Villa Finale Museum and Gardens
Visit Villa Finale Museum and GardensPlan Your Visit
Villa Finale was purchased in 1967 by preservationist Walter Nold Mathis, the 12th owner in a procession of increasingly colorful inhabitants. The home was built by hardware merchant Russell Norton in 1876 as a one-story, four-room house. By 1904, modifications by subsequent owners fashioned the Italianate mansion that exists today. Mathis spent nearly two years restoring Villa Finale and many years after filling it with the extraordinary collections that still occupy the home, including European furniture and artwork, American silver, and art by popular Texas artists such as Julian Onderdonk and Mary Bonner. Villa Finale is known for its large collection of memorabilia related to Napoleon Bonaparte, a historic figure of great interest to Mathis.
Upon Mathis' death in 2005, the house and collections were bequeathed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the home opened to the public in 2010.
Visitors to the museum can learn about the preservation legacy of Walter Mathis and enjoy his collection of fine and decorative arts through guided or self-guided tours. Guests can also experience the beauty and history of Villa Finale through educational evening and weekend programming for children, teens, and adults, and the lush formal gardens are open to the public free of charge.
Villa Finale: Museum & Gardens is a National Trust Historic Site and is the only National Trust property in Texas.