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LCRA and Llano city representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Llano Main Street Program to renovate four building facades in the historic business district. Pictured are LCRA board member Michael Allen, Llano Main Street Advisory Board Vice Chair Carl Christensen, LCRA board member Margaret Voelter, City Secretary Kim Wagner, LCRA board member Carol Freeman, BHC Partnership Ltd. representative Travis Allen, Mayor Marion Bishop, city aldermen Laura Almond and Eugene Long, grant writer Sheri Zoch, David Griffith of state Rep. Andrew Murr's office, LCRA Regional Affairs representative Susan Patten, and Tony Guidroz, manager of Llano Main Street and community development director for the city. Courtesy photo
The Llano Main Street Program soon will renovate the facades of four buildings in the city’s historic business district thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the city of Llano, according to an LCRA media release.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $167,000 in matching funds from the city, its Charitable Foundation for the Llano Main Street Program, Llano County, and BHC Partnership Ltd., will allow for the exterior restoration of four adjoining buildings owned by the Buttery Company, one of Llano’s main employers. The historic structures, currently used for storage, are the first seen when drivers cross Roy Inks Bridge from the north.
“It truly is the gateway into historic downtown Llano,” said Tony Guidroz, Llano Main Street manager and community development director for the city. “Llano has some majestic, absolutely gorgeous buildings, and all of downtown is on the (National Register of Historic Places). These buildings are the last four facades to complete our beautiful downtown. It’s a project 20 years in the making.”
The buildings were constructed at the turn of the 20th century. Several decades later, the Buttery Company demolished their interiors to create a warehouse and removed historic windows, awnings, doors, and siding from the exteriors. Since then, the facades have not been updated.
Guidroz said the bare exteriors, which are not in sync with other building fronts in the business district, make the structures appear empty or abandoned.
“Quite frankly, when you come into an area that looks rundown, the perception is the town isn’t doing well, and that’s just not the case,” he said. “We want the perception to be this is a ‘real Texas’ place you can’t miss.”
Almost all of the historic building facades in Llano’s business district have been renovated, and Guidroz said the appearance of a thriving downtown is vital for the development of new businesses and tourism.
Upgrades to the Buttery hardware buildings will also offer a place to showcase local events.
“The updates to the buildings will include giant, removable window clings,” he said. “The windows will provide an opportunity for Llano and other cities and the county to promote their events. We want to make the best use of those windows we can.”
The community grant is one of 45 grants recently awarded through the LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders, and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in the river authority’s wholesale electric, water, and transmission service areas. The program is part of the LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The city of Llano is one of its wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January 2024. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.