Sound the trumpets! Texas’ king and queen of home renovations, Chip and Joanna Gaines, are opening the doors to their castle and letting peasants traipse in.
Okay, so it’s not a real royal castle — it’s a historic castle-style home in Waco that they’ve just renovated — but the invitation still stands.
For the first time ever, the public will get to step inside a Fixer Upper property before it’s featured on the Gaineses’ home-reno show. According to Magnolia Network, the castle’s painstaking and Herculean renovation will be the subject of the eight-episode special Fixer Upper: Welcome Home – The Castle, airing in September.
But before the show airs, the couple is offering intimate guided tours of the century-old structure in Waco’s posh Castle Heights neighborhood, July 21 through October 26, 2022.
The Gaineses told The Insider that the tours will give Fixer Upper fans a look at every room in the castle and will focus on Joanna’s approach to designing the house. The project, they said, has reminded them of the power of “beauty in unexpected places.”
“For nearly 20 years, we dreamed and imagined what it would be like to breathe new life into this abandoned, century-old castle,” they told the magazine. “Finally having the opportunity, we’re again reminded that there’s great reward in unearthing beauty in unexpected places. The doors are open once again, and we can’t wait to host you here at the castle so you can experience this stunning historical home in all its glory,”
A Magnolia representative calls the castle “the most historic restoration project that Chip and Jo have ever done.”
The three-story, 6,700-square-foot castle — located at 3300 Austin Ave. — became known around Waco as the Cottonland Castle. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, construction started in 1890 and was completed in 1913. “[The] finished residence, modeled after a German castle on the Rhine River,” the Trib says, “included a tower, servants’ quarters, eight fireplaces and interior touches such as Italian Carrara marble, Honduran mahogany paneling and Caen stone from France, according to the wacohistory.org account.”
Joanna wrote in a blog post that she and Chip had been eyeing the property for a long time. “We’d drive by often, and Chip never ceased dreaming aloud about how fun it would be to restore the house to its former glory,” she wrote. “Sure, he had heard rumors of the water damage inside and the serious plumbing problems and the tangles of knob- and-tube wiring. But those things couldn’t keep this dreamer from dreaming and imagining what it would be like to breathe new life into the old place.”
The Gaineses bought the property in 2019. According to the Trib, the price they paid was not disclosed, “but the property was listed at $425,000 and had a tax appraisal of $350,700 at the time. It is now appraised at $1,127,470 for tax purposes.”
The public tours are also an open house of sorts. Eventually, a Magnolia representative says, the castle will be made available for purchase. Tour attendees will get to see the home staged exactly how it will be shown on the show this fall, the website says.
Tour tickets are $50 per person (kids age 7 and younger are free), with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting The Cove nonprofit organization; they’re on sale now. (Note that home does not have an elevator and requires guests’ ability to access three staircases, they say.)
For more information and tickets, visit the website.