1890 – Waco, TX

SOLD / Archived From 2019
Added to OHD on 2/18/19   -   Last OHD Update: 3/7/19   -   64 Comments
Address Withheld

Map: Street

  • $425,000
  • 3 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 6700 Sq Ft
  • 0.81 Ac.
The historic 129-year-old Cottonland Castle in Waco, TX has returned to the market! Since the purchase four years ago, much behind-the-scenes work has been completed and this iconic property has been painstakingly disassembled where necessary, materials meticulously cataloged and carefully preserved. This magical German-style stone castle needs a new guiding hand to complete the work so lovingly begun by the current owner. The lucky buyer will one day be able to reveal the 9-foot oak front door (weighing 400 lbs), elaborate Honduran mahogany mill-work, fine quartersawn oak, intricate diamond-paned windows, eight fireplaces (one of carved French Caen stone and another of pink granite) and exquisite light fixtures all of which have been thoughtfully protected. There is still much to do to complete a renovation of this magnitude, however, once completed "The Castle" - as Wacoans fondly refer to it - will once again shine brightly! Serious inquiries only.
Sold By
Ashley Weist, Kelly Realtors
(254) 717-8256
Links, Photos & Additional Info
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61 Comments on 1890 – Waco, TX

OHD does not represent homes on this site. Contact the agent listed for details including current price and status.
  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    2014 article: https://www.wacotrib.com/news/city_of_waco/oxford-scholar-buys-historic-cottonland-castle-distressed-austin-avenue-landmark/article_6a0ed508-a483-575c-b251-b6df887ae925.html

    A FB reader linked to this 2016 article: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/15/work-begins-to-restore-cottonland-castle-historic-/?fbclid=IwAR1DWw7TUmUqlwEhk56lItgyNOpsuXvXhGY9V3Gih9Mxz4oL3J91gLkHzhk

    Not to nitpick but suggesting that the Gaines buy this place…uh, no please…please, no. As much fun as I have watching them they cannot see beyond white and shiplap. Don’t condemn this home to something worse than what it is now.

    2/26/19 Edit: Heck people, just read the comments below, WE KNOW they bought it.

    90
    • TGrantTGrant says: 554 comments
      OHD Supporter

      New Orleans, LA

      Sing it sister!!!

      30
    • AvatarBethany otto says: 2663 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Escondido, CA

      That was my first thought but I didn’t say it–I’m glad you did.

      22
    • AvatarAndrea N says: 63 comments

      I was thinking the same. I love them but this is not the project for them. It needs to be redone with keeping the period it was built in and keeping it as close as possible.

      17
    • Avatarddbacker says: 384 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1971 Uninspired split-level
      Prairie Village, KS

      I believe they are theoretically capable of doing it right, but…..let’s not take any chances.

      5
      • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 544 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1918 Bunkhouse
        WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

        Indeed! Let’s not take any chances! What evidence have they ever provided to suggest that they have the depth of knowledge, expertise or experience to “do it right” with a landmark of such significance? Perhaps your definition of “doing it right” varies drastically from mine…

        12
    • AvatarDeborah Burdette says: 5 comments

      I, too, enjoy Chip and Joanna, but this is way out of her league. Her decorating style is old farmhouse. This masterpiece deserves the dignity of its history…that’s not old farmhouse.

      14
      • AvatarDavid Sweet says: 235 comments

        I absolutely agree! This home is unique, and is deserving of only the finest materials and conservation techniques. This is one that NEEDS to be done by the BOOK.

        3
      • AvatarTricia says: 1 comments

        They need someone like Nicole Curtis to come in and restore it to what it once was…she’s a gem when it comes to old homes and her love and passion for them is genuine.

        8
    • AvatarPamela says: 1 comments

      So true

  2. AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

    who would abuse such a castle! so sad

    15
  3. AvatarTess says: 320 comments

    WOW!!!! wedding venue maybe?

    9
  4. AvatarRick says: 78 comments

    I’m curious about the water tower that’s not part of the property any more. If the driveway that looks to services the tower thats part of the business next door where is the property line? Yikes!

