Tax Credit Program Highlight: Livery Building

Ennis, Ellis County



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

Ennis Event and Conference Center; Behind the Curtain, LLC


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from 1920 reveal that the Livery Building was original occupied by a small tin shop and a horse and mule market. The early buildings were joined into the current rectangular shaped building circa 1927. The building is indicative of commercial development in Ennis during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the city flourished as the headquarters for the Houston & Texas Central Railway’s Northern Division. The building was later used for automotive sales and service, the modern version of a livery. In 2013, downtown Ennis was struck by a tornado, which left bricks from the Livery Building’s façade and parapets spread across Ennis Avenue.

Rehabilitation Project

After the 2013 tornado, the building sat unused for several years. Attempts to redevelop the property were unsuccessful due, in part, to the cost of rebuilding the façade. A Fort Worth-based developer had recently begun developing other historic properties in Ennis, and purchased this one as well. The building has been rehabilitated into a series of small retail or office spaces, intended to provide rental space for small businesses. All spaces are served by a single set of community facilities, and are accessible from the exterior and from a central interior corridor. Because of its historic uses, the Livery Building has both finished and unfinished spaces. This project has retained those, with the former retail and showroom spaces featuring plaster and sheetrock-finished walls and ceilings. The former service areas feature exposed ceiling trusses, and masonry and wood-sided walls. The interior corridor features large windows into each space. The brick façade was fully restored, using custom made bricks to match the historic masonry.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • Much of the building was historically one large open space, which was too big to support any local tenants. The developer was allowed to subdivide the building, creating this internal corridor with large windows into each space.