Sri Atmananda Memorial School (Texas)

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Perry Estate-St. Mary's Academy
Location 701 E. 41st St
Austin, Texas, USA
Coordinates 30°18′03″N 97°43′21″W / 30.30083°N 97.72250°W / 30.30083; -97.72250Coordinates: 30°18′03″N 97°43′21″W / 30.30083°N 97.72250°W / 30.30083; -97.72250
Built 1928
NRHP Reference # 01000874[1]
Added to NRHP August 8, 2001

Sri Atmananda Memorial School was a private school that for sixteen years (1995-2011)[2] was located in a historic property north and east of the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin, Texas.[3]

The founding director of the school was Pattye Henderson, whose family had previously owned the school site, an historic mansion and 10-acre (40,000 m2) campus at 4100 Red River Street in Austin, Texas, originally owned by cotton entrepreneur E.H. Perry and his family. The school was modeled on the Sri Atmananda Memorial School located in Malakara, Kerala, India,[3][4] named after philosopher and guru Sri Atmanada (P. Krishna Menon).

Campus history[edit]

The 10-acre (40,000 m2) campus location at 4100 Red River Street was owned by cotton entrepreneur E.H. Perry and his family in the early 20th century. In 1928 the family built a 10,800-square-foot (1,000 m2) home, featuring guest houses, a triangular elevator, a bowling alley, and a sunken garden. The home features a Mediterranean villa style that somewhat resembles buildings at the nearby University of Texas.

In 1944 the Perry family moved to the Driskill Hotel and sold the home to Herman Heep. In 1948 the estate opened as a school for the first time, housing St. Mary's Academy for Girls, which had been founded in 1874 and moved from its historic downtown location. At that time a chapel, nun's quarters, and other buildings were added. In 1968, the coed Holy Cross High School replaced the girls' academy.[5] In 1974, the land was purchased by the Henderson family, who founded the private Perry School on the site. In the mid-1990s, the land passed to the Sri Atmananda Memorial School. The school closed in 2011 after the property was sold to a new owner.[2]

Folk singer Nanci Griffith attended Holy Cross High School[6] together with her friend, Margaret Mary Graham, the subject of Griffith's early song "There's a Light Beyond these Woods (Mary Margaret).[7]

The school site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.


  1. ^ "NRHP nomination form" (PDF). Texas Historical Commission. 
  2. ^ a b Sandra Zaragosa, "Future of prime Hancock site unknown", Austin Business Journal, May 27, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Richard Whittaker, "Modern School Lessons: Reading, Writing, and Real Estate. The sale of a historic Central Austin estate puts private schools in jeopardy." Austin Chronicle, October 23, 2009.
  4. ^ "AVEF On-Site Visit: Sri Atmananda Memorial School, Austin",, April 2007 (accessed 2013-04-22).
  5. ^ Marlene Joseph Glade, "St. Mary's Academy, Austin", Handbook of Texas Online (accessed 2013-04-17).
  6. ^ "Griffith, Nanci (1954—)", St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, January 1, 2000  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  7. ^ "Maggie", (accessed 2014-01-26).

External links[edit]