Tax Credit Program Highlight: Raphael Building

Houston, Harris County



Contributing Resource of the Market Square National Register Historic District

Historic Use


Current Use

Office Space

Date Certified

February 1, 2018


Certified for state credits only.

Project Contact

Fretz Construction, Zimmerman Interest, SWCA Environmental Consultants


The Raphael Building was constructed during the prime of Houston’s early commercialization, when the city emerged in the late 1800s and early 1900s as the hub for railroad commerce in southeast Texas. In the Houston streetscape, Main Street was the backbone of retail and commercial activity in the city’s early years. The Raphael Building was one of a block of three-story brick commercial buildings that existed along this row at the turn of the century, all very architecturally similar to each other, and to those that can be found in other Texas downtowns. The building was rented to a variety of business tenants over time, including a printing operation and a bar.

Rehabilitation Project

As this building is not individually listed (it only contributes to an historic district and has no further designations), the applicant chose to complete an “exterior-only” rehabilitation. None of the interior spaces were reviewed or considered for the tax credits as part of this project application. The rehabilitation work focused on repairing and revitalizing exterior features including the historic windows, which were repaired and repainted. The non-historic front doors were replaced with more compatible painted wood doors, and the painted brickwork also received a fresh new color scheme. On the rooftop, work included repair to the existing skylights. Numerous alterations have been made to this building and its façade over time: for instance, historic maps show that the building, along with its neighbors, once had a projecting first-floor canopy to protect pedestrians from the sun. In accordance with the Standards for Rehabilitation, the owner is not required to reconstruct any historic elements that are missing.

Photo Gallery

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  • Although not architecturally a high-style building, the Raphael Building contributes to the Market Square Historic District and is an important part of the urban fabric.