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Businessman plans to refurbish Marble Falls parsonage with historic roots

A Marble Falls businessman has purchased an 111-year-old home to save it from demolition. His plans include moving it four blocks away to refurbish and keep it as a dwelling for his family. Staff photo by Connie Swinne

A Marble Falls businessman has purchased an 111-year-old home to save it from demolition. His plans include moving it four blocks away to refurbish and keep it as a dwelling for his family. Staff photo by Connie Swinne

CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER

MARBLE FALLS — On the brink of demolition, a local businessman has purchased and expects to breathe new life into an historical home that once served as a parsonage for a church.

The house at 911 Seventh St. in Marble Falls was built in the early 1900s. Plans include moving the structure to preserve the past and rekindle its purpose as a dwelling.

Randy Rudman gained approval April 5 from the Marble Falls City Council to move the house off its current site to a lot at 604 Ave. F, about four blocks away on another property he owns.

“It was the 1904 original parsonage of First Baptist Church. That was when the church was a block away on Main Street. We did some history on it and found out the Badger family originally erected that house in 1904 for the cost of $750,” Rudman said. “With it being 111 years of Marble Falls history and it being slated for demolition, within 12 hours of the detonation, so to speak, for us, we refer to it as the house that God gave us.”

The move, planned for late April or May, could take six to eight hours and involve coordination with Pedernales Electric Cooperative and the Texas Department of Transportation to clear a pathway for the two-story structure.

In recent history, the now-vacant structure served as a home for several decades for the music director of First Baptist Church prior to other developers recently taking ownership of the Seventh Street property to pursue commercial plans.

“The building itself is such a historic building. It’s a beautiful house. It was well built and served the church very well for many years, right up to the 1980s,” church business administrator Gary Stone said. “It’s definitely worthy to be preserved for the period architecture of it. You tear all the old stuff down, and it’s almost like you lose a part of your roots.”

The project will serve as a reminder of the origins of the community.

“Marble Falls was such a boom town when it started. We have so few places left that remind us of our past,” Stone said. “It will be fully restored. It will be a showplace that people will need to see.”

The house inspired the new owner to rethink the future of his own family in the community.

“The house we were going to build on Avenue F was going to be a spec house, and I was going to build it, sell it and, hopefully, make some money on it,” he said. “This house changed all that. This is going to be our house. We’re going to live in it because of what it is. I feel like it’s very significant for the history of Marble Falls.”

connie@thepicayune.com