Tax Credit Program Highlight: Sterne Building

Houston, Harris County



Contributing Resource in the Main Street/Market Square Historic District

Historic Use

Retail, office building

Current Use

Restaurant, office building

Date Certified

September 27, 2017


Certified for state tax credits only

Project Contact



This brick commercial building was constructed in 1916 after the original building was lost in a major fire decades earlier. The 1879 fire destroyed half of the 300 block of Main Street, and this was the last lot to be rebuilt. Architects Joseph Finger and James Ruskin Bailey designed the new building. Joseph Finger, in particular, was a prolific local architect, and designed numerous buildings across the city, including Houston’s City Hall (1939). The Sterne building was originally used for retail on the first floor, just as it is today. The retail occupant the first year was a clothing and shoe store, followed by quickly Cockrell’s Drug Store, which would occupy the building for many years thereafter.

Rehabilitation Project

This applicant chose to complete exterior rehabilitation work only, so none of the interior spaces were altered or reviewed as part of this project. The rehabilitation work focused on repairing and revitalizing exterior features including the historic windows, which were repaired and repainted. The painted brickwork also received a fresh new color scheme. The original projecting metal-and-glass canopy over the storefronts was damaged and had rusted out in some sections. During the project, the canopy received extensive repairs as well as a glossy coat of paint – making it look just as nice now as the day it was installed in 1916.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • This corner building is highly visible within the Main Street Market Square historic district.