Two Texas corporations are
doing good while doing well.
Third in a series of profiles on
THF award winners.
Jim Buchanan, Leasing Manager for the Office
Building Division of Trammell Crow Company
in Austin says that "on a comparable basis
regarding restoration costs, location and parking,
the historic building will bring returns that are at
least equivilant to a typical office building that
was started from scratch. The added incentive is
the tax credits that makes what otherwise might
not be an economical restoration a feasible
As the largest privately held real estate development
firm in the United States, Trammell
Crow Company owns, leases or manages more
than 125 million square feet of commercial property.
Obviously the 47,200 square feet contained
in these three historically significant buildings is
just a small part of the corporation's development
activities and new structures are the major part of
their business. Still, Trammell Crow has been able
to combine the efficiency and convenience of
modem structures with the elegant mix of old
Austin as seen in the Grant Plaza project.
Completed in 1982, Grant Plaza, on Austin's
Sixth Street at Red River, is a 800,000
square foot office complex of one 4-story and two
2-story buildings. The facades, window canopies,
and adornments of these buildings complement
the edifices of other restorations along 6th Street
and the historical revitilization occurring on "Old
Franklin Savings Association in Austin has
also proven that a business can profit from involvement
in historic preservation. Since 1974
Franklin Savings has restored three turn-of-thecentury
residences and has adapted them for use
'Business can profit from
involvement in historic
century residences and has adapted them for use as
branch offices. At the THF Annual Meeting,
Franklin Savings was awarded the Lone Star
Commendation for Historical Preservation for
their ambitious restoration of the Tips Building on
Congress Avenue. Serving as Franklin's home office,
the Tips restoration is an example of this corporate
citizen's commitment to downtown
Austin's revitilization. "We saw this as an opportunity
to do something for the community, to contribute
something back to Austin," says Charles
Betts, President of Franklin Savings.
Franklin's adaptive restorations have also
been very successful from an economic standpoint.
In 1974 before the first restoration project
began, Franklins assets were at $20 million. Now
that figure exceeds $291,364,444 million. Austin's
citizens have responded to Franklin's commitment
to the community by investing their money with
an institution that's saving more than money.
Franklin Saving's rapidly growing assets have allowed
the financial institution to in turn lend
more money to the community.
In the heart of Austin's downtown area, the
Tips Building has a striking facade of arched doorways
and windows. Built in 1877 it originally
housed the hardware business of Walter Tips, who
also owned an Italianate Victorian mansion that
Franklin Savings restored and converted into a
branch office. Designed by Jasper Preston, the architect
of the Driskill Hotel, the Tillotson Institute,
the Hannig Building, and the Bell County
Courthouse in Belton, the Tips Building is a
downtown Austin landmark preserved forever.
Preservation - continued on page 7 -
Sandstone column capitals and a brick pediment had
been removed during previous facade alterations of
the McKean-Eilers building.
Photo by Jack Puryear & Associates, Austin. Elevation and photograph courtesy of Bell, Kline & Hoffman, Architects and
Restoration Consultants, Inc., Austin.
Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Spring 1984. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45446/. Accessed March 30, 2015.