A 130-year-old building in downtown Austin just scooted onto the market for $4.95 million. The palatial building once housed a world-famous bootmaker and now is a luxury residence and event space.
Palazzo Lavaca — at 1614 Lavaca St., just blocks from the Capitol — offers 6,780 square feet of living space, three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, four half-bathrooms, a catering-ready kitchen, and a media and game room. The rear courtyard retains artifacts from the boot business.
Perhaps the most interesting facet of the property is the large neon-lit boot that hangs above the entrance — an iconic Austin landmark. The boot, by the way, is included in the sale price.
Kumara Wilcoxon of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin has the listing.
“With over a century of Austin’s history captured in its wall[s], this one-of-a-kind building is not just a home but a destination in itself,” Wilcoxon’s listing says.
The building, which dates back to 1890, initially was a firehouse before rodeo cowboy T.C. “Buck” Steiner converted it into the Capitol Saddlery in the 1940s. There, legendary bootmaker Charlie Dunn fashioned cowboy boots for celebrities like Arnold Palmer, Al Capone, Harry Belafonte, Peter Fonda, Carole King, Gene Autry, and Slim Pickens. (In 1972, Jerry Jeff Walker even released a song about Dunn.)
Dunn, known as the “Michelangelo of cowboy boots,” charged as much as $3,000 a pair and had a three-year waiting list, according to TopTenRealEstateDeals.com.
Dunn died in 1993 at age 95 after suffering a stroke. Fourteen years later, the Steiner family relocated Capitol Saddlery to a new home. In 2008, the building was transformed by its new owners into Palazzo Lavaca, a residence and event space.