Tax Credit Program Highlight: Stuart Building

Houston, Harris County



Contributing Resource in the Main Street/Market Square Historic District

Historic Use

Office building

Current Use

Office building

Date Certified

September 27, 2017


Certified for state tax credits only

Project Contact



This handsome masonry building was constructed in 1880 following a disastrous fire in July 1879 that destroyed half of this block of Main Street. Designed in the Italianate style, the Stuart Building features eye-catching architectural elements such as cast-iron storefront columns, sculpted window hoods, and a massive and ornate metal cornice with dentils, scrolled brackets, and a curved broken pediment. The building was originally used for retail on the first floor, just as it is today. The first occupant, Wilkins and Adex Booksellers and Stationers, sold their wares on the street level, and used the upper floors for their book binding and printing operations.

Rehabilitation Project

This applicant chose to complete an exterior-only rehabilitation, so none of the interior spaces were altered or reviewed as part of this project. The building had already received a major rehabilitation in 1999, and the current work focused on repairs to the exterior components. Great care was taken to reglaze the delicate original wood windows on the front and the rear, and to clean and repair the original scored stucco façade that was designed to mimic cut stone. All of the decorative iron components on the façade were highlighted with a fresh coat of paint, including the storefront, the window hoods, and the dramatic projecting cornice.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The original scored stucco finish was a common feature of the era, which gave the appearance of (more expensive) masonry blocks.