Stagecoach Inn

Updates on public and private efforts to relocate the historic Stagecoach Inn.

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11/3/18 – Relocation Completion Celebration

On Saturday, November 3rd, Round Rock Preservation and the City of Round Rock celebrated the completion of the relocation phase of the Stagecoach Inn Project.  The Williamson Museum on the Chisholm Trail hosted the event.  Several people spoke about the project, including the Mayor, the project architect, a number of former residents of the inn, and several descendants of John and Susie Harris, who began building the Inn in 1848. The event included the unveiling of a relocation project video produced by the City of Round Rock, and photos at the Inn.

 

4/30/18 – Stagecoach inn is at its new site!

Slowly but surely, the Stagecoach Inn was moved over the weekend of April 27-29 to its new perch on Brushy Creek along Chisholm Trail. Since 1848, it sat at what is now 901 RM 620, a location that sits in the path of the realignment of RM 620.

The relocated Stagecoach Inn over its new foundation

Phoenix I Restoration and Construction was chosen as the contractor for the Stagecoach Inn project and specializes in the restoration of historic structures, including the Navarro and Fort Bend County courthouses, and the Texas State Capitol. Subcontractor H. D. Snow and Son is the subcontractor moving the structure. The project includes stabilizing the structure, relocating the building and repairing the stonework.

A full restoration including roof, flooring, and windows will be completed after the masonry is repaired. Nonprofit Round Rock Preservation is raising money for the restoration through an engraved brick fundraiser (purchase paver bricks engraved with your personal message that will be placed next to the inn), and through direct donations. Visit their website at www.rrpreservation.org.

Structural Mover H.D. Snow (center, orange hat) and crew with Phoenix I President Dale Sellers (far right, in vest), and Project Manager Daniel Ledbetter (far right, green shirt)

The historic Stagecoach Inn passes by the round rock on Chisholm Trail.

 

4/26/18 – Stagecoach Inn to be relocated this weekend April 27-30

The Stagecoach Inn is ready to move! Bracing is being installed on the building and on the bridge over Brushy Creek. Refer to “Stagecoach Inn relocation set to take place this weekend” for details.

Relocation schedule (subject to significant changes due to weather or technical difficulties):
Although this will be an impressive feat, the public is asked to avoid the area so workers can focus on the important task at hand.

  1. Friday:  Stagecoach Inn is lifted off its foundation (this is the hard part). Reinforcements installed on Chisholm Trail bridge over Brushy Creek. Chisholm Trail Rd. closed between Sunset Dr. and RM 620.
  2. Saturday:  Stagecoach inn is moved down the hill and over railroad tracks. Road closure south of RM 620.
  3. Sunday am: Crews remove traffic signals, Stagecoach Inn crosses RM 620, crews reinstall traffic signals. RM 620 closed while building is crossing the road, police directing traffic all morning.
  4. Sunday pm: Stagecoach Inn crosses Brushy Creek and is positioned in its new location.
  5. Monday:  Bridge reinforcements are removed and Chisholm Trail Rd. reopens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3/12/18 – Groundbreaking ceremony at the new Stagecoach Inn site

Members of Round rock Preservation, the Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission, and city staff ceremonially broke ground Monday morning for the new site of the historic Stagecoach Inn. The building will be moved at some time in April.

2/8/18 – General Contractor selected for Stagecoach Inn Relocation

The City of Round Rock has selected Phoenix I Restoration and Construction, Ltd. to serve as the General Contractor to relocate the historic Old Stagecoach Inn to its new site at the future Bathing Beach Park.

The $796,000 contract, approved by City Council on February 8th, is being funded with hotel occupancy taxes.  The project includes relocating the 100-ton limestone building, repairing the stonework, and stabilizing the structure until a full restoration is undertaken. The project is expected to take 120 days.

Phoenix I Restoration and Construction specializes in the restoration of historic structures, including the Navarro and Fort Bend County courthouses, and the Texas State Capitol. Subcontractor H. D. Snow and Son is the subcontractor moving the structure.

Once the Inn is relocated, a restoration will be undertaken with funding through private donations.  Non-profit Round Rock Preservation has already started raising funds.  Donations can be made on their website www.rrpreservation.org.

Check back regularly for updates on the project.

Request for Proposals posted for Stagecoach Inn Relocation Project

The City of Round Rock published a Request for Proposals to select a prime contractor for the stagecoach inn relocation in a Competitive Sealed Proposal process. Proposals are due November 28 December 5, 2017. Please refer to the posting for additional information.

Stagecoach Inn relocation application to be reviewed at Oct. 17 HPC meeting

Update: the Certificate of Appropriateness for Relocation was approved unanimously.
The City of Round Rock has filed Certificate of Appropriateness for Relocation application to move the Stagecoach Inn from its current location at 901 Round Rock Avenue to the future park site at 750 Chisholm Trail Road. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) will act on the application at its October 17, 2017 meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Although there will be no public hearing there will be a Citizen Communication period at the beginning of the meeting. If you wish to speak, please arrive early to sign up to speak.

Current and proposed locations of the Stagecoach Inn

City Council approves architectural services for relocation of the Stagecoach Inn

The Round Rock City Council approved a project management contract for the relocation of Round Rock’s Old Stagecoach Inn at a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, July 13.

According to the initial study, project cost for phases 1-3 was estimated to total approximately $532,166. Since the study was initially presented to Council, City staff have worked to realize approximately $63,215 in project savings through the utilization of existing City resources to complete select tasks necessary for relocation.

The approved contract, in the amount of $98,300, continues the relationship with Architexas for project management related to the relocation of the stagecoach structure. Architexas will be responsible for pre-design, design development, construction documents, bidding and construction phase services associated with relocation.

Demolition of surrounding buildings (not the Inn) to begin March 2017

Some of the other buildings in the Commons center (bank, physician’s office) will be demolished in order to access underground utilities. The Stagecoach Inn will not be disturbed until a decision is made regarding its relocation. You can keep up to date on the RM 620 Improvement Project here.

Relocation feasibility study presented at February 23, 2017 City Council meeting

On Thursday the firm Architexas presented the results of the report Feasibility Study for Relocating the Stagecoach Inn to the City Council. The city contracted the architecture and preservation firm to assess both technical issues and costs of moving the building to two potential receiving sites: one on the current site but out of the way of road improvements, the other the other approximately 1000 feet north on the site of the city’s future Bathing Beach Park. They estimated that the total cost for preparing a receiving site, moving the building, stabilizing, and restoring the building would come to $614,722 to relocate the building near its current site, and $758,107 to relocate to the park site (where the building would have to be moved over railroad tracks and Brushy Creek). Architexas also researched the building history and created a restoration plan, the cost of which is included in the above estimate.

Stagecoach Inn Relocation Feasibility Study 2/23/17 (pdf)

Meeting video – Item E.2: http://roundrock.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1747

No final determination has been made as to whether the structure will be moved, or what the final use might be. Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to historic@roundrocktexas.gov

Stagecoach Inn update at June 21, 2016 HPC meeting

Principal Planner Joelle Jordan reported that the 120-day waiting period will expire July 14, but that the city is continuing to explore alternatives to demolition. The waiting period is the strongest action the Historic Preservation Commission can impose on a request for a Certificate of Appropriateness for demolition.

She reported that the city has hired Architexas to complete a feasibility study for relocating the inn. It had previously obtained estimates from a structural mover, but this study will assess the full cost of relocation, including moving the building, preparing a receiving site and foundation, and appropriately restoring the building to functionality. Two potential receiving sites will be evaluated: a location on the current lot that is not in the way of the road project, and the future Bathing Beach Park at Brushy Creek and Chisholm Trail. The study is expected to be completed in early fall.

No final determination has been made as to whether the structure will be moved, or what the final use might be. Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to historic@roundrocktexas.gov

Stagecoach Inn update at May 17, 2016 HPC meeting

In an update to the Historic Preservation Commission on May 17, 2016, Principal Planner Joelle Jordan reported that the city intends to hire an architecture firm to evaluate the full cost and feasibility of relocating the stagecoach inn, in addition to the structural mover’s estimate. The purpose of the study is to allow the City Council to make an informed decision on whether moving or demolition is the best option. No final determination has been made as to whether the structure will be moved, or what the final use might be. Please continue to send your comments and suggestions to historic@roundrocktexas.gov.

Stagecoach Inn update at April 19, 2016, HPC meeting

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) received an update from staff and held a public hearing regarding the status of the Old Stagecoach Inn at its regular meeting Tuesday, April 19.

At its March 15 meeting, the Commission voted 4-1 to deny a Certificate of Appropriateness for the demolition of the Old Stagecoach Inn, 901 Round Rock Ave. The historic structure sits in the path of planned improvements to RM 620 west of IH-35. The denial imposed a 120-day waiting period, allowing time to find alternatives to demolition. After the 120 days have passed, a demolition permit may be issued.

At the April 19 meeting, Transportation Services Director Gary Hudder said the City is evaluating the potential to relocate the original structure approximately 30 yards southwest of where it currently sits. That would keep it in the historic Chisholm Trail area.

Here are some of the images shared by Hudder at the meeting.

620 design detail medium

RM 620 design, with Stagecoach Inn overlay

diagram of changes to stagecoach inn medium

Changes to structure over time

Stagecoach Inn property closeup

Red box shows original structure; red line marks edge of future roadway

View from RM 620

View from future RM 620 (Inn is depicted as solid white structure)

View 2 from RM 620

Another view from future RM 620

View from frontage road

View from future frontage road

Hudder said the City is seeking cost and feasibility estimates to move the original structure intact, as well as stone by stone.

Commissioners also given documentation of public input via email received by the City, as well as two petitions, one from 2013 and one from 2016, from groups supporting the Stagecoach Inn. They also received comments from the Save the Round Rock, TX Old Stage Coach Inn Facebook page.

Commission Chair Jerry Hodges requested another project update at the Commissions regularly scheduled meeting on May 17.

Video from the March 15, 2016 Historic Preservation Commission meeting:

The City is planning the future of the former Stagecoach Inn, a historic structure at 901 RM 620, that sits in the path of the realignment of RM 620, a project needed to improve traffic flow and safety on one of Round Rock’s busiest arterial roads.

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) voted 4-1 on Tuesday, March 15, to deny a permit application to the City to dismantle the building (see video above). The Commission’s vote included a provision that there be a 120-day waiting period to give interested parties an opportunity to relocate the structure. At the end of the 120-day period, a permit will be automatically awarded to allow the removal to move forward.

City staff will update the HPC at its regularly scheduled meetings about the project, including input received and ideas for what to do with the structure. The City has set up an email address to receive input on the relocation, historic@roundrocktexas.gov.

The City acquired the Stagecoach Inn in 2012 as part of the 2.73-acre Commons retail tract in anticipation of needing additional right of way for the RM 620 project.

A 2013 memo from the Commission to the City Council detailed the history of the structure and the options for moving, dismantling or reconstructing the building. For more information and to view photos about the Stagecoach Inn, you can visit the City’s Flickr content on the property and a description from the Williamson County Historic Commission.

We have updated an FAQ to address questions about the application.

What options is the City considering other than demolition?

No final determination has been made regarding the future of the Stagecoach Inn. The intent is not to demolish the structure and haul the stones to the landfill. The preference is to relocate the historic structure to a nearby location, if it is deemed feasible. Barring that, we’d like to utilize the building’s materials in another historic setting to commemorate its historic significance to Round Rock.

In anticipation of the RM 620 realignment, in 2014 the City requested information on the possibility of moving the entire structure intact to the future Bathing Beach park site on the north bank of Brushy Creek, just west of Chisholm Trail. The cost estimate was significant, but more importantly, moving the entire structure there is simply not feasible. There’s no practical way to move it intact from its current location across the railroad tracks and RM 620, up Chisholm Trail and to the Bathing Beach. Furthermore, we were cautioned by a professional moving company the building may not survive that move.

What is the process the City is pursuing with the Historic Preservation Commission with the demolition request?

The City is following the same process we would require of a private owner of a property that has been designated as locally historically significant. We have submitted an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for Demolition to the Historic Preservation Commission. The HPC had two options: it could either accept or deny the application.

The request was denied, so we entered a 120-day waiting period before a permit will be automatically issued by the City’s Building Division. The waiting period is intended to give interested parties an opportunity to relocate the building. The City plan is not to demolish the building as soon as the 120-day waiting period expires; there are multiple options being explored.

One option under consideration is to relocate the historic structure to a different location on the property it currently sits on, if enough space is available after the RM 620 design is finalized.

A second option would be to dismantle the building and reconstruct it at a different, publicly-accessible location.

Another option under consideration is for a private entity to move the building to a privately-owned location. However, the City does not have an interest in moving and then maintaining the structure at a private location. This is due to the fact that if no viable public use of the building is identified there would be no justification for the taxpayer resources needed to maintain the structure, not to mention the moving costs.

The City is in the process of conducting due diligence on these and other scenarios relative to costs and feasibility.

Why is the City requesting removal of the historic structure at 901 RM 620?

The structure lies in the path of future improvements to RM 620; specifically, building a bridge over the railroad track that is just east of the structure. The City and Texas Department of Transportation have been working on a solution to the problem created by the at-grade railroad crossing at RM 620 for more than a decade. Various options have been considered for a grade-separated crossing before the City, TxDOT and Union Pacific Railroad agreed on the current project design. Improving safety and traffic flow on RM 620 is a problem that regional agencies have been working on for years and must address.

This map and chart shows route alternatives, and associated impacts, that were considered for the RM 620 improvement project.

The property lost its State of Texas Historic Landmark designation in 1996 because multiple modifications were made to the structure without State approval. While the property certainly has some historic value, the modifications decreased its historic significance from the State’s perspective. The historic significance of the property was reviewed again by the State of Texas as part of the design process for the current road improvement project.

The City bestowed local historic landmark designation on the property in 1984 due to its local significance pertaining to transportation and commerce (not architecture). The building is one of the most well-preserved stagecoach stops remaining in the state and is a reminder of Round Rock’s importance as a stop on the Chisholm Trail and other stage roads. The building housed the first inn in the Brushy Creek area, and was one of the area’s first businesses.