Caring for a Special “Senior:” the Historic AGE Building

Chris Leto, Director of Facilities and Administration  since 2001, leads AGE’ s oldest program: the Historic AGE Building. As he will explain, this program is more than the sum of its parts as a non-profit incubator, but in fact an extension of AGE’s vision to overcome the challenges of aging.

Sketch of the 100 year-old Historic AGE building
Sketch of the 100 year-old Historic AGE building

Austin Groups for the Elderly was established to work on issues concerning senior citizens.  We have an Adult Day Center in Austin and Round Rock where we take care of Senior Citizens, we have computer classes where we teach Senior Citizens and we have a Resource Center where we help Senior Citizens.

Our oldest Senior Citizen, is the building that is home to our programs.  The AGE Building, or its original name; The Confederate Womans Home is one hundred years old.  This historic landmark has existed through war, depressions, another war, some recessions, hippies, greedy developers, a couple more wars and survived the millions of people who discovered the joys of Austin and moved here from all over the world.

Through it all this Senior Citizen has stood proud among a constantly changing landscape.  The AGE Building welcomed change throughout the years allowing electricity and air conditioning to be installed.  The AGE Building has seen the invention of the phone, the fax machine and the Internet and stood with pride as it represented a tie to our past due a willingness to adapt to the future.

The AGE Building has stood as a force of stability in an ever changing world.  This stability has been an asset as it acted as a home and protector for women, people with disabilities and now the elderly and the non-profits within that call it home.

In an unstable financial environment our non-profits have found stability in the walls of this Senior Citizen.  Like many Seniors the AGE Building has used new advances in technology to help prolong and enhance its life, it has adapted to the world around it while maintaining a character and dignity not displayed by the buildings around it.

The AGE Building like many Seniors can look back on many years of raising and protecting generations of people with pride and now only asks that the children of those that were helped continue to take care of their home so the Building can continue to provide for future generations.

In 2002 a structural Engineer crawled through the AGE Building and after several hours sat back on a break and said with awe; “they don’t make them like this anymore”.  I could not agree more.

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