Some people do. And some might even say there are ghosts in the Historic AGE Building located on 38th and Cedar Street. Before this building belonged to AGE and became the non-profit center it is today, it had a rich history and long life.
Built and opened in 1907, the building was originally The Women’s Confederate Home, created to care for widows and wives of Confederate soldiers and other women who supported the Confederacy. Over the years the building was expanded to house more women, and a hospital wing and then additional hospital annex were built to meet the needs of the aging residents. Over a period of 55 years, the Women’s Confederate Home housed 340 women, who would have otherwise had no one to care for them and no where to go. In 1963, the last 3 residents were moved to other nursing care facilities and the building was closed.
Since then, this historic building has housed nursing students, and it also served as the original location for the Texas School for the Blind in the 1970’s. Because of the many different residents that have stayed, lived, and died on this property, there have been reports of friendly ghostly mischief on the grounds. Over the years, there have been a few TV specials with real ghost hunters that have tried to capture evidence of this on tape. If you’re interested in seeing one of the attempts to document ghosts in the AGE Building, click here.
The building was purchased in 1986 by Austin Groups for the Elderly and was renovated into office spaces. At the time, AGE’s purpose was to host agencies that dealt with aging and disability issues. Meals on Wheels and More, Lutheran Social Services, and Hospice Austin were a few that came together to work on Austin’s aging issues. As these organizations grew larger, they struck out on their own. AGE reorganized to create a building that would allow a more diverse group of nonprofits to house within it. At any given time, 20 to 25 emerging nonprofit organizations are in residence. Tenants pay below-market rental rates and share facilities and equipment, to allow them to concentrate more dollars into their programs rather than overhead costs. The building has become a place of collaboration between the various nonprofits and a haven during difficult economic times.
Thinking about ghosts can help us remember those who have come before us. And now as AGE of Central Texas, we like to look at where we’ve been and what our building has gone through- but even more we like to think about where we’re headed!