Abner Cook, the architect-contractor responsible for the governor’s mansion and many of the city’s other Greek Revival mansions, built this home in 1855. It bears his trademark portico with six Doric columns and a balustrade designed with crossed sheaves of wheat. Almost all its doors, windows, shutters, and hinges are original, which is rather astonishing when you consider the structure’s history: The house was used as the city’s first Blind Institute in 1856 and then as a hospital for Union prisoners near the end of the Civil War. Its well-maintained furnishings, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, are eye-catching, but many people come just to see the painting of bluebonnets that helped convince legislators to designate these native blooms as the state flower.