  5. AvatarCarolyn says: 259 comments
    Grand Rapids, MI

    “This iconic property has been painstakingly disassembled where necessary, materials meticulously cataloged and carefully preserved.”
    I realize this has to happen at times for a full restoration but ever since I read about the sad fate of The Old Hickory in Coudersport PA (when it’s pieces/parts were carefully removed and safely stored and then sold off) I get kind of a sick feeling reading that line. Let’s hope for a better outcome for this amazing property. It’s unfortunate that the back half of the property was sold off but seeing how commercial that road is I’m not surprised. I imagine they got big $$$$$ for it. When I win the lottery I’ll buy it back and make it a big happy estate again! 🙂

    11
  6. Avatarglynn says: 35 comments

    backs up to a used car lot…I lived in Waco for years. Austin Ave. is great, but this is at the far end, near much commercial property. Shame.

    5
  7. AvatarKeith Sanders says: 104 comments

    I’ve seen a lot of before and after photos of UK castles that were once in much worse condition than this and restored brilliantly. Castles in the Western Hemisphere are to rare to be lost to neglect or mindless remodeling. Hoping someone with an old house heart takes this in hand…

    10
  8. AvatarAmy P. says: 219 comments

    I had no idea this was there! How remarkable. Now if only I had a winning mega millions ticket.

    2
  9. PhillipPhillip says: 183 comments
    1910 Tudor/craftsman mix

    I just think it such a mistake to start smashing plaster walls out. This type of approach is truly unsympathetic. I can’t help but think of the old nursery rhyme humpty dumpty when i look at all those parts and pieces.

    7
    • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 544 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1918 Bunkhouse
      WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

      I know it was a mistake to start smashing plaster walls out. This is not how one properly conserves an historic building. This is what flippers do. It makes me sick to see such needless carnage.

      9
    • JodiJodi says: 26 comments

      In the articles that Kelly posted, there was significant water and mold damage that needed to be dealt with. If that is the case, I totally understand the removal. One of the previous owners had plans to re-plaster (not slap drywall) in the original fashion of the house.

  10. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Changed to pending sale.

    2
  11. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    Already pending sale? Wow, that was fast. I can accept that this former mansion may have originated in 1890 but it appears around 1910 it had a foundation to attic makeover changing its flavor to Tudor-esque/Arts & Crafts. With still more later changes (windows) perhaps the best path for restorers would be to anchor the house around the 1910 era. I too was unaware that this castle existed in Waco.
    Chip and Joanna are branching out into merchandising and other brand tie-ins these days. As far as I know, there are no plans in the works to revive their fixer-upper show but Joanna is supposed to host a design-decor show. I can only hope that the next owner first does no more harm to this once prominent home.

    8
    • JodiJodi says: 26 comments

      I fully agree on the time. The foundation was done in 1890, but the house itself was not finished until around the latter date of 1910.

      1
  12. AvatarHeather McCullough says: 3 comments

    Gosh, there is a beautiful Irish castle on the Southside of Chicago (103rd and Longwood Dr.) but the inside as been modernized so much you can’t reconized the castle’s characteristics.🍀

  13. AvatarMelody Koontz says: 51 comments

    I am waiting for the flying cow! Tis the holy grail.

    3
  14. FrankFrank says: 24 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Wow. I had a look at the Google StreetView !! There is literally no property behind the house…just a huge used car lot. What a shame.

    1
  15. AvatarMaggieMay says: 74 comments

    Gorgeous!

  16. RosewaterRosewater says: 4561 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1875 Italianate cottage
    Noblesville, IN

    A masterful and THRILLING, American Arts & Crafts, (almost Storybook), house. Woof! At first glance I thought it might be a concrete block house: noooooo. That stone work is first class from foundation to crenelated tower. Wow…. I love everything about the original aspects of the interior, except, well; I really kind of hate the Withdrawing room and the master bedroom frilly, wedding cake, decorative details. I know that this is common, and I know why, but darned if the architect shouldn’t have fought harder for cohesion throughout the interior. I’m sure it came to happy wife – etc.. If I were a retiree with gold coast money re-doing this place, I would dispense with the interiors of both rooms and find, or have made, fittings appropriate to this outstandingly original, FINE, uber Craftsman. IMO the mullions are more than a little tedious in the smaller windows. This place is badass.

