BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — A 106-year-old building in downtown Buda came tumbling down overnight.
Crews demolished the building because it was about to fall down.
“About 11:00, a couple of customers came in and said, ‘What happened to the building behind you?'” recounts Lisa VanMater, who works at Little Bluebird on Main Street.
When she went next door:
“[I] could not believe the roof had caved in and the whole back looked like it had just exploded. The bricks were just going out almost into the street,” VanMater says.
She called the property owner, Sandra Grizzle, who owns the Little Bluebird, too.
“All of a sudden I was getting phone calls, messages,” Grizzle says.
When she saw the walls start crumbling, so did Grizzle’s hopes for the building.
“I was in shock. This isn’t the way I wanted it to be,” she says.
The building was constructed in 1917 by Grizzle’s husband’s grandfather.
In the 1990s, Grizzle’s in-laws wanted to get rid of it.
“They decided they better settle all of the estate so they wanted to sell it. And when they decided that, I said, ‘I want to buy it,'” she says.
Grizzle wanted to keep the building in the family.
She was working with the Texas Historical Commission to preserve the century-old relic.
“They said it would be October or November before I would hear from them,” Grizzle says.
But time beat the commission to its deadline.
“If I had a lot of time I probably would’ve saved some things in there but there was no time,” Grizzle says.
She called her son, who organized for a contractor to start demolition as soon as possible.
VanMater says she would’ve liked to see a little piece of Buda stay a little longer.
“It’s just sad that such a old, historic building and it had to be taken down,” she says.
Now, it’s a clean slate to start a new legacy.
“Now we know that we have to start. Building something,” Grizzle says.
Grizzle says she doesn’t know what she’ll do with the property, yet.
She does not have insurance but is applying for a grant from one of Buda’s improvement programs.
The city tells KXAN that since Buda’s Main Street is on the national historic register, the state historical commission will be able to provide some help.
In order to get a historic designation, there are three essential attributes that need to be considered:
- Age: Is the building at least 50 years old?
- Integrity: Does it have the physical integrity or characteristics of its heyday?
- Significance: Is the property significant at the local, state or national level?
Securing a historic designation can open up tax breaks for rehab or maintenance on a property.