The historic Paggi House will reopen next month as an art gallery

The Civil War-era home, now under the ownership of The Loren Hotel, will reopen to the public as an event space after a 10-year closure.

A red brick home with a black door, white fence encircling the porch, plants in front, and a historical designation marker near the front door.

The newly refurbished home has had many lifetimes as an inn, a residence, a restaurant, and now an art gallery.

Photo by Wen Fitzgerald

The Paggi House, a historic landmark on the grounds of The Loren at Lady Bird Lake at 200 Lee Barton Dr., will soon reopen to the public in a renewed way.

The house, which was originally built just prior to the Civil War, will open as an art gallery and event space early next month. Its first exhibition, titled “Explorers,” will run Sunday, April 7-Sunday, May 19.

“Explorers” — meant to coincide with the upcoming solar eclipse — is designed to evoke existential questions on humankind’s role in the universe. Featured artists include Matthew Ritchie, Rodney McMillian, Xylor Jane, Dustin Yellin, and Alteronce Gumby.

A red painted brick house witha. black door, black window shutters,  and a white fence around the porch surrounded by greenery and trees.

Longtime Austin residents may remember visiting The Paggi House when it was a restaurant from 1980-2014.

Photo by Wen Fitzgerald

Future exhibitions will rotate about three times per year, often featuring local artists and centering around science, nature, and the environment, according to a release.

The building itself has a storied history. Italy native and entrepreneur Michael Paggi bought the house, originally built near a low-water Colorado River crossing, in 1884. The home remained in the extended family for ~100 years, but fell into disrepair and was slated for demolition in the 1970s, until it was purchased by a development group.

From there, the house received historic designation in 1980, and opened as a restaurant called The Paggi House the same year. The restaurant remained open until 2014, when it closed down due to condo construction changing the nearby landscape.

A historical designation marker on a red painted brick wall.

The home received historical designation in 1980, which narrowly saved the building from demolition.

Photo by Wen Fitzgerald

Through the rest of this year, The Loren will offer the building for meetings free of charge to local nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. Come 2025, The Paggi House will open to commercial events.

The Paggi House will welcome public visitors from 1 to 5 p.m. on opening day and after that, gallery visits will be accepted by appointment only. Email to book an appointment.

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