Tax Credit Program Highlight: Franklin Building

Ennis, Ellis County

1905, 1944


Listed in the National Register as part of the Ennis Commercial Historic District

Historic Use


Current Use


Date Certified

March 30, 2018


Also certified for Federal Historic Tax Credits.

Project Contact

Behind the Curtain, LLC


As originally constructed, in 1905, the building at 107 S. Dallas was a typical turn of the century commercial building, reflective of Ennis’s position as the headquarters for the Houston & Texas Central Railway’s Northern Division. In 1944 the building’s facade was significantly altered when it became home to a Ben Franklin five and dime store. An ornate brick parapet was removed, upper windows were infilled, a stucco coating was applied to the masonry, and the original storefront was replaced with large, aluminum-framed, plate glass display windows.

Rehabilitation Project

Due to the alterations, the Franklin Building was listed as non-contributing in the 1986 National Register nomination. Because of the extent of alterations and the application of hard stucco to the masonry, the building could not be restored to its original appearance. The first step to utilize the historic tax credits was to determine that the district could be updated with a later period of significance, in which this building could be considered contributing in its modern configuration. As the rehabilitation was planned, the building was then treated as a 1944 building. The interior was subdivided into small office spaces, for single or two-person businesses, with a communal meeting room and service spaces. Partition walls are kept well below the original ceiling, to allow the expanse of the building to be understood as one space. Additionally, spaces immediately behind the storefront remain open. A historic elevator shaft at the rear of the building remains and is incorporated into an office. Exterior stucco was repaired and painted and new signage references the original Franklin store sign.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • This is the building when it was purchased by the developer. Before doing historic research, it wasn't clear that the building would be eligible for tax credits because it had been altered at an unknown date.