Waco, TX —The Oddity Between Dallas & Austin

If you’ve ever driven from Dallas, Texas to Austin, there is a pretty good chance you’ve stumbled upon the sleepy town of Waco, Texas. While most famously known for being in close proximity to the ATF siege on the Mount Carmel Branch Davidians as well as the location for the popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper”, this belt notch in the Bible is also home to the legendary ALICO Building. Never heard of it? You’re in good company. In this article, we’re going to take a brief look at the history of Waco’s tallest building and why you should know about.

They laughed at him when claimed that the ALICO Building could survive a tornado… 

Located along the Brazos River, Waco is a very unique place with a fascinating history for a city its size. This city not only boasts to be the birthplace of Dr. Pepper but also once was home to only suspension bridge West of the Mississippi — all in a city with a population well under 300,000 residents. Located in the heart of this city is the 22-story ALICO Building. Standing tall above most every other structure in Waco (aside from possibly the twin silos of Magnolia), the ALICO Building was constructed by the Sanguinet & Staats architectural firm for the Amicable Life Insurance Company in 1911. Architect Roy E. Lane was rumored to have boasted that the building was designed to withstand tornado-strength weather conditions. While many snickered at his claims of tornado resistance, a severe tornado made direct contact with the ALICO Building in 1953. Despite swaying many feet due to the storm, the building was largely unscathed while much of the rest of Waco was severely damaged. The building’s superior design and construction were attributed to its astounding resilience.

 

The ALICO Building was designated as a historical landmark by the Texas Historical Commission in 1982 and remains to be a historical and cultural icon to the residents of Waco and beyond.

Photography by Randy Lane.