a cooperative project between the University and Hays County Preservation Associates.

Porter (1890-1980) was best-known for her novel Ship of Fools and her short fiction. Her 1965 collection The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.