Walter Tips Building

Walter Tips Building Austin

Texas Historical Commission
Written By Texas Historical Commission

We save the real places that tell the real stories of Texas.

Walter Tips was born in Prussia in 1841.

His father and mother emigrated to Texas in 1849, when Walter was eight years old. Walter's brother, Edward, opened a hardware store at this site before the Tips Building was constructed.

After the Civil War, Walter Tips went into the hardware business with William Clemens in New Braunfels, Texas. When Edward died suddenly in 1872, Walter and his partner Clemens bought the hardware business on Congress Avenue. His partners still ran the store in New Braunfels, while Walter Tips became the sole proprietor of the Austin store.

Architect Jasper Newton Preston built the Tips Building

The three-story stone building masterfully blends Venetian Gothic and Italianate Renaissance Revival styles. The east façade is five bays, framed by fluted and banded pilasters with Corinthian and foliated capitals.

Large open spaces were maintained on the interior by means of a cast-iron colonnade spanned by cast-iron arches running the length of the building down the center at the first level and by a similar colonnade of wood members at the second level. The original construction has two skylights.

The building is now used by First Citizens Bank.

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