    1
    • JodiJodi says: 26 comments

      If you read the articles that Kelly posted, the bedroom and such (that you don’t like) was redone by the car dealership owner. I would definitely go back to the original time period details!

      2
  17. AvatarDianeEG says: 486 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1896

    Whenever there’s a home posted from Waco, it seems there’s a need to critique the Gaines work. Although I may have missed it, I’ve never seen them remodel a truly historic or design significant home. They do the forlorn track or ranch/split level house that didn’t have much going for it the day it was built, let alone when they take it on. It appears they provide nice alternatives for folks without the desire or talent for renovations and leave homes such as this to others. It’s kinda like the painted woodwork debate that seems to never end with some folks, the Gaines serve a section of the home buying population that has little to do with what we love about this sight. Give it a rest.

    4
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      I’m guessing you missed those episodes. I stopped watching after the bed and breakfast episode.

      If people wouldn’t say “Call the Gaines!” with EVERY FREAKING home I post in Waco, Texas or anything with shiplap, you’d never see their work “critiqued” here (FB is full of “Call Joanna”, “Call the Gaines!” “Where’s Chip and Joanna?”) They are not people anyone should recommend to restore a home because that’s not what they do. I can only stay quiet so many times before my eye rolls becomes a comment.

      17
      • JimHJimH says: 4208 comments
        OHD Supporter

        lol. Somebody on FB even recommended Nicole Curtis for this job, which is completely ridiculous for a few reasons. TV production is always about doing it fast and cheap, the opposite approach one needs to properly restore an old house, even if the hosts know what they’re doing.

        5
        • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 544 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1918 Bunkhouse
          WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

          You’re absolutely correct; people tend to forget that these shows are entertainment and NOT scholarly in nature. “Fast and cheap” is the best description possible for these kinds of shows. There are lots of highly educated and highly skilled (but underemployed) preservationists and architectural historians out there… they are the kind of people who should be tasked with this kind of work.

          4
      • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1889 Eastlake Cottage
        Fort Worth, TX

        Based on your comments, there’s clearly a need for more public education to help folks discern between rehabilitation, renovation, “makeover”, and finally: RESTORATION. Without understanding the differences between these terms describing approaches to repairing or altering homes from the past, the uninformed public turns toward the limited knowledge they have learned from what the mass media provides; i.e., popular television shows/videos.

        I sincerely wish that everyone contemplating buying an old house would come spend some time here and would try to grasp an understanding of why so many of us feel and old house looks best when it still looks like an old house, not a clever makeover designed to make an old house look so modern and new you can almost smell the whiteout paint drying. Most TV show hosts cautiously aim for a low common denominator in their approach towards making an older house habitable. I cringe but also chuckle when people are shown looking for their next home enter into a decent kitchen or bathroom not more than a decade old and loudly exclaim. “nope, this all HAS to go!” It makes it appear that many people only follow whatever is trendy at the moment so that any whiff of a new trend developing leads them to ripping out and spending substantial sums of money to look current. Apparently, “keeping up with the Joneses” never goes out of style.

        12
        • AvatarCJ Hutchinson says: 23 comments

          I so agree! If I hear one more host refer to a 10 yr old bathroom as a “Gut Job” I’ll scream! While the outcome is often lovely, wait 10 yrs and here we go again. OK, calm down, CJ…

          3
        • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 544 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1918 Bunkhouse
          WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

          You nailed it. Many people who watch these shows truly believe that they are learning from them! They are actually being brainwashed for the sake of the economy and haven’t the faintest clue. While “keeping up with the Joneses” has never gone out of style, it has never been so carcinogenic as it is today… television is a frighteningly powerful weapon, and the historic integrity of our built environment is suffering because of it.

          If HGTV was pushing historic preservation with a much greater intensity than it pushes remodeling, I guarantee you that the masses would be jumping on board. Monkey see, monkey do. It’s that simple.

          5
      • AvatarDianeEG says: 486 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1896

        Kelly, I remember when you said it was too expensive and/or complicated to add a WOW button option. If you ever have someone dump that kind of money on you = right next to the WOW button, you can have an EYE ROLL button. 🙂

        8
  18. Avatarbecky says: 80 comments

    The LAST thing this place needs is a Gaines “make over”!!! That woman can’t get past ship lap and white paint! Farm house style is NOT what this beautiful place needs! It is too bad this home is surrounded by so many houses and businesses. It needs to be out in the country with LOTS of land around it! I do hope the new owners do this place up right!

    2
  19. AvatarGardenStater says: 64 comments

    WOW.

  20. AvatarStacy says: 216 comments

    Wow! I live near Waco & have never seen this!! Next trip will change that!! And yes this area very commercial & packed! Lots of old beautiful homes in the downtown area, some kept up really nice, some not.. Still many old buildings standing & being used for businesses, a nice sight to see but maybe not so much for living, depends on taste I guess!

    1
  21. Avatarkath says: 212 comments

    i betcha chip and joanna gaines buys it, lol

    1
  22. AvatarRebecca Campbell says: 56 comments

    Y’all might think me wrong, however, I’m watching the PBS series about Queen Victoria and I think this should be restored and decorated to that time period. It looks like what they might consider a country cottage.

    1
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Are you kidding me? No…you are not.

      I’m going to go cry over my waffles this morning. Or maybe we can hope they’ll realize this place is not right for white/white/shiplap/white…

      7
    • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 544 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1918 Bunkhouse
      WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

      I feel ill. Truly, this makes me sick. This house deserves a slow, considered and well-researched approach to its restoration — which is simply not what the new owners are all about.

      Sigh.

      4
  23. AvatarStacy says: 216 comments

    Just saw.. Chip & Joanna bought it. No disrespect buuuuuttt… Geesh I hope they do right by this beautiful CASTLE!

    1
  24. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    Chip and Joanna will likely receive rave (local) accolades with whatever they decide to do with this “castle” but I think they will fall short here with their formulaic approach to renovation. Then again, the badly deteriorated home may still look better after a fixer upper makeover because so much of the original fabric is missing or was badly damaged over time. I cannot see much remaining in this house from its c. 1890 origins. The c. 1910 interior is anything but pure in style with its blend of pseudo European Medieval baronial flavor combined with quarter-sawn Oak American Arts & Crafts elements. If the buyers try to incorporate their signature Farmhouse Rustic and the current trendy grey/black/white color palette with the obligatory stainless steel kitchen appliances, it will not be respectful towards the history of this landmark house. The only consolation I can receive from this news is that the very faded house will now continue to exist in some form. One favorable aspect from this news is that the new owners have the resources to complete the makeover on a large scale so once a commitment is made, we will likely get to see the job finished.

    4
  25. AvatarSHELLEY NELSON says: 20 comments

    Wow I’m impressed. I didn’t realize there were so many people who are experts on the Gaines’.

    1
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Show me one episode that they took care or actually restored a property.

      7
      • AvatarSHELLEY says: 20 comments

        Their own home, the pilot episode, Clint’s house, the house for the veterinarian that was by the park. I’m not saying they’re the answer for everything but they have done a lot for their community. If you didn’t live near Waco before Fixer Upper then you won’t get it. The house in the pilot and Clint’s house would have probably been demolished by now. People also may not get that in Texas a lot of people build. It was nice to see a show about remodeling and keeping charm and not making it super modern. My house was built in 1910, has HVAC, updated electrical and all new plumbing and still everyone I knew thought I was insane for buying it. I just appreciate people like the Gaines. Maybe other people on here have a different opinion about the housing market in Texas. This is just mine.

        4
        • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments
          Admin

          1901 Folk Victorian
          Chestatee, GA

          I don’t believe anyone said anything about what they’ve done for Waco and if we cannot have an opinion on what they’ve done because we don’t live in town, sorry but that’s silly. We are talking about actual restoration not their community involvement. Restoration involves more than bringing in what people think looks old, it’s about honoring the original architecture of the home and keeping it to as close as possible yet making it livable (and no I’m not telling people they should live in a museum.)

