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Location: Austin, Texas
The Skinny: Since the 1930s, Capitol Saddlery had been operating out of a converted fire station in downtown Austin, Tex. The shop supplied boots to some famous and infamous people—Al Capone sourced a pair of manheels from Capitol back in the '40s. (The gangster connection shouldn't come as a shock, considering the owner started the shop using seed money from his rum-running activities.) Today, things are a little more legal at 1614 Lavaca Street, but no more sedate. In 2007, "professional muse" Giselle Koy transformed the old shop into a decadent palace reminiscent of a threadbare Venetian palazzo. But Koy apparently tired of Austin before completion, as she now spends more time in California, and listed the downtown pad for $4.4M. So far, it's been on the market for more than a year without finding a buyer or taking a price chop.
· 1614 Lavaca [Realtor.com]
· Capitol Saddlery, first firehouse turns Venetian palace in downtown Austin [Statesman]