Tax Credit Program Highlight: The Perch

Austin, Travis County



Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Historic Use

Private residence

Current Use

Rental apartment

Total Rehabilitation Cost


Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses


Date Certified

November 21, 2019


Also certified for federal tax credits.


In 1938, architect Charles Granger moved to Austin to establish his practice with Arthur Fehr. While setting up his practice, Granger designed a studio apartment residence above a garage at the back of his property, with plans to expand as his family grew (he designed the Granger House, the main structure on the property, in 1951). The studio apartment space, dubbed The Perch, reflects Granger’s pre-war International style influences that inspired a spare, rectilinear building. With its flat roof and steel-frame ribbon windows, the Perch is a rare residential example of the International style in the region. Both the Perch and the Granger House were designed with large windows that provide expansive views into the sloped, wooded lot, creating a sense of being surrounded by nature. The Perch, with its pint-sized footprint, feels like a treehouse in the woods despite its location in downtown Austin.

Rehabilitation Project

The current owners purchased the property in the 1990s, and first completed a restoration of their main house themselves before moving on to the Perch with the support of the state and federal tax credit programs. This careful rehabilitation brought back the original character of the building. Exterior work included replacement of the staircase and the garage door, stucco repair, and window restoration. The original “porthole” front door was found on site, and was repaired and reinstalled. On the interior, the floors were refinished, the built-in daybed was reupholstered, central air conditioning was unobtrusively added and systems were upgraded throughout. Interior wood-paneled walls that had been painted over time were painstakingly stripped back to their original luster. The result is a modern-style jewelbox apartment that pays homage to its original designer.

Photo Gallery

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