Small building, big impact

Ogee has worked on several HTC projects in the town of Elgin, Texas, which is a historic railroad town northeast of Austin. Downtown Elgin has a charming National Register Historic District, which means all of the contributing buildings are eligible for state and federal tax credits. After the Texas credit was created, our clients saw an opportunity in Elgin and started purchasing property to rehabilitate. One of those properties, 109 S Avenue C, was just transformed from an abandoned, derelict building into an office and apartments. Let's take a look!

Originally built as a saloon, the building eventually served as a general store and grocery store for much of its existence, then as a nightclub in the midcentury. Our clients purchased the building after it had been sitting vacant for over a decade. The building retained its original wood windows, a ghost sign, and the original wood beadboard ceiling and plaster walls on the interior.

Some of these features were in poor condition, making the rehabilitation challenging. The windows, which were severely deteriorated, had to be replicated. The building envelope, which had been leaking for some time, resulted in an overall dilapidated structure (the photo below shows the partially-collapsed roof prior to rehabilitation). Multiple changes to the storefront over time meant the loss of integrity.

With the help of HTCs, the building was sensitively rehabilitated to function as an office and apartments. To bring the building back to life, an entirely new roof structure was constructed, deteriorated masonry was repaired or replaced in kind, new windows were fabricated to match the originals, and the storefront was rebuilt. On the interior, the beadboard ceiling was preserved and the space was divided into three apartments and an office using contemporary, compatible materials. The end-result is astonishing, considering the years of neglect this building saw. We're proud to have played a role in its rebirth! Click through the slideshow below to see more before and afters of the building.

If you're interested in buying historic downtown buildings around Texas (that are eligible for HTCs), the Texas Historical Commission maintains a database of real estate in historic downtowns across the state. Click here to check it out!

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