          This is where the most negativity comes from when I think of what they do to an old house. I shudder when I see the one unpainted oak mantel in one of the bedrooms with black. The modern staircase, the shiplap everywhere…I could go on. This is what people call a restoration? No, it isn’t.
          https://www.hgtv.com/shows/fixer-upper/fixer-upper-renovation-and-holiday-decor-at-magnolia-house-bed—pictures

          8
          • AvatarShelley says: 20 comments

            Ha never considered my comment “negative”. Never said you can’t have an opinion if you don’t live here. I was just trying to explain why people like them. I hate the iron staircase. The point is I would have an iron railing and painted mantel than the house being torn down because so many are in Texas. They’ve never claimed to be preservationists. And the “castle” hasnt been lived in in 20 years, it’s in a bad location and most people don’t have the money it needs to fix it. Waco isn’t exactly full of millionaires.

            • AvatarShelley says: 20 comments

              And I hate shiplap when it’s not period appropriate. Most houses built before 1940 (at least here anyway) have shiplap walls. That’s nothing new. Anyway didn’t mean to offend anyone.

              1
      • AvatarManda Malice says: 18 comments

        *THIS*
        Honestly, I feel like most of what people do on those types of shows are crimes and these two definitely belong in prison. *Yes, I’m TOTALLY being dramatic here 😉 But I’ve also been through the pain and heartbreak of trying to restore an older home. I really do have very few kind words for people who want completely modern kitchens and bathrooms in older homes. Neat Fact: Husband is a FireFighter and the only good thing about that fake ship lap they put up is it’s much easier for them to tear through. I’m a huge fan of period correct ship lap because it was so common in the homes I grew up in but after my Husband started having work fires with the real stuff, I’d rather they keep pushing the fake stuff 😛

  26. Avatarddbacker says: 384 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1971 Uninspired split-level
    Prairie Village, KS

    Here is the test for the Gaines. The listing description says “painstakingly disassembled where necessary, materials meticulously cataloged and carefully preserved”, including “the 9-foot oak front door (weighing 400 lbs), elaborate Honduran mahogany mill-work, fine quartersawn oak, intricate diamond-paned windows, eight fireplaces (one of carved French Caen stone and another of pink granite) and exquisite light fixtures all of which have been thoughtfully protected”. If the Gaines preserve these elements and other historical features of the castle, we should applaud them for doing so because it was apparently too big a job for the last owner. If not, then most of your suspicions will be validated.

    2
    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      Chip likes to boast that his favorite work stage is demolition day. Since most potential demolition work has already been done additional demolition can only be considered more of a loss. I believe Joanna has more finesse and if put to the task, could accomplish a fairly sensitive renovation. Of course, if their aim is to leave their imprint on the house it’s anyone’s guess what the end result might be. It should be a crime to paint over expensive quarter-sawn Oak which cost a pretty penny when the interior was originally put in. It would be to their advantage to tone down the farm house look as well as trying to be trendy with an almost 130 year old landmark home. Some compromises are to be expected but not creating a whole new interior and knocking out walls. It will be a test of their architectural virtuosity in rehabbing this house without destroying its original character. Indeed, this will be a test of their abilities.

      3
  27. brigidbrigid says: 255 comments

    I watch Chip and Jojo occasionally and really do enjoy their show. I think surely they understand the history of this place and the limits of their talents. One thing in the article KJCOUNTS linked make me think they will have more than their usual outside help-“Their efforts will focus on fully completing the home’s long overdue and well deserved restoration.” Since it does say ‘restoration’ instead of remodel I am assuming (and you know what happens when you assume) they truly mean restore. The article also states the neighborhood does not want The Castle to become a tourist attraction or Bed & Breakfast and since the Gaines seem to care about their community I would hope they would listen to their neighbors. They certainly have the money to fully restore this beauty. I just hope they have the understanding of the continuing the original character.

    2
  28. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10360 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Closing comments now. If you have any history to share that isn’t about the Gaines, feel free to contact OHD and I’ll open it back up.

    PS, stop emailing me please, WE KNOW.

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