Preservation Texas has written a letter of support for the protection and preservation of the Davis House in Leander (Williamson County), built before 1896 and thought to be one of the oldest structures in the city, founded in 1882.
The house is located at 104 N. Brushy Street in Leander.
City Council is considering an agenda item tonight (March 7, 2019) that would direct city staff to get quotes for the cost of demolition.
The text of our letter is below:
March 7, 2019
The Honorable Troy Hill
Mayor, City of Leander
201 N. Brushy Street
Leander TX 78641
Re: City Council Agenda Item 22, March 7, 2019
Dear Mayor Hill:
We write in support of local efforts to protect and restore the late 19th century Davis House (104 N. Brushy Street), one of the oldest buildings in Leander. Both from an architectural and historical standpoint, this house is a remarkable survivor. It stands as an important landmark establishing a tangible link between the city’s founding years and its 21st century growth and development.
If the Davis House were to be designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, a private owner using the building for income-producing purposes or a non-profit owner/lessee would be able to take advantage of the 25% state historic preservation tax credit. These credits, valued at 25% of the cost of rehabilitating the building, could be sold if the owner or lessee of the property were unable to use them. This very valuable incentive would substantially lower the overall cost of restoration.
The Davis House can most certainly be preserved. Just last week, we presented a Preservation Texas Honor Award for the Magee House in Abilene. The house suffered a devastating fire, but because of the building’s importance, local preservationists secured the building and found a new owner who could complete the work. It’s a testament to the ability of skilled craftsman to bring an old building back to life, regardless of its condition.
The Davis House is a building worth saving, not just for Leander but for those across our state who seek out and appreciate local landmarks that help us understand our state’s past. As the statewide advocate for historic preservation, we look forward to working with you and Leander’s residents to find a long-term solution to save the Davis House.
Evan R. Thompson