Betty Epperson of Epperson Realty Group

News > Embrace Vintage with a Historic Loft in Austin

By now everyone knows Austin is in a robust growth pattern and it shows no signs of slowing down. Builders stepped up to meet some of the demand and buyers have  plenty of lofts in Austin to choose from that were built in the last ten years. But no matter how  modern and hip these newer lofts might be, there's nothing quite like living in a historic building to get the authentic loft experience.

To start with, historic lofts have distinctive exterior appeal. This is one example in life where age carries a matchless cache’. There’s just no faking the patina and style of period architecture. They are place markers in time. Who knows, maybe they’re anchors in the space/time continuum. Want a piece of history?  Then you'll want to check out some of Austin's  landmark buildings exuding the energy of an earlier era.

Brazos Lofts

The Brazos Lofts are housed in a converted low rise warehouse on 201 E. Fifth Street at the corner of 5th Street and Brazos Street. That places them just one block east of Austin’s main thoroughfare, Congress Avenue, right in the heart of downtown. They are, in fact, just east of the famous ice blue Frost Bank tower. It’s an easy walk to the capitol building and all the action on 6th Street.

Once home to the original Capitol Chevrolet showroom, the Brazos Lofts building was originally built in 1925 as a two and three story building. It has brick walls, 10 foot wood beam ceilings and vintage narrow plank hardwood floors. As a structure used to display automobiles, it features naturally open floor plans with outsized rooms and enormous picture windows that account for most of the outer walls.

The Sutton Company completed the Brazos Lofts conversion in 1999. They were careful to match any new or missing brickwork with the old and leave the ductwork tastefully exposed. The developers added modern industrial touches in the kitchen appliances and baths but the Brazos Lofts are one of the most unique historic lofts in Austin. The units along 5th St. are residential but are also zoned for business use. That’s the true original meaning of a loft – a utilitarian, post-industrial live/work space.

Brown Building

The Brown Building Lofts tell another tale. This is a ten story high rise at the corner of Colorado and Eighth Streets in downtown Austin. The building is also within walking distance of the capitol, but these historic Austin lofts were an office building conversion and have a mid century modern feel. The Lyndon B. Johnson holding company once officed there, as did the Texas Broadcasting Company (KTBC radio).

This brownish-pink granite building was designed by the once famous Austin architect Charles Henry Page. It was completed in 1938 and later became known as the Wall Street of Austin prior to the Kennedy administration. These historic Austin lofts also have 10 foot ceilings and exposed duct work but their nostalgic appeal comes more from the famous people who frequented it, the grand lobby and the restaurant and bar on the ground floor.

The Brown Building Lofts have terrazzo floors, concrete ceilings and metal casement windows that open outwards. Residents enjoy reserved underground parking and a spectacular rooftop terrace that provides views of downtown. This building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places so homeowners qualify for an annual tax abatement.

Historic lofts aren’t for everybody. You can still get the loft look in a newer building like Austin City Lofts. This 14 story residential high rise was built in 2004 and is located on 5th street and West Ave. in the Market District, one block from the flagship Whole Foods. These lofts have floor-to-ceiling glass walls, clean modern lines and balconies with panoramic city views.

For more historic lofts, see below.  Since there are only a few of these lofts available at any one time, contact us in advance so we can wait for the right one for you.


Though not guaranteed, information and statistics in this article have been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

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Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. The information being provided is for consumer's personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This information, including square footage, while not guaranteed, has been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

Last Updated: 2024-04-24