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Downtown’s Palazzo Lavaca is on the market for almost $5M

The well-known saddlery was built in 1890

A plain, older three-story brick building in a row of shorter buildings on a downtown street. A taller parking garage and a much taller office building are in the background. A large sign in the shape of a cowboy boot hangs from the front wall near the top of the building.
Palazzo Lavaca
Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty

(Almost) everyone knows of or has even seen the boot—the two-story neon sign in the shape of classic cowpoke footwear that hangs over the sidewalk at 1614 Lavaca Street. Erected as one of the city’s first firehouses in 1890, the building became a saddle foundry and boot shop in the 1940s, which it remained into the 21st century.

In 2008, Austinite and UT alum Giselle Koy purchased the building and reinvented it as Palazzo Lavaca, retaining the sign and the core historic aspects of the old brick building but weaving its vintage aspects into a lavish, one-of-a-kind events space (complete with bedrooms and bathrooms for dressing and overnight stays and an outdoor patio/courtyard).

Now the building is for sale, asking $4.95 million. While the location and 6,780-square-foot area would at first seem to call for a commercial use—remaining an events space, maybe, or becoming a storefront or offices—it would also make for pretty sweet living quarters, complete with a couple of ballrooms, like mansions of yore.

Or it could be a work-live space. Or perhaps a very exclusive boutique hotel/vacation rental. The possibilities are virtually endless. Whatever is done with it, it currently has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, four powder rooms, and many original features including longleaf pine floors, beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls, Italian chandeliers, Fortuny wallpaper, and a refurbished Otis elevator from 1905. There’s a cook’s kitchen and luxuriously updated bathrooms, a carport, and a wall-sized door opening on to a generous patio and courtyard.

The listing is held by Kumara Wilcoxon at Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty.

Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty
Courtesy of Kumara Wilcoxon, Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty