The new owner of the Lampasas Keystone Star Hotel, Austin businessman Andrew Fish has tunnel vision when it comes to his new purchase.
"I think that the building wanted to be bought, it needed to be saved," Fish said.
The hotel was pieced together over decades, growing into the building that exists today.
Fish thought he was crazy at first, but then decided to split the project into two phases.
First, refurbish and preserve the hotel by bringing it up to code. That phase included getting it structurally restored, both aesthetically and functionally -- with plumbing, electricity and HVAC in full working order. The restoration included original glass windows from the 1800s and the same flooring and ceilings, all the way down to the 159-year-old dinner bell.
"We'll return the bell to its rightful place and put the rope back where it originally went when Ms. Gracy would ring the bell at dinnertime," Fish said.
Where an open high pitch ceiling ballroom will now stand, there used to be a savings and loan as well as a bank in the west side of the building that actually covered up a 20-foot working well. After ripping the floor up and checking that well, Andrew's daughter hit water 19 feet down.
Phase 2 will include a full kitchen re-do and backyard courtyard that someday could serve as a destination wedding spot.
"I've got wedding planners contacting me wanting to know when is this going to be done," Fish said.
There is so much to see in this old hotel, even a hidden bunkhouse above the second floor which served those cowboys passing through that didn't want to pay for a room.
"It's their building," Fish said of the travelers who will pass through. "I'm simply the steward of it, and I want to be a good steward."
Once the hotel is done later this year, there will be an open house inviting the public to come see one man's vision realized. Although with 10 rooms in the hotel, all 70,000 Facebook gawkers better not show up at once.