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Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Waco Castle Is Full of Delightful Surprises — and Now It’s Hitting the Auction Block

Getting a Closer Look at a Truly Historic Dwelling Full of Designer Touches

BY // 07.19.23

Design, restoration, and marketing gurus Chip and Joanna Gaines have taken their 15 minutes of fame and parlayed into a full-fledged empire. Waco will never be the same. Now, one of the designing couple’s most noteworthy Fixer Upper projects known as The Waco Castle is hitting the auction block, bringing historic charm and plenty of signature JoJo style.

If you want to take your best shot at owning it, you better get your auction paddles ready. Bidding on Waco’s Gaines-restored Cotton Castle, located at 3300 Austin Avenue, gets underway this Thursday, July 20, and runs through next Thursday, July 27.

The project was featured in the recent Spring 2023 issue of the couple’s Magnolia Journal, and on its own Magnolia Network series Fixer Upper: Welcome Home – The Castle. That show is where the Gaines walked viewers through their three-year restoration process. It first aired in the fall of 2022.

“Chip and I have wanted to restore the castle for 20 years — a long time to hold onto a dream,” Joanna Gaines writes in a Facebook post. “This place has taught us a lot about the value of patience (the theme for our spring issue of the magazine) and the beauty it reveals in the end.

“This made it the perfect backdrop for the cover of #MagnoliaJournal—and I could sit in here with the plants all day.”

Step into the drawing room at Waco's Castle. Notice the Joanna Gaines color palette. (Photo by Lisa Petrol)
Step into the drawing room at Waco’s Castle. Notice the Joanna Gaines color palette. (Photo by Lisa Petrol)

The auction will be run by Concierge Auctions. While there is no reserve minimum set for the Waco Castle, a $100,000 bidder deposit is required. Keep in mind this home is a designated historic landmark by the Texas Historical Commission ― and one with Chip and Joanna Gaines’s fingerprints all over it. Not to mention the big ticket, behind-the-scenes renovations to install new HVAC, electrical, and plumbing, bringing The Castle into the modern age.

Introducing Pêche

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  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024

A Waco Castle With Modern Touches

The Castle is a 6,176-square-foot dwelling set on just over 1.5 acres. The four-bedroom castle boasts three full baths and one half bath. Of course, it also has a striking stone façade. The driveway leads to the porte cochere, where horse-drawn carriages once sauntered through.

The gothic mansion was built to resemble German castles dotted along the Rhine. It was built between 1890 and 1908. It seems the original stone mason fell on hard times, delaying construction. The historic landmark is part of Waco’s Castle Heights neighborhood, which was originally the grassy hill at the end of the city’s street car line.

Modern lighting is spot-on in the gothic setting of the Waco Castle. Way to go JoJo. (Photo by Lisa Petrol)
Modern lighting is spot-on in the gothic setting of the Waco Castle. Way to go JoJo. (Photo by Lisa Petrol)

Many of the home’s original materials were restored throughout, including Honduran mahogany paneling, Caen stones imported from France, Carrara marble imported from Italy and sandstone ― 120 train carloads full of it in all.

The Waco Castle also boasts seven fireplaces. Period details include quartersawn oak millwork, the home’s nine-foot oak front door, original crown moldings, wainscotting, custom built-ins and ceiling medallions add an instant pedigree. Plus, diamond-paned windows impart a truly historic feel to nearly every room.

“To make the home more functional, we converted the original breakfast nook into the main kitchen (which was originally located in the basement),” Joanna Gaines writes in another Facebook post. “This forced us to get creative with our choices — like turning the dumbwaiter into a spice rack and the fireplace into a nook for a new range.

“And I can’t get enough of that original wooden hutch.”

The Waco Castle includes a fully functional show kitchen. (Photo by Lisa Petrol)
The Waco Castle includes a fully functional show kitchen. (Photo by Lisa Petrol)

The new owner could play a smashing game of Clue here, with The Waco Castle having its own drawing room, dining room, conservatory, and library. Mr. Boddy had better beware.

The historic bits blend perfectly with the modern touches which have been added, including lighting choices, fresh glossy paint making the expertly crafted 130-year-old woodwork pop, striking tile designs, and even a shiplap ceiling in the sunroom.

Of the primary bathroom, Joanna Gaines writes: “The tile is the real show stopper in this bathroom at the Castle. The space used to be a dressing room, but we reworked the layout to include a shower and vanity area. I love how the walnut cabinet contrasts with the clean, timeless look of the marble.”

Yes, this Waco Castle is no ordinary piece of history.

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