AUSTIN — The iconic pink house in Austin is being renovated — and the color it became famous for is now gone.
The Victorian at 556 N. Central Ave. was listed for sale in 2019. Previous owner Yolanda Anderson sold it for $120,000 to Debra Kelch and her family in early 2021. The house dates back to the late 1800s and was seen as a local landmark in the neighborhood for decades.
Rumors swirled last year the home would be torn down but Kelch told Block Club at the time her family planned to restore it and put it back on the market.
Renovations began last year, starting with a complete overhaul of the interior with construction for an open floor plan, new roof, new siding and new windows. Kelch previously told Block Club the home would be painted sage green to match the new garage during the restoration.
Longtime Austin resident Kenny Sutton lamented the loss of color as an attraction to the community.
“I’m glad they at least kept the same rooftop intact,” Sutton said. “It was historic because of it being pink and how big it was. Everyone would look on the bus driving next to the big, bright pink house.”
The 2,600-square-foot, five-bedroom Victorian gingerbread house was purchased by the Anderson family in the 1980s and restored to its signature pink-and-white.
The interior also included plush pink furniture, pink carpet and ornate pink staircases and balustrades inspired by the family’s southern roots, Yolanda Anderson previously said.
The home’s condition declined over the years, which was made worse when the roof caught fire in 2005. Yolanda Anderson attempted to receive aid from the city’s homeownership programs to restore the house but never received enough to keep up the house’s condition.
Kelch previously said she and her husband bought the home with the intention of renovating the property so her daughter could live in it, but the delay in securing a building permit and her daughter getting a job elsewhere forced them to sell.
The city also filed a foreclosure complaint against the property on Aug. 25, 2022 arguing the property owners had left the home in a dilapidated state, with a rotted roof, damaged masonry and cracked joists, among other issues, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by Block Club.
Kelch could not be reach for comment Monday.
“Everything will be brand new, inside and out,” Kelch previously said. “The house will be beautiful when it’s all done.”
Listen to the Block Club Chicago podcast: