The AGE Building
“Our aging community in Central Texas, and those caring for older adults, span every socioeconomic background, race, ethnic group, age, and gender. Older adults represent the most diverse cohort in our country, and should have the right to age with the grace and dignity that every human life deserves, no matter the color of their skin.”
In 1906, esteemed architect A. O. Watson was hired to design a building that would open in 1907 as the Confederate Woman’s Home at the corner of 38th Street and Cedar Street in Austin, TX. The two-story facility had fifteen bedrooms and was opened in 1907, and residents were required to be at least sixty years of age and without means of financial support.
At its opening on June 3, 1907, three women were admitted to the home; by 1909, it housed sixteen.
In 1907, a constitutional amendment providing for state ownership of the home was rejected by Texas voters. The amendment was resubmitted to the voters in 1911, which as then passed, and the property was deeded to the state
In 1913, the state constructed a large two-story brick addition, designed by Page Brothers, Architects, which included twenty-four new bedrooms. To accommodate the growing number of ailing patients, a brick hospital building was built in 1916, with a hospital annex added eight years later.
In 1949, the home fell under the jurisdiction of the Board of Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools. During the late 1950s, the nine remaining residents were consolidated into one hospital wing. In 1963, the last three residents were moved to private nursing homes at state expense, and the facility was closed.
(For more on the history of the building, visit the Texas State Historical Association: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ync06)
The building was purchased in 1986 by Austin Groups for the Elderly (AGE) and was renovated into office spaces. At the time, Austin Groups for the Elderly’s purpose was to host agencies that dealt with aging and disability issues. Meals on Wheels and More, Lutheran Social Services, and Hospice Austin were a few of the local organizations that came together to work on Austin’s aging issues.
As these organizations grew larger, they struck out on their own. AGE reorganized to create a building that would allow a more diverse group of non-profits to house within it.
At the same time, AGE took ownership of existing programs in the community and create new ones to fill voids in service to older adults and family caregivers. AGE rebranded as “AGE of Central Texas” to better identify the organization’s mission, vision, and expansion from the simple landlords of a historic building to the larger regional non-profit organization that it had become.
At any given time, 20 to 25 emerging non-profit organizations are in residence at The AGE Building. Tenants pay below-market rental rates and share facilities and equipment, to allow them to concentrate more dollars into their programs rather than overhead costs.
The AGE Building has become a place of collaboration between the various non-profits and a haven during difficult economic times. On-site management and a caring staff dedicated to helping non-profits reach their potential make the building an ideal office space. The AGE Building believes in diversity within its non-profit population.