Tax Credit Program Highlight: Badu Building

Llano, Llano County



Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Historic Use


Current Use

Event Center and Restaurant

Date Certified

September 11, 2018


Also certified for Federal Historic Tax Credits.

Project Contact

Cornerstone Architects, Jeffrey L. Nash, Rambler Joint Ventures


Designed by architects Larramour and Watson, the Badu Building was built in 1890-1891 by the Llano Improvement and Furnace Company for the newly chartered First National Bank. This company was organized after the discovery of local iron deposits, which spurred an economic boom and plans for growth and development. The town expanded to the north side of the Llano River in the anticipation that Llano would become “the Pittsburgh of the West,” which was to include streetcars and electric street lights. Unfortunately, the boom ended two years after the Badu was constructed, and the company went bankrupt soon after. Most of the other buildings built on the north side of the town during the iron boom later burned to the ground, leaving the Badu Building standing alone as a vestige of this era. The building was sold to N. J. Badu, a French immigrant, at a public auction in 1898. It was continuously owned by members of Badu's family until 1980, when it was bought and converted to a bed and breakfast. Incidentally, that 1980-2 rehabilitation project also used the federal tax credit program.

Rehabilitation Project

This high-style building received a high-caliber rehabilitation by the new proprietors, who converted it for use as a restaurant and event space. The original banking space became a dining room, where the marble floors and elaborate wood trim and paneling were retained and repaired. The second floor had been reconfigured from offices to guest rooms by relocating the historic wood panel partitions, and this rehabilitation moved the panels once again to reestablish an office layout. The brick and granite exterior was carefully cleaned and repointed, and replicas of the damaged front doors were custom-fabricated. At every turn, the owners did not skimp on cost and detail, even sourcing matching antique hardware for the doors where the originals had been lost.

Photo Gallery

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  • The building features brick construction with decorative bands of granite stone laid in a checkerboard pattern. Exterior work included masonry cleaning and repointing.