Hard to believe this used to be an old fire station. It’s now the Venetian-inspired Palazzo Lavaca in Austin, Texas, but when it was built in in 1890, it was known as the Protection Hook and Ladder Company No. 3.
It has undergone a couple of major transformations over the years. Here’s how it looked when it was first built as a fire house, back in the 19th century:
It was later purchased by the Steiner ranching family, and in the 1940s opened its doors as Capitol Saddlery. For decades it was the place to get your saddles and boots in Texas. Legendary boot maker Charlie Dunn created them for everyone from Al Capone to Peter Fonda.
Current owner Giselle Koy, who describes herself as a professional muse, is responsible for its current incarnation as an otherworldly “Venetian Palazzo.” She spent two years refurbishing the old building.
After attending a party here, writer Michael Barnes reported: “The brain takes a few minutes to adjust to Palazzo Lavaca…. It recalls scenes from Anne Rice’s vampire novels and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.”
The house is available for photo shoots. Here’s one I came across on Style Me Pretty featuring a bride and groom.
Seems like it would be the perfect place to film a movie, too. Or an episode of True Blood.
You can rent Palazzo Lavaca for events or spend the night. According to the Palazzo Lavaca website, “This sexy and sophisticated getaway was designed for an intimate rendezvous, a much-needed retreat or an escape from paparazzi.” Next time the paps get too much for me, I’m booking it!
“Enjoy a master suite featuring a huge Marie Antoinette mirrored bathroom with imported marble that rivals any Parisian royal suite,” the website says. “Soak in the antique claw foot bathtub or enjoy the oversized, open marble shower and call it a night.” I think I could handle that!
An article on A Life Designed reports that benevolent spirits are believed to still roam the halls of the nearly 7,000 square-foot historic building.
(Thanks to Teryl for telling me about it! All images via the real estate listing and Palazzo Lavaca website.)
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